"The Queen And The Soldier" as written by and Suzanne Vega....
The soldier came knocking upon the queen's door
He said, "I am not fighting for you any more"
The queen knew she'd seen his face someplace before
And slowly she let him inside.

He said, "I've watched your palace up here on the hill
And I've wondered who's the woman for whom we all kill
But I am leaving tomorrow and you can do what you will
Only first I am asking you why."

Down in the long narrow hall he was led
Into her rooms with her tapestries red
And she never once took the crown from her head
She asked him there to sit down.

He said, "I see you now, and you are so very young
But I've seen more battles lost than I have battles won
And I've got this intuition, says it's all for your fun
And now will you tell me why?"

Well the young queen, she fixed him with an arrogant eye
She said, "You won't understand, and you may as well not try"
But her face was a child's, and he thought she would cry
But she closed herself up like a fan.

And she said, "I have swallowed a secret burning thread
It cuts me inside, and often I've bled"
He laid his hand then on top of her head
And he bowed her down to the ground.

"Tell me how hungry are you? How weak you must feel
As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed
But I won't march again on your battlefield"
And he took her to the window to see.

And the sun, it was gold, though the sky, it was gray
And she wanted more than she ever could say
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away
And would not look at his face again.

And he said, "I want to live as an honest man
To get all I deserve and to give all I can
And to love a young woman who I don't understand
Your highness, your ways are very strange."

But the crown, it had fallen, and she thought she would break
And she stood there, ashamed of the way her heart ached
She took him to the doorstep and she asked him to wait
She would only be a moment inside.

Out in the distance her order was heard
And the soldier was killed, still waiting for her word
And while the queen went on strangling in the solitude she preferred
The battle continued on.

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"The Queen and the Soldier" as written by Suzanne Vega

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Queen And The Soldier song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentthis song is so beautiful.. but i'm confused about the end.. does she order him killed? or is it by chance that he dies in the one moment that he is trying to save his own life?
    rosie989on June 09, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have always thought of this song as a simple ballad, which is why I loved it so much. There is not enough writers who can write a true ballad, but she is definately one. That is why the interpertation of lostinspace surprised me - I did not see the metaphore.
    And I still have trouble with some of it's parts - for example, why is she saying to him that You won'y understand? and why is he saying that he just want to mary a young woman he doesn't understand, and speaks to her as Your Highness?
    The plain intepertation of this song, as a tragic story, is still more beautifull in my view.
    bartoshekon March 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with lostinspace that it's a metaphor -- but not just for a lovestory (though it fits that too). Try this notion:

    The conversation is the symbolic, inner monologue of a person faced with some undefined need to change their life (possibly growing into an adult lovelife -- that'd explain why voices are different genders). Their sense says they should -- their heart says it's too risky, they might lose even the partial happiness they have now, and it's better to continue as they have.

    The Queen is the heart, passion, impulse, youth, emotion, fear of change. She's powerful, but impetuous and uncertain and makes bad calls because of that. ("The young queen she fixed him with an arrogant eye, she said 'You won't understand, and you may as well not try,' but her face was a child's and he thought she would cry")

    The Soldier is sense, growing up, experience, understanding, responsibility. Like good common sense, he's simple, confident, and bluntly honest. ("'How hungry are you, how weak you must feel, as you are living here alone and you are never revealed" -- "I want to live as an honest man, get all I deserve, and give all I can")

    The question is faced, sense seems to have won, but at the last minute the person allows their emotion to take hold again. ("And he took her to the window to see. Well the sun it was gold, though the sky it was gray, and she wanted more than she ever could say, but she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away, and would not look at his face again")

    The Queen orders the soldier killed, and the battle continues -- aka, the person doesn't make the life-change their good sense is trying to tell them is desperately needed.

    Yeah, it's a beautiful song. All the better because it's so hard to decode.
    delayon February 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti actually think Delay has this pretty much summed up. I love the personality Suzanne gave these two in so little words. gorgeous song - one that's meant something to me for a long, long time...
    Rosemageon December 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentstrange that there isn't anybody who gives comment on this fabulous song... it's an extraordinairy story, really tragic and it touched me deeply...
    muisjeon June 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. I know this is from a female's perspective but I can relate to it myself. This song is about fear of commitment. There are a lot of metaphors in there which are fairly obvious.
    She falls in love with the guy but she is so scared of being hurt she decides to not to call him or see him anymore. The soldier did not die. but to her its easier to think of him as dead. That would take away the temptation of getting back in touch with man because she clearly loves him. I think its really nice how she uses the queen and the soldier metaphor and how love (sometimes) is such a battle.
    lostinspaceon June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a beautiful song. I first heard it when I was five years old, and ever since then it has struck a chord with me.
    ItsAllIWanton February 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is a beautiful song, but she does have him killed in the end. It is more tragic that she would choose the unhappiness and isolation she knew over the possibility of love with him, but also probably more true to life that way.
    maxwellsmarton January 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's all symbolism.

    The queen is the woman who likes men to fight for her attention - that's the soldiers and their battles. She likes to flirt with them. "Never once taking the crown from her head" refers to her need to retain power over men and so she will not open up.

    Although she feels an emptiness inside because of her inability to form a real relationship, she is too afraid of being hurt.

    The story is about a good man who gets close to her but she pushes him away.
    ninehaloon June 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was about 10 when i first heard it, and have sung it ever since, the ballad quality of her songs makes them easy to remember. Then one day your subconscious makes the connection and you find yourself singing one of her songs and it just sums up all that you're going through. Then you know Delay, Ninehalo and lostinspace are all on the money.

    She's a genius.

    and today i am, a small blue thing.
    Sandhanon December 21, 2006   Link

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