"Yours Is No Disgrace" as written by and Jon/squire Anderson....
Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race,
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace.

Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are,
Shining, flying, purple wolfhound, show me where you are,
Lost in summer, morning, winter, travel very far,
Lost in musing circumstances, that's just where you are.

Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race,
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
If the summer change to winter, yours is no,
Yours is no disgrace.
Yours is no disgrace.
Yours is no disgrace.

Death defying, mutilated armies scatter the earth,
Crawling out of dirty holes, their morals, their morals disappear.

Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face.
Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race,
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
If the summer change to winter, yours is no,
Yours is no disgrace.
Yours is no disgrace.
Yours is no disgrace.


Lyrics submitted by RoboLuncheon

"Yours is No Disgrace" as written by Jon/squire Anderson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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  • +1
    My InterpretationI think its important to look at he line that the artist repeats in a song, because that is the line he's meaning to have make an impression on you; what his preoccupation was that he's meaning to make yours. In this case its "yours is no disgrace." You have to look at that line in its various contexts, the line being what connects the contexts. In this case, it is always preceded by "if the summer change to winter", which I think is a metaphor for aging. Then I notice that there is a contrast between a sailing ship (one's meandering - musing - life journey) and a battleship which confides in him and tells him where you are. But what about those who don't have anyone looking over them? "Death defying, mutilated armies scatter the earth, Crawling out of dirty holes, their morals, their morals disappear." But you? Your life "is no disgrace." I think it's a song about a guardian angel.

    Musically:

    The song starts out quite militarily, but turns dreamy before the intro is finished. Then it seems to awaken with the lyrics about birth, then the journey of life. Then the revelation and the lost between the seasons of life. The guardian angel has found the man. Then the two-step almost a Capella part where the angel take a patronly stance towards the man, but reminds him that his is no disgrace, his life will be a good one. The part where the music travels from the right to the left channel is the struggles of man, who doesn't know he has a guardian angel. Conflict to resolve, conflict to resolve. Then a victorious "death-defying" re-intro. Same situation, re-examined with a sly smile. Silly human race, on a sailing ship, leaving anyplace... Return to conflict but this time with a happier feeling. The man is starting to know and trust his guardian angel. Then the sound of elevators, going up! Then the same military refrain. Spaceship sounds. Climax: Repetition of the intro, which is a summary of what the whole song is about. Repeat again, once again reconfirming that despite all the meanderings, the person who is the subject of this song will be saved, there will not be a disgraceful ending.
    Zygonon September 13, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAMAZING SONG!! fav part personally is the acoustic part.
    burntfireon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's stunning, and it feels as powerful today as it must have in the early 70s. You know it's about the Vietnam war? or rather about the way a war looks to those in it on either side. If the first verse has this glamorous feeling to it, the second is already a bit more questioning ("lost in losing circumstances") and on the Yessongs live recording it does sound like Jon is singing "Justice, where you are??" ("The Gates Of Delirium" picks up much the same theme in a more extended way).

    I heard the live take at Christmas, 2001, having got the album as a X-mas present and the way it stood up as an image of war and terror (check out Steve's electric solo and the furious jam afterwards, dammit!) just spun me round. I'd known the album, and Yes as a band. years before, but "Yours Is No Disgrace" just took on new meaning in the aftermath of September 11 and all that's happened since.
    tinderboxon March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBest Yes song, imho. Never really thought about what it means, so I'd be inclined to agree with tinderbox.
    I love the stereo guitar bit!
    whapcapnon May 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful interplay between guitar & keyboards
    nagromnaion September 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh man. Only 4 comments? Easily one of the best Yes songs. Yes in my opinion, one of the most influential and greatest bands ever. But thats just me. Never really thought about what it means. But as I read it, kind of reminds me of the futility of war. "On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place," Just my 2 cents.
    Get_out_and_pushon October 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had never thought that the lyrics had any particular meaning, rather a depiction of a fantasy,but the theory about war sounds good - morals sure disappear during wars.
    Maybe only a few comments as people find it hard to come up with meanings for such songs but 'solid gold' hehe
    Sunnyhillon November 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about how much he loves a woman. Time and reality have no bearing on her - she is above it all. The most powerful forces of man and nature draw him to her. She is an oasis in a dessert of the most terrible things in life.
    tripleseeon December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentP.S. in case you didn't know, a Purple Wolfhound is a slang term for a particular British jet fighter.
    tripleseeon December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, this song is about the dangers of war, and represents more specifically Anderson & co's vision of a post-nuclear holocaust. That's why the summer suddenly changes to (nuclear) winter, why the human race has been 'silly.' And so the 'death-defying' survivors crawl 'mutilated' out of their 'dirty holes' to face a world where the traditional 'morals' of society have collapsed,and in which all will have to be rebuilt from scratch.
    bjlon December 13, 2007   Link

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