Whiter Shade of Pale
Whiter Shade of Pale was again voted the Number One song amongst Baby Boomers in our All Time Chart.
It's the song which launched Procol Harum with its release on 12 May 1967. Since then, it's Bach-derived sound has haunted - and its lyrics have puzzled.
On this week's edition of John's Jukebox (Saturday 4-7pm), you're invited to sing along.
Just to help, here are the lyrics:
Whiter Shade of Pale - Words by Keith Reid Published by Onward Music
We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray
And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale
She said, 'There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.'
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well've been closed
She said, 'I'm home on shore leave,'
though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass
and forced her to agree
saying, 'You must be the mermaid
who took Neptune for a ride.'
But she smiled at me so sadly
that my anger straightway died
If music be the food of love
then laughter is its queen
and likewise, if behind is in front
then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
and attacked the ocean bed
How to listen