The Emperor in his war room

- Van der Graaf Generator
Released: 1970 Genres: Rock
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Lyric "The Emperor in his war room"

(i) The Emperor

Standing in the space
That holds the silent lace of night away from you
You think that you can hold
The searing, molten gold between your fingers
But it slips through, tearing tendons as it goes
Exposing the white of a knuckle
Flesh and metal forming letters in the mould

Cradling your gun
After choosing the ones you think should die
Lying on the hill
Crawling over the windowsill into your living-room
They stare out, glass-eyed aimless heads
Bodies torn by vultures
You are the man whose hands are rank with the smell of death

Saviour of the Fallen, Protector of the Weak
Friend of the Tall Ones, Keeper of the Peace
Ah, but it is the only way you know

Looking out to sea
A flattened plane of weeds which bear no living
You crush life in your fist
As your heart is kissed by the lips of death
Ghosts betray you, ghosts betray you
In the night they steal your eye from its socket
And the ball hangs fallen on your cheek

Complaining tongues are stilled
A thousand mouths are filled with rusting metal
Your face a shade of green
Somehow you try to speak through all the garbage in your mouth
But it won't come out
And you cannot frame the words as your stepson
Throws your fame into the flames and you are burned

Saviour of the Fallen, Protector of the Weak
Friend of the Tall Ones, Keeper of the Peace
Ah, but it is the only way you know

(ii) The Room

Live by sword and you shall die so
All your power shall come to nought
Every life you take is part of your own
Death, not power, is what you've bought

Cringing in your room
Now the outriders of doom step on your threshold
Begging for your life
As the impartial knife sinks in your screaming flesh
Without malice, merely taking murder's toll
You must pay the price of hate
And that price is your soul

Live in peace or die forever in your war-room

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Van der Graaf Generator

Van der Graaf Generator

Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed, and continue to perform as of 2016.