Piper at the Gates of Dawn

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The Waterboys

The Waterboys are a band formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York, and Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a number of different styles, but their music is a mix of Celtic folk music with rock and roll. After ten years of recording and touring, they dissolved in 1993 and Scott pursued a solo career. They reformed in 2000, and continue to release albums and tour worldwide. Scott emphasizes a continuity between The Waterboys and his solo work, saying that "To me there's no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys; they both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever… more »


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On either side of them
as they glided onwards
the rich meadow-grass 
seemed that morning 
of a freshness and a greenness 
unsurpassable
Never had they noticed 
the roses so vivid 
the willow-herb so riotous
the meadow-sweet 
so odorous and pervading 

In midmost of the stream
a small island lay
fringed close with willow 
and silver birch
Reserved, shy, but full of significance
it hid whatever it might hold 
behind a veil
keeping it till the hour should come
and with the hour 
those who were called and chosen

Slowly but with no doubt or hesitation
and in solemn expectancy
the two animals passed 
through the broken water 
and moored their boat 
at the margin of the island
In silence they landed and pushed 
through the blossom and undergrowth 
till they stood on a little lawn of 
marvellous green

 This is the place of my song-dream, 
the place the music played to me
whispered the Rat
""Here in this holy place
here if anywhere
surely we shall find Him

Then suddenly the Mole felt 
a great Awe fall upon him
an awe that turned his muscles to water 
an awe that bowed his head
and rooted his feet to the ground
an awe that smote and held him
and, without seeing
he knew that some august Presence 
was very, very near

He turned to his friend 
and saw him at his side 
cowed, stricken and trembling

Perhaps he would never have 
dared to raise his eyes
but the call and the summons 
seemed dominant and imperious
He could not refuse
Trembling he obeyed
and raised his humble head
And then, 
in that utter clearness of imminent dawn 
he looked in the very eyes 
of the Friend and Helper
saw the backward sweep 
of the curved horns 
gleaming in the growing daylight 
saw the stern, hooked nose 
between the kindly eyes 
saw the bearded mouth 
broken into a half-smile at the corners 
saw the rippling muscles on the arm 
that lay across the broad chest 
the long supple hand 
still holding the pipes 
just fallen from the parted lips 
saw the splendid curves 
of the shaggy limbs 
disposed in majestic ease on the sward 
saw, last of all
the magnificent hooves

All this he saw
for one moment breathless and intense 
vivid on the morning sky
and still, as he looked, he lived
and still, as he lived, he wondered

Rat! he found breath to whisper
are you afraid?   
Afraid? murmered the Rat 
his eyes shining with unutterable love
Afraid! Of Him  O, never 
And yet, Mole, I am afraid

Then the two animals
crouching to the earth
bowed their heads and did worship


Sudden and magnificent
the sun's broad golden disc 
showed itself over the horizon 
and the first rays 
took the animals full in the eyes 
and dazzled them
When they were able to look once more
the Vision had vanished
and the air was full of the song of birds 
that hailed the dawn

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Written by: Aongus Ralston, Mike Scott, Paul Brown, Ralph Salmins, Steve Wickham

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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    "Piper at the Gates of Dawn Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Jan. 2021. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/36222510/The+Waterboys>.

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