"Lemmings (Including Cog)" as written by and Peter Hammill....
I stood alone upon the highest cliff-top,
Looked down, around, and all that I could see
Were those that I would dearly love to share with
Crashing on quite blindly to the sea

I tried to ask what game this was,
But knew I would not play it:
The voice, as one, as no-one, came to me
'We have looked upon the heroes

And they are found wanting;
We have looked hard across the land,
But we can see no dawn;
We have now dared to sear the sky,

But we are still bleeding;
We are drawing near to the cliffs,
Now we can hear the call.
The clouds are piled in mountain-shapes,

There is no escape except to go forward.
Don't ask us for an answer now,
It's far too late to bow to that convention.
What course is there left but to die?

We have looked upon the High Kings,
Found them less than mortals:
Their names are dust before the just
March of our young, new law.

Minds stumbling strong, we hurtle on
Into the dark portal;
No-one can halt our final vault
Into the unknown maw.

And as the Elders beat their brows
Know that it is really far too late now to stop us.
For if the sky is seeded death

What is the point in catching breath? Expel it!
What cause is there left but to die
In search of something we're not quite sure of?'
What cause is there left but to die?

What cause is there left but to die?
What cause is there left but to die?
I really don't know why
I know our ends may be soon

But why do you make them sooner?
Time may finally prove
Only the living move her and
No life lies in the quicksand.

Yes I know it's
Out of control, out of control:
Greasy machinery slides on the rails,
Young minds and bodies on steel spokes impaled

Cogs tearing bones, cogs tearing bones:
Iron-throated monsters are forcing our screams,
Mind and machinery box-press the dreams.
But there still is time

Cowards are they who run today,
The fight is beginning
No war with knives, fight with our lives,
Lemmings can teach nothing;

Death offers no hope, we must grope
For the unknown answer:
Unite our blood, abate the flood,
Avert the disaster

There's other ways than screaming in the mob:
That makes us merely cogs of hatred.
Look to the why and where we are,
Look to yourselves and the stars and in the end

What choice is there left but to live
In the hope of saving
Our children's children's little ones?
What choice is there but to live?

What choice is there but to live?
What choice is there but to live?
To save the little ones?
What choice is there left but to try?

Lyrics submitted by inpraiseoffolly

"Lemmings" as written by Peter Hammill


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Lemmings (Including Cog) song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentVan Der Graaf Generator is perhaps the most overlooked AND great prog band from the 60s and 70s, as noted by the number of comments on this site.
    inpraiseoffollyon October 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou people are a disgrace. you've only got pawn hearts and little more on here!!!!
    Firewitchon October 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBefore you call me a disgrace, know that when I have time I will be adding the rest of the VDGG discography that I know, as well as those of myriads of other prog bands. Right now, however, I've got to go finish up my interpretation of this album, because I finally figured it all out this morning.
    inpraiseoffollyon November 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThank you so much Folly! I can't believe no-one posted these until now.

    You are absolutely right about them being overlooked, I was expecting way more comments than this.
    NieblaAzulon October 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, this song is about hope.

    An individual is deeply disturbed with the direction of society. Although their concern is genuine, cynicism leads their outlook to that of hopelessness. The individual then dreams a terrible nightmare, one which forshadows the future if he/she does nothing to help it. The nightmare serves as a turning point, an inspiration to actively lead others in a valiant charge to make a difference.

    Given certain words within the lyrics, I always thought this song was about the environment. However, it could just be alluding to the "environment" of another issue.
    Khaoson April 21, 2008   Link

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