"Journey of the Magi" as written by and Francis Edward Turner....
Moses was old, a chill in his bones.
Falling apart, he knew in his heart that his time had come.
As he lay in his tent in the hot desert sands,
He smiled at how he would never see his promised land.

He sang
"I could have lived and died an Egyptian prince,
I could have played safe,
But in the end the journey's
Brought joys that outweigh the pain."

Odysseus sat tired and alone.
He'd always held out against
All the doubts that he would come home.
But now he was here,
His soul felt estranged.
His wife and his dog,
His son and his Gods, everything changed.

He sang
"I could have stayed and ruled as an Ithican prince,
I could've played safe.
But in the end the journey's brought
Joys that outweigh the pain."

Balthazar rode for seven long years,
Eastwards and far,
He followed his star,
And it brought him here.
To a stable in ruins
In some backwater town,
To a virgin defiled,
No king but a child,
Too small for a crown.

He sang
"I could have lived with my Gods as a Persian prince,
I could've played safe,
But in the end the journey's brought
Joys that outweigh the pain."

Paupers and kings, princes and thieves,
Singers of songs, righters of wrongs, be what you believe.
So saddle your horse and shoulder your load,
Burst at the seams, be what you dream, and take to the road.


Lyrics submitted by Merce007

"Journey of the Magi" as written by Francis Edward Turner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Journey of the Magi song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentOne of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs I have ever heard. Turner's poetry is so good!

    That last verse in particular will blow me away every time, though I would be amiss if I didn't correct it to "BE WHAT YOU BELIEVE." The version above leaves out "be," which is possibly the most important word in the song!
    Mwasa254on October 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy favourite part of this song has to be in the last verse,
    "To a stable in ruins
    In some backwater town,
    To a virgin defiled,
    No king but a child,
    Too small for a crown."
    The rhyme of "defiled" and "child" just emphasises the pure innocence of the little baby, the virgin "defiled" answers both an atheist view that Mary may have been raped and used the story of the child of god as a cover or out of ignorance (equating her unmarried state with virginity) and the religious stance that she is a virgin and this virginity is broken by the birth of her child.
    This is absolutely beautiful, the "crown" for that little child being both the crown of the "king of the Jews" but also the crown of thorns. That that little child would one day be killed in the horrific Crucifixion. Frank Turner, like me, isn't a believer yet the imagery and poetry of this verse is inexplicably beautiful
    KinkyDoxon January 20, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Mwasa245 this song is so gorgeous. I've listened to it so many times and it's beautiful every time. I always wonder where the idea came for it though, it's so different to Franks other songs. The key its in helps to lure the sort of ancient feel of what he's talking about, Moses and ancient Egypt and other figures of ancient history. The haunting rise in the music fits so well with the stories. The whole song just carries the raw ancient essence of such old periods in history as those.
    Any ideas on where the idea came from would be good..
    CathW06on December 16, 2010   Link

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