He's a king, he's a poor boy,
a tower in a stream,
see him standing there so all alone
well I guess he'll keep standing there,
until he's called for
and tomorrows hurricanes have blown

its his fate through old
another story told
He found no trust to call his own

His way was lost
his spirit was the cost,
he couldn't make up for the loan

But many brave men are returning,
back to the place where it began
and all our tires are still burning,
when the devils faults lay parching in the sands
and the nightman is waiting at the station,
gathered on the steps one by one
I suggest, that you make a reservation,
before all these things are done

upon high the blues
his life was filled with pain
when he heard the news
he lost a line in vain
someone went for word
his house went up in flames
they didn't need the smoke
to show the cops the blame

all your secrets
they've all been told
playing in your Scarlet and your Gold

He's a king, he's a poor boy,
a tower in a stream,
see him standing out there so all alone
well I guess he'll keep standing there,
until he's called for
and tomorrows hurricanes have blown

But many brave men are returning
back to the place where it began
and our tires are still burning
when the devils faults lay parching in the sands
and the nightman is waiting at the station,
gathered on the steps one by one
I suggest, that you make a reservation
before all these things are done



Lyrics submitted by CynicalCreep

Scarlet and Gold song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentScarlet and gold are uniform colors of the US Marines. This song is about the military, a soldier. Beautiful song! 13th Floor Elevators live on.
    jjustlikehoneyyon July 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with jjlikehoneyy. This is an antiwar song (it was recorded during the height of the Vietnam war, 1968). Like most of this album ("Bull of the Woods"), the last recorded by the band, this song sounds little like the 13th FEs' earlier output. There is less focus on the carefree joys of eating 'shrooms or dropping acid and a darker, often more wistful tone. The "electric jug" played by Tommy Hall on earlier 13th FEs recordings is largely absent from the whole album. This is no accident, because most of the album was recorded without either Hall or the 13th FEs' legendary frontman/rhythm guitarist/resident genius/madman, Roky Erickson. By '68 both Hall and Erickson were participating only sporadically, having Syd Barretted-themselves with too much Icarus-like flying toward the sun or its psychedelic equivalent. Erickson was also battling the Texas authorities' efforts to imprison him for marijuana possession (he and his lawyers would eventually settle for an extended term in a state mental institution, from which Roky was not released until 1972, effectively ending the 13th FEs as a band).

    As a result of all this tumult, the band for the recording of this album was primarily Stacy Sutherland, the fine (and still underrated) lead guitarist, who wrote most of the songs and did the lead vocals on most as well, including "Scarlet and Gold," and a rhythm section consisting of drummer Danny Thomas and bassist Duke Davis (replaced on later sessions by previous 13 FEs bassist Ronnie Leatherman). Unfortunately, Sutherland was killed in a domestic dispute in 1978, so any definitive statement about the meaning of this song is speculative.
    mbrachmanon May 19, 2010   Link

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