Today the warning came in the flood
Architects and fools never cared for poor men's blood
Cursed to repeat the past they are
The river dragon swims upstream
They've built another wall

The three will fall
Save us from the flood
Washed away we drown

The river dragon
Has come
Souls wash away
The earth has spoken and taken them to their graves

Those who cannot remember the last
Fall away,far away
The distance meets its task

The three will fall
Save us from the flood
Washed away we drown

The river dragon
Has come
Souls wash away
The earth has spoken and taken them to their graves
The river dragon has come
At first light of dawn
The earth has spoken
And in the crush they are gone

The three will fall
Save us from the flood
Washed away we drown
The river dragon
Has come
Souls wash away
The earth has spoken and taken them to their graves
In the mass destruction the bringer shows his form
Technology the beast
The seventh crown


Lyrics submitted by Exterus

The River Dragon Has Come song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI studied this song as a literary assignment for an English class in college. It is most definitely referring to the Three Gorges Dam in China. Below is what I wrote.

    In his narrative poem The River Dragon Has Come, Warrel Dane writes about the collapse on the Banqiao and Shimantan Dams in China in 1975. By using many poetic devices and alluding to the seven headed dragon from the Book of Revelation in the Bible, he paints a powerful picture of the disaster, and he allows the reader to visualize the wrath of nature against foolish men who attempt to dominate it. The poem, which shares its title with a book on the same subject by Dai Qing, serves as a warning against the completion of the new Three Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River.
    The first line uses personification to bring the flood to life by giving it the human trait of communication, specifically a warning. The second and third lines are a specific reference to the people who built both the dams that failed in 1975 and the Three Gorges dam. Warrel asserts that they have little concern for the thousands who died in the original flood and do not have any more concern the ones who are in danger from the new dam. It is interesting how architects are purposefully paired with fools in the same line. The line could possibly be considered oxymoronic, since architects are often considered some of the most intelligent people in society. In the fourth and fifth lines, Warrel introduces the river dragon, but at this point it is hard to tell exactly what the river dragon is. All that is known is the mythical creature is somehow related to the disaster. Here, maybe there is a hint at the warning to the future, which brings the poem to the second stanza. Here again, is another specific reference to those who built the dam. He now accuses them of not learning from past mistakes.
    The third stanza tells the story of what happened when the dams failed in 1975. It serves to remind us (and maybe the architects and fools) of the horrors of what happened. The river dragon finally emerges to bring about its retribution against man. Notice how he uses personification of the Earth to bring about the feeling that the people are being judged for their actions. The Earth has spoken and taken them to their graves. The Earth has spoken and in a crush they are gone. When he says, "The Earth has spoken," it conjures up images of the Earth as a deity, casting her judgment. When he says, "Taken them to their graves," it is a pretty obvious and simple metaphor illustrating that they were killed. The Earth speaks again at the first light of dawn and in a crush they are gone. This puts the setting in the morning, probably when most are asleep in their beds. Many probably never even woke up as a 20 foot high wall of water and debris crashed into their homes.
    The fourth and final stanza is the warning or even a prophecy in its certainty against what is to come with the new dam. The first line probably has a dual meaning, referring to the three as the holy trinity along with the story of the flood and certainly referring to the Three Gorges dam, warning they both will fall. Also, the river dragon's true nature is revealed as the seven headed dragon of the Book of Revelation. This dragon is believed to be a manifestation of Satan in his return to Earth in the Christian Apocalypse prophecy. But it also has a dual meaning. We find that technology, the hallmark of modern humans, is the beast. This is where he points the finger at ourselves, brazenly accusing humanity as the source of evil.
    As a side note, Warrel seems to play with both the Eastern and Western concepts of the dragon. Where in the third stanza the dragon may have been sent by the deity of Earth, the final stanza makes a very direct reference to the Biblical dragon that symbolizes Satan.
    chikenleggon March 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song has some kind of religious context. the "three will fall" sounds to me like it could mean the trinity, and the flood is reminiscent of noah's ark. and of course, the abuse of the poor and the seventh crown have religious context.
    pakistanimanon June 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno your way off
    there was a dam in china somewhere that clapsed and killed 1000s of people becouse the government and Architects built it as cheap as posible and it was called the river dragon and the whole song is based on that as the title of the song says
    cryptica9323on September 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDamn, I think the first explanation is better, but the second seems very plausible. I'll stick with the former.
    FlamesofNibelheimon January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentknowing the way nevermore writes their lyrics it is most likely cryptica's interpretation. i've seen a bunch of religious analogies with nevermore, and i can say that they aren't really for religion in their music. the people saying these things probably just think too much about religion and associate everything to it if they can.
    KrudeDuseon April 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is the reason i got into nevermore.
    I LOVE NEVERMORE!!!!
    i think this song's about flooding....
    Fotang_inAon May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcryptica is pretty close... in fact, heres a book about it with the same title:
    irn.org/programs/threeg/…

    Its about the Yangtze river in china. Two dams broke in 1975 and it killed thousands of people.

    Heres an article on the dams (for those interested):
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    I think the "river dragon" is a spirit believed to live in the water (sort of a river god I guess). It came, and it took the people away.

    I think the main idea of the song (through the lines "the three will fall" is this:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    The three gorges dam is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world and there is a lot of controversy going on about it (thats what the book i linked to above is about). Nevermore seems to think the river dragon just warned them in 1975, and that it will eventually bring down the 3 gorges dam.

    I cant figure out what the last line "the seventh crown" is referring to though... I'll keep looking.
    CaptNKILLon August 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe seventh crown refers to the Book Of Revelations, where there is an evil seven-headed dragon with a crown on each head.

    Basically although the band is atheistic, they are using a Biblical reference to sum up technology being the world's latest "evil".

    And you're spot on, CaptNKILL. It's totally about the 1975 flooding and how it serves a warning to the recent completion of the Three Gorges Dam.
    6th_sadistic_sniperon October 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYangtze is also called River Dragon because of his dragon-like shape. The 3 dams will cause gathering of silt in the bottom of the river. That will make the river overflow and in time the dams will colapse with catastrophic results.
    Aegipanon January 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"i think this song has some kind of religious context"

    this is Nevermore, what else is new. Dane feels that all of those who belong to religion automatically do not think for themselves, nor avoid pushing their beliefs on others. Also, he obviously finds nothing wrong with talking about how religion persecutes others for having different beliefs, while the whole time he is persecuting religion. where is this tolerance and inner-satisfaction, this understanding he so desperately yearns for?
    Blackened89on February 08, 2007   Link

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