As he travels on the beast of burden
Moving up along the mountainside
As he gazes looking down the valley
No regrets but his pride
As he journeys across mountain passes
Insignificance sweeps over him
His reflection of the beauty 'round him
Feeling empty inside
He is running from his wildest thoughts
He is running from his everything
He is looking now to find something
Hoping he could be saved

He's searching for the answer now
It's something that he's managed to avoid up 'til now
Real conviction that he craves
He needs to find the answer sooner than later
Pushed himself to the limits
He had to strive for all the harder things in life
But what the cost of give in now?
His life and his time are the only things that he has

Life is is not a rehearsal
All he has is the one chance to get it right
Leaving really is the only way to know
Maybe one day they'll forgive him what he's done
But now the pain of lying too early in the grave

Destiny, no good to hide away
Penance now will be his only way
Understand, no good to run away
Penance now will be his saving grace

He tries to make his peace with God
All is forgivable but it's left a little late
Trying something that he's not
Is it possible to change such a lot?
He's taken someone's life away
There's not a day goes by he regrets what he's done
He should have found another way
But the good book says, an eye for an eye
In reflecting on decisions that were made
On the judgments that will haunt him 'til his grave
No one has the right to take another life
But in his mind he had no choice, so be it

Destiny, no good to hide away
Penance now will be his only way
Understand, no good to run away
Penance now will be his saving grace

Destiny, no good to hide away
Penance now will be his only way
Understand, no good to run away
Penance now will be his saving grace

Far, far away, the man wo would be king
Far, far away, the man wo would be king
So far away, the man who would be king
So far away, the man who would be king
Far, far away, the man wo would be king


Lyrics submitted by revanchist, edited by ironman14

The Man Who Would Be King Lyrics as written by Stephen Percy Harris David Michael Murray

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Man Who Would Be King song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment@ all-american girl: So true. This is one of the best songs off The Final Frontier, with When the Wild Wind Blows, Isle of Avalon, The Talisman and Starblind.

    As for the song, I think it's about a man who is reflecting on his life and is trying to find himself. He's done things that he regrets (Judging from the lyrics it seems he killed another person, or deprived that person of his life in some way), and he realizes that all the things he has struggled for in his life really aren't any significant. The only way for him to make up for his actions is to face himself.
    Rusty Diamondson September 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about, what else, the 1888 short story "The Man Who Would Be King," by Rudyard Kipling.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    zt76831on November 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe midsection in this song slaughters your mom.
    star tripperon August 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFavorite song from the new cd.love it
    RushRuleson September 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI think this great song is about a man that regrets killing man but he had simply no choice, in other words self defence, though i dont see what this has to do with someone becoming a king unless it was the guy he killed.
    edthehead96on September 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe it's about MacBeth.
    Necroshine23on October 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationYeah, when i was reading Macbeth I was instantly reminded on this, but im not sure the song is about it, i think its more metaphorical than literally "the man who would be king".
    IronMaidenForeveron January 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWhen I hear this song, I think of the story of Moses. To me it seems like the Man in the song is in a similar situation as Moses was when he killed the slave driver and fled Egypt.
    AzrielLegnasiaon July 09, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentAt least one phrase of the lyrics is wrong:

    Leaving really is the only way to know

    should instead say:
    Living really is the only way to know

    And as of the meaning of the song, I interpret it as someone who was forced to kill, maybe in self defence or maybe for some other reason. He then had to flee and is now hated by everyone, especially himself. He is now trying to rebuild his life and knows he has to stop hiding, assume the consequences of what he did, recieve whatever punishment comes and then start his life over again.

    The title and the final phrase: "The man who would be king" at least for me, doesn't mean he would be the head of a kingdom, but rather, that he would be in total control of his own life and destiny, had he not killed.
    shinacoon September 28, 2010   Link

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