The Court of the Crimson King
King Crimson Lyrics


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The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournament's begun
The purple piper plays his tune
The choir softly sing
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue
For the court of the crimson king

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

The keeper of the city keys
Put shutters on the dreams
I wait outside the pilgrim's door
With insufficient schemes
The black queen chants
The funeral march
The cracked brass bells will ring
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the crimson king

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

The gardener plants an evergreen
Whilst trampling on a flower
I chase the wind of a prism ship
To taste the sweet and sour
The pattern juggler lifts his hand
The orchestra begin
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the court of the crimson king

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

On soft gray mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax
The yellow jester does not play
But gentle pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the crimson king

(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)





(Ah-ah-ah)
(Ah-ah-ah)

Overall Meaning

The Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson is a surrealistic account of a world ruled by an enigmatic, possibly supernatural figure known as the Crimson King. The opening lines, "The rusted chains of prison moons/ Are shattered by the sun," suggest that something great and powerful has occurred, as if a divine force has broken through the chains of oppression to reveal a new beginning. The singer speaks of taking a new path where horizons are changing and a tournament has begun to find the best of the best. This refers to the idea of power, specifically that the powerful and privileged have been overthrown by a new system, and everyone is now vying for that power.


The rest of the lyrics continue this surrealistic description of the Crimson King's court, where a purple piper plays a tune and the choir sings in an ancient tongue. The black queen leads a funeral march, and the fire witch is summoned. The gardener plants an evergreen while crushing a flower, symbolizing the idea of progress and growth, albeit at the cost of the natural world. The pattern juggler and the orchestra conjure up imagery of performance and entertainment, while the yellow jester and the puppets suggest the idea of control and manipulation. The final lines describe wise men sharing a joke and the singer seeking divining signs to satisfy the hoax, ultimately ending the song on a note of ambiguity.


Line by Line Meaning

The rusted chains of prison moons
The oppressive chains of confinement are brittle and easily broken when exposed to the light of freedom.


Are shattered by the sun
The light of freedom illuminates the darkness and shatters the shackles of oppression.


I walk a road, horizons change
As I journey forward, my perception of what is possible expands and my sense of the future changes accordingly.


The tournament's begun
The competition to see who will claim ultimate power has started and the stakes are high.


The purple piper plays his tune
An enigmatic and mystical figure sets the stage for what is to come.


The choir softly sing
A chorus of voices adds texture and depth to the unfolding drama.


Three lullabies in an ancient tongue
A magical enchantment of incomprehensible power is being woven by the singers.


For the court of the crimson king
This is all happening to prepare for the ultimate showdown, where the crimson king reigns supreme.


The keeper of the city keys
An influential authority controls access and regulates the flow of events.


Put shutters on the dreams
The ruling class enforces its authority by restricting the realm of imagination and stifling the hopes of the masses.


I wait outside the pilgrim's door
I am poised on the threshold of enlightenment, but struggle to gain entry.


With insufficient schemes
I lack the skills or resources to overcome the obstacles blocking my path to enlightenment.


The black queen chants
A malevolent force is gathering power and preparing to strike.


The funeral march
The coming conflict will be brutal, horrific and grievous.


The cracked brass bells will ring
The sounding of the bells signals the start of the apocalypse.


To summon back the fire witch
The powers of chaos and destruction are called upon to bring about the end of the established order.


The gardener plants an evergreen
In the midst of uncertain times, someone is preparing for the future by cultivating something that endures.


Whilst trampling on a flower
But in doing so, they may be causing harm to other things that are beautiful and worthy of preservation.


I chase the wind of a prism ship
I seek a transcendent experience that combines fantastic beauty and piercing insight.


To taste the sweet and sour
I accept the risks inherent in this quest, knowing that I may encounter both pleasure and pain along the way.


The pattern juggler lifts his hand
An adept manipulator of reality is preparing to unleash their powers.


The orchestra begin
An elaborate and orchestrated plan is set in motion.


As slowly turns the grinding wheel
The machinations of power are intricate, deliberate and moving inexorably toward the desired outcome.


On soft gray mornings widows cry
Amidst the pain of loss and grief, the morning brings a sense of hopelessness and despair.


The wise men share a joke
Even in dark times, there are those who can find the humor and irony in the absurdity of life.


I run to grasp divining signs
In my desperate search for meaning, I am willing to grasp at any sign that may lead me out of the darkness.


To satisfy the hoax
But in my desperation, I may be susceptible to the lies and illusions that others use to manipulate and control me.


The yellow jester does not play
An enigmatic and inscrutable figure is present, but refuses to reveal their true intentions or participate in the unfolding drama.


But gentle pulls the strings
Despite their reticence, the jester wields great power and their influence can be felt even though they remain aloof.


And smiles as the puppets dance
The yellow jester finds amusement in the spectacle of life and the frantic antics of those who seek to control or be controlled.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Greg Lake, Ian Mcdonald, Michael Rex Giles, Peter John Sinfield, Robert Fripp

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@exynth1a215

The show is about multiple people that get the ability to manifest their spirits, which gives them powers after the or someone related by blood to them getting pierced by a special arrowhead.
EDIT: This reply has sparked a war. Have some tiddies to calm down.
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⣠⣾⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⣹⣿⣿⣿⣿⣿⡟⣹⣿⣳⡄"



All comments from YouTube:

@TeddyTB58

There are things that even King Crimson won't skip.

@daze8656

good comment

@buddeman27

won't or can't?

@tengentoppagurrenlagann

@@buddeman27 won't

@buddeman27

@@tengentoppagurrenlagann thats a shame...

@anthoniotoscano3366

10/10 comment

20 More Replies...

@madeinheaven9956

Listening to this song with my eyes closed makes it feel like time got erased.

@emperornefarious5273

Says the time accelerator

@madeinheaven9956

​@@emperornefarious5273 better than being some schizophrenic pink haired guy in the 21st century

@emperornefarious5273

@@madeinheaven9956 Tru

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