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KINGS Lyrics

Artist: Steely Dan
Album: Can't Buy A Thrill

Now they lay his body down
Sad old men who run this town
I still recall the way
He led the charge and saved the day
Blue blood and rain
I can hear the bugle playin'

We seen the last of Good King Richard
Ring out the past his name lives on
Roll out the bones and raise up your pitcher
Raise up your glass to Good King John

While he plundered far and wide
All his starving children cried
And though we sung his fame
We all went hungry just the same
He meant to shine
To the end of the line



by Steely Fan on 3/26/2010 7:21am
This song is not from "AJA" album,
Itīs from "Can't buy a thrill"
by Arrius on 4/2/2010 11:15am
Steely Dan seemed to have a reoccurring theme of mockery towards the idea of nobility and the shame they perpetrated on the people. Something to keep in mind is the royalty as we knew it has only changed into a new masked form.
by Harl Delos on 7/28/2010 7:25pm
It's not about royality; it's about the "sad old men who run this town" that ACT as if they were royalty.

But over there in Barrytown they do things very strange....
by dan fan on 11/5/2010 6:04pm
um, it reminds me of the robin hood tales.
by videotater on 2/5/2011 4:26am
Barrytown is about the Moonies. It was a small town in New York that was practically taken over by them back when...when was that? "I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown.." Ie, a bouquet of flowers and a bible.
by TCF on 2/24/2011 10:04pm
Even though the liner notes say "no political significance," and the Dan has always been obtuse in their lyrics, it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to say it's about Richard Nixon.
by Steve on 3/6/2012 4:16am
I think it's more likely about the mayor of Chicago.
by Casie on 7/11/2012 8:05am
I think this song is a mokery of royalty, or rulers in general, but the names richard and john refer to the 12th century english kings, john softsword and richard the lionhearted.
by Elijah on 7/21/2012 4:56pm
It's not about anything in particular, other than perhaps "Don't get Fooled Again".
by don on 10/24/2012 9:37am
The song came out during Watergate. Could not Richard be Richard Nixon. Nixon lost years earlier to John Kennedy. John can be Kennedy, whom Fagen misses and adores......hmmmmmmmmmm????
by twomeel on 2/5/2013 9:17am
It's an old Nostradamus prediction about finding King Richard the Third's bones under a car park.
by Mighty KO on 6/11/2013 5:30pm
I think the Chicago take on this tune might be it, as in Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago then later his son, John Daley? Except I think Richard Daley was still alive when this tune came out (Can't Buy A Thrill, the Dan's first LP).
by Milhous on 7/31/2013 4:43pm
I remember right after Richard Nixon's resignation speech KQRS played this song. Back in the day.
by lk on 8/6/2013 1:54pm
by Joseph Constantino on 12/20/2013 2:09pm
I'm gonna go with this being about Nixon and Kennedy.
by John on 5/16/2014 4:38pm
did you people saying this is about nixon and kennedy even read the lyrics? that makes no sense. It is clearly referring to king richard the lionheart and his successor king john-the line 'he led the charge and saved the day' is because king richard led the third crusade' the second verse about people starving refers to king john because he spent much of his reign fighting wars in france while is own subject in england starved, when he returned to england there were many rebellions against him which ended in the signing of the magna carta, he was also the same evil king in the robin hood stories
by John on 5/16/2014 4:46pm
Yet what makes this song great is that you can apply to anytime that a Beloved ruler is succeeded by a tyrannical one.

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