I've so much to say
And yet I cannot speak
Come and do my bidding now for I have grown too weak
My weary eyes have seen
All that life can give
Come to me, o young one, for you I can forgive

I stood where no man goes
And conquered demon foes
With glory and passion no longer in fashion
The hero breaks his blade

Cast this shadow long
That I may hide my face
And in this cloak of darkness the world I will embrace
In all that I endure
Of one thing I am sure
Knowledge and reason change like the season
A jester's promenade

Lying at my feet, I see the offering you bring
The mark of Cain is on our faces, borne of suffering
Oh, I long to hear you say it's not been wrong
I stand before you now, a riddle in my song
The answer is that sweet refrain
Unheard it always will remain
Beyond our reach, beyond our gain

Trapped in life's parade
A king without a crown
In this joy of madness, my smile might seem a frown
With talons wrought of steel
I tore the heart of doom
And in one gleaming moment I saw beyond the tomb
I stood where no man goes
above the din I rose
Life is amusing, though we are losing
Drowned in tears of awe

Lyrics submitted by kevver

The Pinnacle Lyrics as written by Kerry A Livgren

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Pinnacle song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment
    This song is about a hero, who has now grown old, telling his story. The first part is him remenicing to a young person about his heroic journies. He is telling this youth becase he is the only one the hero can forgive. We find out why in the next section, which deals with the hero talking to one of his companions. In this section, we see that the hero's glorious journies were not so glorious and the hero has many regrets and much guilt over the tough moral decisions that he fears he made wrong. The last part of the song, as he hero approaches death, he sees what lies beyond. He sees what lies after death, and at the end, declares: "Life is ammusing; though we are loosing; drowned in tears of awe"
    malec2bon May 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Highly reminds me of Beowulf. He beats grendel (demon foes, mark of cain) then tries to beat his mother but desn't actually kill her but thinks he did (hide my face). He then became king and everyone loved him (king without a crown). Afer this grendel's mother comes back as a dragon and tries to kill everyone and he has to kill her (I tore the heart of doom). He actually reached into her and tore out her heart. After this, as they both went down to their watery grave, he saw beyond the tomb. It's obviously not about Beowulf, but it just really reminds me of it. It is this man's story.
    Mindbreaker4228on August 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I have Kerry Livgren's autobiography "The Seeds of Change." Livegren does become a Christian, but not until several years after "The Pinnacle." He writes it is " a song that described my attempt to grasp the unattainable....I found that I was moving from one philosophy to another, but nothing could rid me of the emptiness I felt or provide real meaning and satisfaction. "Knowledge and reason change like the season, a jester's promenade." The promenade of of human philosophies and religions was beginning to look like a huge insipid joke. My only consolation was in my worship of music 'The answer is that sweat refrain.'" To put that quote in context of the book, he later states that he was wrong to worship music. He came to believe that it was a means of worship, not something to be worshipped itself.
    dregheadon August 07, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    In my senior year of high school, in my advanced sociology class in 1978, I did my project on the difficulties Vietnam War vets faced, coming back to a country where few of their fellow citizens supported their efforts. I finished my paper with the lyrics from The Pinnacle. To me, it echoed what several of the vets talked about—coming back from a world of being a warrior, facing great challenges, only to be left feeling out of touch and isolated from society. I stood where no man goes, and conquered demon foes With glory and passion no longer in fashion The hero breaks his blade Cast this shadow long that I may hide my face And in this cloak of darkness the world I will embrace In all that I endure, of one thing I am sure Knowledge and reason change like the season A jester's promenade It's still that context I think of when I hear this song. (Oh, and I got an A on the project.)
    richard7wdon March 22, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Fantasy rock is a good description of many of their songs...I've often described much of their music, to other people, as epic rock.....
    myrdhynon February 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    No, it's really just prog rock.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Which is, by the way, my favorite genre.
    inpraiseoffollyon September 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Wicked song.
    Warron March 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    To me this song is talking about Jesus . 1st verse Jesus is hanging on the cross and is to weak to speak from the abuse he has taken he has seen all that human life can give. This was one of his purposes. His followers must do his bidding. He asks all sons of God to come forward refering to them as young one becouse only he can forgive sin. We then jump forward to just after the crucifiction when Jesus is dead he is conquering " demon foes " meaning the devil and his demons. "The hero breaks his blade" Im still trying to pinpoint that one. " Cast the shadow long " when jesus died on the cross the bible says a the earth went dark. "That I may hide my face" meaning the shame and hurt Jesus felt when he took on the sin of the world. The Bible says God the father couldnt look upon his son when he was carrying the sin of the word. "In this cloak of darkness" meaning the cloak of sin. "Lying at my feet I see the offering you bring" meaning before Christ was crucified the jewish law required an offering to God because the " mark of Cain is on our faces " the mark of cain meaning the mark of sin. Cain commited the first act of murder in the bible by killing his brother able. "Trapped in lifes parade a king without a crown" meaning when Jesus was on earth he was still the king of all kings however he did not where a crown as the traditional king might. "My smile might seem a frown meaning when he was on the cross he was in great pain and "frowning" but he was doing what he knew had to be done and so was happy becouse of this. "With talens wrought of steel I tore the heart of doom" meaning Jesus defeated satan and the "doom" at its very heart that mankind faced. On the third day Jesus was dead he beat the grave and at that "moment he saw beyond the tomb" Jesus had stood where no man goes and above the din I rose is talking about how Jesus acended to heaven "din" meaning the world. The bible says the devil is like a lion seeking whom he may devour. Remember daniel in the lions din? The earth is as a lions den. The last line is from the point of view of a man "life is amusing though we are losing drowned in tears of aw. The bible teaches it is apointed to man once to die "losing". "Drowned in tears of aw." Thpugh we must face death what we will inherit and what Jesus did for us is enough to make you weep in joyful and thankfull tears of aw. I dont know what the writer intended but this is my interpretation. I think its pretty accurate.
    battleboyon October 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation
    i always thought of this song as part of trilogy (mysteries and mayhem, the pinnacle, carry on my wayward son) and if you view all of them at once the story becomes quite obvious it's about inner struggle of hero who fights his inner demons and feels like he's loosing and is scared(mysteries and mayhem), then he becomes desperate and lets his hands down and surrenders(the pinnacle) and then he has vision or a revelation of some kind and he finds hope that though he may lose the fight there still be peace for him after life of struggle and unrest.
    Gaaxureon January 09, 2013   Link

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