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Yes Lyrics – the good the bad and the cringe-worthy 473

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall and Preston Frazier

Jacob, a musician and podcaster from Bristol, UK joined Mark and me this week to talk about Yes lyrics.

  • What typifies Yes lyrics?
  • What are our favourites?
  • Which lyrics make us cringe?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

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Show notes and links:

Join us in August to record episode 500 here:

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Lewis Clarke / West Devon : Yes Tor / CC BY-SA 2.0

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

12 replies on “Yes Lyrics – the good the bad and the cringe-worthy 473”

Fave…The whole opening words to The Revealing Science of God plus The Sun Will Lead Us Our Reason To Be Here, You And I Can Change The World and about fifty more……Not great….Abilene – all of it!…But it is a short list indeed of poor Yes songs, how about another I love..Where will you be when you’re not here….I could go on!

What a thoroughly enjoyable episode..what Kevin said I totally agree with as well as David Watkinson’s comments however …Mark …really ?! Lift me up !! Jon Anderson certainly is responsible for many outstanding lyrics but he has also created some absolute stinkers. .Soft As A Dove ….Show Me and quite a few more….I do not even want discuss The Living Tree. Kevin you are absolutely right regarding Step Beyond…truly dreadful…ironically I Iactually like the song because it is so cheesy.

At their best over the last 35 plus years of being a Yesfan not just the music but the lyrics have inspired me…through Yes I discovered Herman Hesse, Autobiography of a Yogi, Eastern Mysticism, Sibelius and much more. These days I am pretty much a boring middle aged Anglican but I value how Yes has influenced me

Fun episode. I agree with Hogne Bø Pettersen about “dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you”, although “in charge of who is there in charge of me” is a close second. On the negative side, “she puts the sweetness in and stirs it with a spoon” is just too syrupy for my taste.

Quintessential- Even Siberia goes through the motions.

Favorite – After all don’t doubt your part be ready to be loved.

Cringe – Julie’s sick and tired of her job ‘n all the reasons lately.

Cringe worthy? Surely this one

I am the man in the moon
And I hope to shine upon you very soon
Waiting in the night
To bathe you all in moonlight…

I generally love YES lyrics. I think by the time we got to the 21st century Jon Anderson had run out of steam. Almost regurgitating the whole thing. Oddly enough though it is always noticeable when other bands (and even YES themselves) try to emulate JA lyrics they sound exactly contrived. I think when words are sung with conviction and contain an inner meaning it helps a lot.

Jacob was a brilliant guest. I see him as a co host at some point. This was an excellent subject with a lot of superb and crap lyrics to discuss.

Typifies: “Change we must as surely time does/Changes call the course.”

Favourite: “Now that it’s all over and done/Called to the seed right to the sun/Now that you find/Now that you’re whole/Seasons will pass you by.”

Cringeworthy: “I could not take it oh so seriously really/When you called and said you’d seen a UFO.” (Sorry Kevin!)

I know this is a bit after the fact, but I recently rediscovered Big Generator, one of my favorite cassettes when I was a kid. In listening to the album as an adult, I’m still blown away by the musicianship — but boy howdy, those lyrics are awful.

I think people just grew accustomed to the words and metaphors of psychedelic music not making any sense unless you’re high — so much so that they stopped paying attention, even when the bands go mainstream!

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