Conquistador your stallion stands in need of company
And like some angel's haloed brow
You reek of purity

I see your armor plated breast
Has long since lost its sheen
And in your death masked face
There are no signs which can be seen

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador a vulture sits, upon your silver sheath
And in your rusty scabbard now, the sand has taken seed
And though your jewel-encrusted blade
Has not been plundered still
The sea has washed across your face
And taken of its fill

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador there is no time, I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
And though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Lyrics submitted by rorschach81, edited by robnielsen, davo50, HahnFurst

Conquistador Lyrics as written by Keith Reid Gary Brooker

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Conquistador song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis track was recorded live with the Edmonton Orchestra, and the atmosphere is electric. Yes, the Conquistadors were the Spanish conquerors of the New World in the 1500's... but the image is a powerful metaphor for the anti-war movement (the Vietnam War in this case). Those who promote war see the Conquistador's gleaming armour, sword and shield as the answer to all of society's problems. But those who live long enough to see the real horrors of war, see the rust and tarnish on the dream. They KNOW that war, once again, is NOT the solution to ANY problem. Alas, it seems each generation has to learn this lesson all over again, and history continues to repeat itself...
    RayManon February 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti wish to add my thoughts on two lines - And like some angel's haloed brow
    You reek of purity - i've always been in love with that expression. it is scathingly ironic and full of vitriol while indicating a person who engages in evil yet believes themselves to be righteous. i know this person well. it describes my father perfectly. to boil that all down to the poetry of those four words and charge them with intensity is an accomplishment to be recognized.
    ghostbaton August 01, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTime conquers us all.
    JennyAon January 12, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSong about the Spanish explorers that were called conquistadors back in the 1500's.
    kfe2on February 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    Warrior of Peaceon February 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThough the name refers to the 1500's Spanish explorers who set foot on the Americas, my impression is of the Medieval Knights Templar.

    Why? The lyrics refer to to a fallen warrior. "and like some angel's haloed brow you reek of purity", that sounds more like a warrior monk fighting the Islamic infidels and protecting the Holy Land pilgrims. These guys prayed and also fought bloody battles. Whereas the Spaniards raped, robbed and pillaged. Also sword and shields were more of a crusader choice of weapons: a vulture sits upon your silver shield and in your rusty scabbard now the sand has taken seed and though your jewel-encrusted blade has not been plundered still (no jewels at all on blades though - no vanity allowed). The Spaniards used guns and canons more that pikes and swords (rapiers).

    Note also:
    Conquistador there is no time
    I must pay my respect
    and though I came to jeer at you
    I leave now with regret
    and as the gloom begins to fall
    I see there is no aureole
    and though you came with sword held high
    you did not conquer, only die

    The Templars were jeered by the contemporary royal subjects of France when they were discredited (thanks to the two stooges King Philip the IV and Pope Clement V). Today the Templars are regarded as heros who were immensely done injustice against them considering their faithfulness and courage. These medieval warriors did not get to conquer, the Levant (Palestine), only occupied for a few centuries, in fact they lost the land to the Saracen infidels and a large number died in that dusty land. They fought knowing they might to die (or expected to die) but gain an entrance to Heaven (according to the belief they held). The Spanish explorers, unfortunatey to the North and South American indigenous inhabitants, did conquer the continents.

    Historically, the conquistadors were swindled out of their gains by the Lawyers and Bureaucrats the King of Spain really trusted. A good number of conquistadors were scoundrels : mercenaries and criminals, who the King could never trust.

    Maybe the title should have been Chevalier, not conquistador.
    racontouron March 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe narrator is addressing a woman who was once beautiful but who has long since aged, and her beauty has faded. When she was young and pretty, she rejected all suitors and remained chaste and aloof. Now that she has aged, any chance at love has passed her by.

    Woman: "breast... sheath... scabbard... aureolae"
    Once beautiful: "silver... jewel... sheen"
    Age/Loss of beauty: "lost its sheen.... vultures... death mask... rust... sand"
    Chastity/Aloofness: "armor-plated breast (protecting her heart from injury and her body from view)... not plundered... did not conquer"

    For some reason, he has come to mock her. Perhaps he is one of the suitors ("your stallion") she rejected all those years ago ("I hoped for something to find.. but could see no maze to unwind"), and he has come back to gloat. But instead, he is moved to pity by the sight of her wretchedness and loneliness.
    clubsodaon October 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI think it is a song about the Spanish conquistadors slaughtering of the Aztecs, Incas, etc. If you read about Pizarro, he wound up being murdered by his own men so although he hoped for utopia in his conquering he died in the end. Maybe he did feel guilt!? Also they thought their killing was justified by their religion and the Kings authority so they reeked in purity.
    lohoon August 28, 2018   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is a haunting reminder that nobody wins in war. The conquistadors felt righteous in their cause. Slaughtering natives in the name of their king and god. All for gold. The conquistadors came in their shiny armour and gilded swords and didnt conquer, only died.
    Whothefcateson January 17, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always loved the sardonic line "And like some angel's haloed brow You reek of purity" which fits the historical narrative well.

    When the Spaniards arrived in the New World they were seen by the Native people as aliens with white skin and facial hair. They had bad hygiene and stank horribly.

    As such, the Native people followed them around with incense burners to mask the horrible smell. The Spaniards mistakenly interpreted this as a sign of reverence and a mark of holy honor.
    jon314on May 22, 2020   Link

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