This lesser-known song from the album “Home” was always one of my favorite Procol Harum epics, and this live performance from Denmark in 2006 is actually a big improvement over the original album version, with a symphony orchestra and choir adding to the mix beautifully. I’m pretty sure some parts were overdubbed and fixed later, but who cares — the music is glorious.
Procol Harum - Whaling Stories // Denmark - 2006
Procol Harum: Gary Brooker, Keith Reid, Matthew Fisher, Robin Trower…
Pailing well after sixteen days, a mammoth task was set
Sack the town, and rob the tower, and steal the alphabet
Close the door and bar the gate, but keep the windows clean
God’s alive inside a movie! watch the silver screen!
Rum was served to all the traitors; pygmies held themselves in check
Bloodhounds nosed around the houses, down dark alleys sailors crept
Six bells struck, the pot was boiling - soup spilled out on passers-by
Angels mumbled incantations, closely watched by God on high
Lightning struck out - fire and brimstone! boiling oil and shrieking steam!
Darkness struck with molten fury, flashbulbs glorified the scene
Not a man who had a finger, not a man who could be seen
Nothing called (not name nor number) - echo stormed it’s final scream
Daybreak washed with sands of gladness, rotting all it rotted clean
Windows peeped out on their neighbors, inside fireside bedsides gleam
Shalimar, the trumpets chorused, angels wholly all shall take
Those alive will meet the prophets, those at peace shall see their wake