Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Shine on Brightly


Keith Reid checked and amended the words of all his songs on this album for 'Beyond the Pale', February 1998

We are proud to be able to present the first authoritative text of these songs

UK sleeve
US sleeve
Quite Rightly So
Shine on Brightly
Skip Softly (My Moonbeams)
Wish Me Well
Rambling On
Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)
In Held 'Twas In I
(a) Glimpses of Nirvana
(b) 'Twas Tea-time at the Circus
(c) The Autumn of my Madness
(d) Look to Your Soul
(e) Grand Finale

Quite Rightly So (Brooker / Fisher / Reid)

For you (whose eyes were opened wide whilst mine refused to see)
I'm sore in need of saving grace. Be kind and humour me
I'm lost amidst a sea of wheat
where people speak but seldom meet
And grief and laughter, strange but true
Although they die, they seldom cry

An ode by any other name I know might read more sweet
Perhaps the sun will never shine upon my field of wheat
But still in closing, let me say
for those too sick, too sick to see
though nothing shows, yes, someone knows
I wish that one was me

Click here for variant Quite Rightly So words
and here for this song's inspiration

Shine on Brightly (Brooker / Reid)

My Prussian-blue electric clock's
alarm bell rings, it will not stop
and I can see no end in sight
and search in vain by candlelight
for some long road that goes nowhere
for some signpost that is not there
And even my befuddled brain
is shining brightly, quite insane

The chandelier is in full swing
as gifts for me the three kings bring
of myrrh and frankincense, I'm told,
and fat old Buddhas carved in gold
And though it seems they smile with glee
I know in truth they envy me
and watch as my befuddled brain
shines on brightly quite insane

Above all else confusion reigns
And though I ask no-one explains
My eunuch friend has been and gone
He said that I must soldier on
And though the Ferris wheel spins round
my tongue it seems has run aground
and croaks as my befuddled brain
shines on brightly, quite insane

Skip Softly (My Moonbeams) (Brooker / Reid)

Skip softly, my moonbeams, avoid being seen
Pretend that perhaps you are part of a dream
which (seen by some other such person as me)
would only glow smiling and nod and agree

Skip softly, my moonbeams, for I have heard tell
that the stairs up to heaven lead straight down to hell
that pride is the last thing which comes before fall
I'd as soon talk to you as make love to a wall

Japanese version here

Wish me Well (Brooker / Reid)

You know I caught a glimpse, thought I understood
but I left it all far behind
Now if I'd known then what I know now
do you think I would've been so blind?
Gonna take myself to the wishing well
I'm gonna make myself one last wish
and if you follow me there, better bring what you've found
'cause my night has come and I'm going down

Gonna buy myself a big rocking chair
and when I'm sitting in that, then no-one will peek
And my friends will come, they'll see what I'm suffering from
How I wish, how I wish I could rock myself to sleep
Gonna take myself to the wishing well
gonna make myself one last wish
If you follow me there, better bring what you've found
'cause my night has come and I'm going down

Rambling On (Brooker / Reid)

Our local picture house was showing a Batman movie
You see this guy fly up in the sky, thought to myself, 'Why shouldn't I?'
So I bought a pair of wings, went up upon a wall
I was about to jump into the air when a guy from the street called
He said, 'Hey wait a minute! Don't you realize the danger?
What do you think you are, some kind of angel?'

I considered for a minute, realized he spoke the truth.
For the barbells on my eyelids only emphasised my youth
and the sawdust in my plimsolls means the same to him as me
But that's neither here nor further, so I spoke considerately
'Now if you understand just what I'm trying to say,
whatever you do, don't grin, you'll give the game away!'

By now a crowd had gathered and it seemed that all was lost
In the anger of the moment I had diced with death and lost
It seemed to me the time was right so I burst into song
In the anger of the moment the crowd began to sing along
I could not see a way out of this predicament
Just then a breeze came through the trees and up in the air I went

I must have flown a mile, or maybe it was eight
Thought to myself pretty soon I'd hit the Golden Gates
Just then a passing bird for no reason I could see
took a peck at my wings and that was the end of me
I went down, hit the ground faster than the speed of sound
Luckily I broke no bones only tore my underclothes

Click here to read about variant Rambling On mixes

Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) (Brooker / Reid)

Though I know the night has fallen and the sun's sailed out to sea
I will wait here for the band to play the trumpet voluntary
And with one foot on the seashore and the other in the sand
I will stand here plaiting daisies whilst you play the piano-grand

Caprice, your bugle blew away the cobwebs from my ears
and for once I stood quite naked. Unashamed, I wept the tears
which I tried to hide inside myself from me, I mean from you
but the shame I found too painful and the pain it only grew

Magdalene, my Regal Zonophone

In Held 'Twas In I (Brooker / Fisher / Reid)

Glimpses of Nirvana

In the darkness of the night, only occasionally relieved by glimpses of Nirvana as seen through other people's windows, wallowing in a morass of self-despair made only more painful by the knowledge that all I am is of my own making ...

When everything around me, even the kitchen ceiling, has collapsed and crumbled without warning. And I am left, standing alive and well, looking up and wondering why and wherefore.

At a time like this, which exists maybe only for me, but is nonetheless real, if I can communicate, and in the telling and the bearing of my soul anything is gained, even though the words which I use are pretentious and make you cringe with embarrassment, let me remind you of the pilgrim who asked for an audience with the Dalai Lama.

He was told he must first spend five years in contemplation. After the five years, he was ushered into the Dalai Lama's presence, who said, 'Well, my son, what do you wish to know?' So the pilgrim said, 'I wish to know the meaning of life, father.'

And the Dalai Lama smiled and said, 'Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?'

Held close by that which some despise
which some call fake, and others lies
And somewhat small
for one so tall
a doubting Thomas who would be?
It's written plain for all to see
for one who I am with no more
it's hard at times, it's awful raw

They say that Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor
and those unsure
believed his eyes
- a strange disguise
Still write it down, it might be read
nothing's better left unsaid
only sometimes, still no doubt
it's hard to see, it all works out

'Twas Tea-time at the Circus

'Twas tea-time at the circus: King Jimi, he was there
Through hoops he skipped, high wires he tripped, and all the while the glare
of the aching, baking spotlight beat down upon his cloak
and though the crowd clapped furiously they could not see the joke

'Twas tea-time at the circus, though some might not agree
as jugglers danced, and horses pranced and clowns clowned endlessly
But trunk to tail the elephants quite silent, never spoke
and though the crowd clapped desperately they could not see the joke

In the Autumn of My Madness

In the autumn of my madness when my hair is turning grey
for the milk has finally curdled and I've nothing left to say
When all my thoughts are spoken (save my last departing birds)
bring all my friends unto me and I'll strangle them with words

In the autumn of my madness which in coming won't be long
for the nights are now much darker and the daylight's not so strong
and the things which I believed in are no longer quite enough
for the knowing is much harder and the going's getting rough

Look to Your Soul

I know if I'd been wiser this would never have occurred
but I wallowed in my blindness so it's plain that I deserve
for the sin of self-indulgence when the truth was writ quite clear
I must spend my life amongst the dead who spend their lives in fear
of a death that they're not sure of, of a life they can't control
It's all so simple really if you just look to your soul

Some say that I'm a wise man, some think that I'm a fool
It doesn't matter either way: I'll be a wise man's fool
For the lesson lies in learning and by teaching I'll be taught
for there's nothing hidden anywhere, it's all there to be sought
And so if you know anything look closely at the time
at others who remain untrue and don't commit that crime

Warning about copyright Words from other Procol Harum albums

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