Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum song titles

Belonging to non-Procol Harum songs


Taupin, Bernie: Tribe, 1987 Album PL 85922: Sam Cameron tells us, 'I can conclusively state that the Bernie Taupin track is one of his own,' and not a Brooker / Reid cover. Charlie Allison alert us to this link, which proves the point.

Conquistador – CD: The Last Drag, by the Samples, on 'What Are Records' 60005-2 ... released 1993 lovely guitary pop song ... quite the best song with a Procol title that is not the song. Words and Music by Andy Sheldon: a wistful song, regretting the onset of war between two cultures, seemingly set at the point of sea-borne invasion by the enemy.

Conquistador – title-track of the 2003 album by 'master of the stratosphere' trumpeter, Maynard Ferguson ... not the Brooker / Reid number of the same name (thanks, Sic Ron)


Sam Cameron advises us that 'songs of this title have been recorded by: Marmalade, Simple Minds, Sandra Reid, Rain Parade, Rotor, Kitaro and Ride: it's also the title track of the Royal Marines album which covers AWSoP.

Sandra Reid and Rotor are all 12" singles which do not seem to be on other works by these artists. At the moment it is impossible to tell if any of these are the Procol song apart from the Ride track which is definitely not.

There is also a track called Kaleidoscope listed on an album of North Hungarian Peasant Songs and Dances, and The Flower Kings recently recorded their own song of the same name (thanks, Larry)

Tom Verlaine has now been extracted from the paragraphs above: the song he recorded is actually Kaleidoscopin', available on The Wonder full length record and as a CD 12-inch single. (thanks, David)

Wish Me Well

Sam Cameron advises us that this is a Blue Nile number ... obscure [ie non-album] track slow, very slow end-of-the-relationship song

Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)

Among the songs called Magdalene is one by Portuguese black metal band Moonspell on their album Sin Pecado

Ross Taylor writes 'As could be expected, Magdalene gets around a lot. Lenny Kravitz recently did one, and Kris Kristofferson did one in the 80s.

The Milk of Human Kindness

Elvis Costello has a song, Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness


Boredom was precursed by the marvellous Lovin Spoonful ['feel about as local as a fish in a tree'] and postcursed by the thrilling rare first Buzzcocks disc [EP] which contained the immortal song Orgasm Addict also

Wreck of the Hesperus

George Harrison wrote a song of this name, which appeared on his last studio album, 1987's Cloud Nine (thanks, Dominik)

Dead Man's Dream

Sam Cameron advises us that there is The Dead Man's Dream by The Church [Arista 1994 : album : Sometime Anywhere]

'Bears no physical resemblance to TDMD by Procol Harum. There is allegedly a Welsh language song that does but I have lost the trace of that. One of Australia's better known bands, the Church are probably best known for their jangly pop songs.

'This is not one of those being a drifting hypnotic effort from the later magical/esoteric part of their repertoire. The album it comes from seems to be available in one and two CD versions. My listening was to track 13 of the first CD in a two CD version.

'As implied there is not much of a conventional song structure here. It seems built on a fairly simple acoustic guitar phrase over which are laid samples, synths and a prominent loping bass line. Rather delightfully the electronics have an experimental 1960's quality to them sounding like backward instruments plus 'space age' whoop whoop noises like Roger McGuinn's early moog experiments on Fiddler A Dram.

'The lyrics? Well like a lot of Church songs they are a list of things cooed in a soothing voice. Here we get "avenues of splendour", "transubstantiation", and the general atmosphere is of some kind of astral trip of the dead man down through the ages of his previous incarnations.

In the middle there is a long passage with no words where the instruments drift in and out and the piece comes to a close with a barely audible female voice whispering in that kind of wondrous amazement style best epitomised in the child's voice on Hole In My Shoe by Traffic. All in all not unlike vintage Gong [in some ways].'

Grand Hotel

Featured on 2004's Françoise Hardy album, Tant de Belles Choses ('So Many Lovely Things) ... listen at to assure yourself it's not the familiar Reid / Brooker number. (thanks, Patricio)

Pandora's Box

Sam Cameron advises BtP that there are recordings of this title by Donna Summer, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Aerosmith, but that they are not the Brooker / Reid song. Less certain is the identity of these Pandora's Boxes:

Jean Caffeine: All Night Truckstop 1992 CD BMM001

Sam wrote to Jean Caffeine:

' ... is the Pandora's Box on All Night Truckstop the Procol Harum song ... if so any details on how it came about and if not what is it? And if it is are any of the Tivens who were in the band connected with post-Procol songwriting with Keith Reid.'

Jean Caffeine replied: 'Sorry to say there are no connections what so ever between my composition of Pandora's Box and Procol Harem's. Likewise, the Tivens do not have connections to Procol Harem writers either although they do have connections to Kelly Willis and Dumptruck. Be a gambler and check out my stuff.. Thanks for your interest. Excuse my ignorance but did Procol Harem do Lighter Shade of Pale?

Mad Professor Black Liberation Dub Volume 2 CD 1994 ARICD 100

Ghost Train
The Bee Gees have recorded a song entitled Ghost Train - surely not the Brooker/Fisher/Reid title. [Niels-Erik Mortensen]

One More Time
Sam Cameron advises BtP that just one of the One More Times is by Billy Stewart, original singer of the Georgie Fame hit Sitting in the Park … certainly the sort of thing Guy Stevens might have spun on his deck in Paramounts days. It is a typical Sixties soul record with staccato horns much like Mr Pitiful but lacking any clearly identifiable tune that might stick in the memory. Musically it does not resemble the Procol Harum One More Time although it does have a cascading piano part not unlike that used in the run out of the latter.

"I didn't know what a good thing I had (huh) until I lost it … baby ... I got to winna your love just a one more time" … and there is a Shakespeare reference: "let me be your Romeo and I can be your Juliet"

Billy is very little known in the UK, his only success being a No. 39 cover of Summertime in 1966. He was big bodily, if not chartily, and recorded a few songs about being a "fat boy". It is very possible Brooker and Reid would have heard this in the sixties. It's not as good as Roger McGuinn's One More Time arranged by Al Kooper … but then neither is the Procol Harum one.

Holding On

Larry Pennisi advises BtP that Carlos Santana played a number of this title at Jones Beach, Wantaugh Long Island, NY on 28 August 1983

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Sam Cameron advises BtP that a song of this title is also in the repertoire of Black Sabbath; there is also the Smiths' one which of course precedes the PH one, and has been covered live by Sinead O'Connor.

The Pursuit of Happiness
Rob Barnes writes to BtP: The Pursuit of Happiness is on American rock singer/guitarist Billy Squier's 1998 acoustic album Happy Blue.

To quote the man himself on the sleeve, "I'd been carrying this notion around for some time, and made a few half-hearted attempts at translating it before stumbling into this version at the last minute. The title kept nagging me – I guess it's an obsession for most of us. Songwriting can be hard work; I often recall the I Ching dictum "Perseverance Furthers." Other times, it's effortless, magic. The magic is not unlike happiness – you don't know if you'll find it, but you're sure gonna try."

The Emperor's New Clothes

Songs of this name have been recorded by Elton John and by Sinead O Connor

Proper cover versions of Procol Harum songs

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