"The Ancient" as written by and Jon/howe Anderson....

As one with the knowledge and magic of the source
Atuned to the majesty of music
They marched as one with earth

Sol, Dhoop
Sun
Ilios
Naytheet
Ah Kin
Saule
Tanatiuh
Qurax
Gunes, Grian
Surie
Ir
Samse

So the flowering creativity of life wove its
Web face to face with the shallow
And their gods soought out and conquered: Ah Kin

Do the leaves of green stay greener through the autumn
Does the colour of the sun turn crimson white
Does a a shadow come between us in the winter
Is the movement really light

And I heard a million voices singing
Acting to the story that they had heard about
Does one child know the secret and can say it
Or does it all come out along without you
Along without you
Along without you

Where does reason stop and killing just take over
Does a lamb cry out before we shoot it dead
Are there many more in comfort understanding
Is the movement in the head

And I heard a million voices singing
Acting to the story that they had heard about
Does one child know the secret and can say it
Or does it all come out along without you
Along without you
Along without you


Lyrics submitted by tinderbox

"The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)" as written by Jon/howe Anderson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Ancient song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthis is one of the greatest acoustic performances EVER! any one who hasn't heard this song has no right to call them selves a Yes fan! This is a great song (at least from 12:28-17:43)
    Stranger With Candyon May 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMuch of the liner notes of "Tales" don't make too much sense, nor in fact do the lyrics, but the idea that "The Ancient" tries to take a long view on human history seems to ring true. The music, really original, seems to capture something of the route from the primeval ape-man to culture, the struggle between natural and dimly intellectual forces, and the violence unleashed. It could've been the soundtrack to a "Mammoth Huntsmen" movie.

    Then the mood swings, Steve changes his electric guitar for a Spanish acoustic and delivers this beautiful solo and segues into a song that seems to look back on some modern outbreak of primal violence, chaos and evil. I couldn't say exactly what is in it, but the "Leaves of Green" bit, which the band have performed on its own now and then, poses a set of reflective, mournful questions and ultimately seems to turn back to a belief in some sort of reconciliation: the iamges are Christian (the child and the lamb) or animistic (the tree, the "movement" - I think he means the sky, the firmament).
    All in all, really unique and one of the most powerful tracks they've ever recorded.
    tinderboxon March 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The starkness of the transition is precisely what makes it work"
    -Bill Martin on the swift lead-over from violent electric into acoustic/vocal, meditative mood at around twelve minutes of this song (quoted from "The Music of Yes")
    tinderboxon June 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe beginning is a kickass instrumental.
    NickBush24on March 14, 2006   Link

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