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Whiter Shade Of Pale Lyrics

Artist: Procol Harum

We skipped the light Fandango
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kind of 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

------ organ solo ------

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 just as well've been closed

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

And so it was.... (fade)


Apparently there is an unpublished second verse that never made it
onto the record because the record company thought the song was
already too long. I've heard they included this verse in concerts.

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 straight 'way died


by Galileus_76 on 6/10/2008 2:03pm
Great song. Thanks for the last verse. Brings a new meaning. And so it was...
by Hermotimus on 1/22/2009 11:55pm
I suggest that you read Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" in order to understand the full import of this song. Wikipedia has a synopis that will give you some interesting clues. The full talke itself is also available online to read in order to understand the reason for the woman turning a whiter shade of pale.
by PInball on 11/9/2009 8:54pm
Lve the original version, but am also taken with Annie Lennox's treatment as well. Have both on my iPod.
by Dave Law on 5/25/2015 8:30am
One of the most debated lyrics of all time.
So here goes another suggestion:
The line is: "As the MIRROR told its tale,
her face a first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale."
Have careful listen to the record.
by Dave Law on 5/25/2015 8:46am
I know that in subsequent performances it's sung as MILLER told HIS tale.
Perhaps the band thought this added to the developing mystery concerning the meaning of the song and accepted the reference to Chaucer as better than the original.

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