Underneath the harvest moon
Where the ancient shadows will play and hide
With a ghostly tune and the devil's pride
"Stranger" whispered all the town
Has he come to save us from Satan's hand?
Leading them away to a foreign land

Play for me, minstrel, play
And take away our sorrows
Play for me, minstrel, play
And we'll follow
Hear, listen, can you hear,
The haunting melody surrounding you,
Weaving a magic spell all around you

Danger hidden in his eyes,
We should have seen it from far away,
Wearing such a thin disguise in the light of day
He held the answer to our prayers,
Yet it was too good to be
Proof before our eyes, yet we could not see

Lyrics submitted by Omycron

Play Minstrel Play Lyrics as written by Ritchie Blackmore Candice Night

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Play Minstrel Play song meanings
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    My InterpretationI think it's fair if people think "Play Minstrel Play" is connected to the Pied Piper of Hamelin ("[...] leading them away to a foreign land" and "has he come to save us from Satan's hand" could both indicate at the rat plague and that the Pied Piper lead the rats away, and "he held the answer to our prayers/yet it was too good to be" can indicate at the "price" he is taking after they do not want to pay him).

    However - I think the story is a different one:
    We are in a village, troubled by something serious (as indicated in "Satan's hand"), and - for what it's said later in the song - I think it's the fear of the Plague (or a similar desease), which has been spreading over the land but not gotten into this settlement yet.
    Usually only bigger settlements had a doctor at hand; people on the countryside had to rely on either "Wise women" (which often were mistaken for witches using black magic, thus they got burnt) or on "travelling people" who sold them "remedies" (the most famous one is "Snake oil" - which is still a synonyme for "something that promises wonders, yet is very expensive and does not do anything; in the best case it only hurts your wallet").
    Also Minstrels often were the only people who brought news to those villages - if a king (or a lord) did not send out messengers to deliver a "special order" (or something like that) each village was basically an island. Maybe the "has he come to save us from Satan's hand?" does not even hint at a "real remedy" he is selling, but either at the news that "somebody found a cure", or just the news "the plague is over!" - which would be a relief for people who were (until now) spared by the plague.

    "Leading them away in a foreign land" compared with "and take away our sorrows [...] and we'll follow" sounds to me like everyone in this "town" (which is probably just a village anyway) comes to see the Minstrel. Like we turn on the TV for distraction people attended travelling artists, because it was something that took them away from their daily (and often hard) life. No wonder that the "enchanting melody" weaves "a spell around you". They all WANTED to be taken away.

    Yet the "realizing of the truth" comes within the verse: "Danger hidden in his eyes / we should have seen it from far away / wearing such a thin disguise in the light of day." The Minstrel comes at night ("underneath the harvest moon"), thus nobody could see that he is sick. He is the bearer of the plague (or disease) that spared the village until then. If he would have come by day probably they would have stoned him to death before he stepped over the town's borders. But now they spend one night in his company, and he might have spread the plague to anybody close to him by sunrise.

    The large instrumental part at the end of the song can be seen in an even wider array of interpretations. One of my thinkings is: the townsfolk hunts the minstrel, trying to kill him for what he's done, and he barely escapes (or they even get him; depends on my mood ^^).
    The other: the "Minstrel" itself is "the plague in human form" (like e.g. the Plague appears as humanoid in "the Mask of the Red Death"), and once he is revealed he starts to play his tunes, and everybody infected by the plague has to dance, faster and faster and faster - until they finally all drop down dead.
    Urszaon June 23, 2016   Link

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