Citadel
The Rolling Stones Lyrics


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Men are armed shout who goes there
We have journeyed far from here
Armed with bibles make us swear

Candy and taffy, hope we both are well
Please come see me in the citadel

Flags are flying, dollar bills
Round the heights of concrete hills
You can see the pinnacles

Candy and taffy, hope we both are well
Please come see me in the citadel

In the streets are many walls
Hear the peasants come and crawl
You can hear their lovers call

Candy and taffy, hope we both are well
Please come see me in the citadel

Screaming people fly so fast
In their shiny metal cars
Through the woods of steel and glass





Candy and taffy, hope we both are well
Please come see me in the citadel

Overall Meaning

The Rolling Stones' song Citadel was released in 1967 and is widely considered to be a commentary on fear-mongering, consumerism, and the Cold War. The opening lyrics "Men are armed shout who goes there, we have journeyed far from here" set the tone of the song as one of alarm and preparedness. The reference to being armed with bibles may suggest a justification for aggressive behavior or a symbol of a religious mission to conquer.


The lines "flags are flying, dollar bills, round the heights of concrete hills" paint a picture of a society consumed by materialism and capitalism, where success is measured in wealth and power. The image of candy and taffy can be interpreted as a metaphor for the sweet temptations or distractions of the modern world. The repeated plea for someone to "please come see me in the citadel" may represent a longing for refuge or solidarity in a bleak, hostile society.


The later verses of the song reference the people living in poverty or oppression, crawling in the streets and calling out for their lovers. The contrast between their struggle and the shiny, fast-moving luxury cars in the "woods of steel and glass" highlights the inequalities of the society. The overall message of Citadel seems to be one of warning against allowing greed, fear, and power to take over and the importance of seeking connection and compassion in a world that can be cold and oppressive.


Line by Line Meaning

Men are armed shout who goes there
Men are carrying weapons and asking who is approaching


We have journeyed far from here
We have traveled a long distance to reach this place


Armed with bibles make us swear
They are carrying bibles and making us swear


Candy and taffy, hope we both are well
Expressing a wish for good health through the use of candy and taffy as metaphors


Please come see me in the citadel
Inviting someone to come visit them at the citadel


Flags are flying, dollar bills
There are flags and currency flying in the air


Round the heights of concrete hills
Around the tops of tall buildings made of concrete


You can see the pinnacles
The highest points of the buildings can be seen


In the streets are many walls
The streets are lined with walls


Hear the peasants come and crawl
Hearing the common people struggling to get by


You can hear their lovers call
The sound of people calling out for their loved ones can be heard


Screaming people fly so fast
People are driving at high speeds and making a lot of noise


In their shiny metal cars
They are driving in new and shiny cars


Through the woods of steel and glass
Driving through areas with lots of modern buildings made of steel and glass




Lyrics © TuneCore Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Abkco Music Inc.
Written by: KEITH RICHARDS, MICK JAGGER

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Rafael Bottom

This album deserves much more recognition - for me it remains their most underrated album.

Themanwhocameback2

Just as it remains their worst album.

Virtual Medusa

One of my favorite Stones albums. Still have the original vinyl from when I was a kid. 💜

Tristan.48

After all these years, still wonder how this riff isn’t considered as one of the Stones top-5 riffs 🤔

Tristan.48

Philip Holmes I don’t think so. For a reason I don’t understand, they quickly dismissed this whole album. Sad but true….

ondrai staley

cuz it ain't lol. Out of their plethora of great riffs which one is this one going to replace?

Shelley Lyme

It's crap.

Martin Berridge

It's tainted by association with a lot of the crap on this album. Sad because I think it's one of their best.

Tristan.48

@Martin Berridge I know that it’s not considered as the best Stones’ work. By far. Nevertheless, it contains brilliant psychedelic gems (apart from “Citadel”) such as "2000 Light Years from Home", “2000 Man", “In Another Land”, “The Lantern" and, off course, “She’s a Rainbow”. So many songs that loads of bands from this era would have dreamt to write or - at least - covered (Kiss or the Damned did it years later for instance). 6 good songs out of 10 : not a bad rate…

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Mc Daniels

So sad to hear about Charlie's passing. He was such an enigma, which added to his charm. RIP Charlie.

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