"Sole Survivor" as written by John Kenneth Wetton and Geoff Downes....
There walked a lonely man,
Silent, mute, the only man
Not knowing how, not knowing why
Was he the sole survivor

Why should he be alive,
Breathing still while others died
And the only question
Why was he the sole survivor

Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night
Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night

Wind blew across the sand
He stood alone and he had no plan
And with the last rays of the sun
He screamed aloud, began to run

In his tears he sees his face
I am the end of the human race
When I'm gone there'll be no trace
For I'm the sole survivor

Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night
Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night

One night when years had passed
The skies shook from a fiery blast
And there a starship - safe at last!
To come rescue this survivor

They beckoned him inside
But only man, he would not ride
Instead he found a place to hide
For he's the sole survivor

Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night
Sole survivor, cursed with second sight
Haunted saviour, cried into the night


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Sole Survivor" as written by Karl Hyde Alfie Thomas

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sole Survivor song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentAlso, the end seems to mean that he knows; because of his second sight; that if he would go aboard the starship, they would end up being destroyed. He is after all, the sole survivor.
    internalnoiseon October 21, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't think he's choosing to die. It says 'when years had passed'. Apparently he lived there alone for several years. There's no reason why he would die now. I've got two theories about why he doesn't go aboard the starship. Either he has some kind of duty as the sole survivor that compels him to stay on the planet, or he doesn't trust the aliens in the starship. After all, he hides from them, suggesting that he couldn't just tell them to leave him alone. On the other hand, the phrase 'haunted savior' seems to suggest the first option. He's the sole survivor; he didn't save anyone else from the disaster, so he probably plays an important role in the greater scheme of things.
    Noilenon July 02, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI also found this to go along with Veteran of the Psychic Wars... I think that the sole survivor here wants to die but can't. Because of his second sight, he always avoids wars and disasters which left him the sole survivor for eternity. He doesn't want to go on the starship because he's the sole survivor... his race will never live on because he can't have children. He's just a guy who is getting tortured by something many people want - the ability to see into the future.
    Ceojacon December 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song goes together with Veteran of the Psychic wars. Instead of escaping the devastated planet, the sole survivor choses to die alone, since there were no playboy bunnies survived to propogate with...
    zepedachemicalon October 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds to me like the ending of Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End"
    Skajaquadaon May 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Sole survivor, cursed with second sight"

    I don't think that he has the ability to see into the future.
    I think that this refers to the fact that he is the last surviving human, and he knows it. So he also knows that no matter what happens humanity will be gone as soon as he dies.
    That is why he did not get on the ship. It wouldn't change anything if he did, and what use would there be in living as the last of your kind?

    Well, I don't agree with that kind of thought, but I assume that is what the "Sole Survivor" was supposed to be thinking.
    AkaiEdgeon March 07, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe protagonist is the last surviving human on earth. The song does not go into detail on how that came to pass. The lyrics say "the wind blew across the sand" leading one to believe that there was some kind of a disaster that turned the earth into an apocopyptic desert. Giant meteor? ecological calamity? plague? nuclear war?

    Then at the end of the song the alien ship "safe at last!" comes to pick up the sole survivor, but he does not go with them. Perhaps it was the aliens themselves that caused the destruction of the earth, drained the water etc. or killed all the humans, like in "War of the worlds"

    You'll have to ask Blue Oyster Cult what was on their mind when they wrote it.

    I think this song would have been great in the Stephen King story "The Stand."

    In the first act of the story 99% of the world's population is wiped out by a killer plague.

    In the movie version of the story, "Don't fear the Reaper" was used in the opening scene, when the virus started killing people in a military lab where it was developed.
    leocat99on March 14, 2018   Link

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