What does In the Court of the Crimson King mean?

King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King Meaning

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Album cover for In the Court of the Crimson King album cover

In the Court of the Crimson King Lyrics

The dance of the puppets
The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournament's begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 16th 2013 !⃝

    I think this song is a reflection on life. The "court of the crimson king" referred to through the song represents the earthly presence we live in and are confined to. The lyrics at the beginning of the song, "I walk a road, horizons change, the tournaments begun" refer to the period in adolescence when the narrator starts to be judged and his own path leads him to new discovery. The purple piper's tune and the choir represent youth.
    "The keeper of the city keys puts shutters on the dreams." The keeper of the city keys could represent nature, god or just our human superiors. The line is saying the boundaries that we face that obstruct our path prevent us from chasing our childhood ambitions. "I wait outside the pilgrim's door with insufficient schemes." We end up having to work our way up through the world, often without having any real plan at first to succeed after our dreams are shot down. Summoning back the fire witch = bringing back some order to life.
    "The Gardener plants an evergreen whilst trampling on a flower." The gardner is possibly a politician or a religious group or something, rooting their own beliefs into the world (evergreen never loses its "power") while trampling on their opposition, the small minorities who have the potential to blossom (flower). The lyrics in the rest of the verse (chasing the wind, taste the sweet and sour, the juggler, etc.) are about living the life to the fullest, while the grinding wheel, which refers to time, is slowly turning.
    In the last verse, the narrator feels that his life is slipping behind him and he "runs to grasp divining signs to satisfy the hoax", or in other words, he tries to understand the meaning of life and prove to himself that there is an afterlife or a reason we are here. Eventually he comes to terms with the order of life; in the end of the song, the yellow jester is most likely god or the universe, pulling the strings of our lives. This could be a reference to Shakespeare's "all the world's a stage" - that although we have free will, we are still just puppets dancing to the universal tune.
    The album is subtitled "An Observation". After observations of our future, politics, mentality, poverty and prophecy, In The Court Of The Crimson King is simply an observation of life.

  2. anonymous
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    May 19th 2022 !⃝

    The song has some clear allusions to communism. Crimson = red, and the yellow jester refers to Communist China. Communist regimes Shutter dreams of people, choose utility over beauty (plant evergreen while trampling on a flower)…. It’s similar in notion as 2112 by Rush which was definitely about Communism as stated by Neil Peart.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  3. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2019 !⃝

    just substitute house of rothschild for in the court of the crimson king
    the three ancient tongues of judah, egypt and Babylon
    yellow jester today is soros
    fire witch today is hillary
    … if in doubt, go with Fripp

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 11th 2018 !⃝

    Something ancient, Druids maybe ,as observed by a peasant with knowledge. My take anyway.

  5. anonymous
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    Oct 20th 2017 !⃝

    It's an acid trip kids. Fun stuff when you're young, dumb and full of cum.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. astorian
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    Sep 20th 2017 !⃝

    Originally, Pete Sinfield wrote "In the Court of the Crimson King" as a slow, Bob Dylan-esque folk song. Ian McDonald rewrote the music, and the revamped song became a staple of the new band they formed: King Crimson.

    Robert Fripp has tried to claim that the Crimson King is Beelzebub, the devil, and that his court is Hell. Sinfield has always denied this- he says it's a pastiche of images from Dylan, the Bible, and some of his favorite sci-fi and fantasy novels.

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 15th 2017 !⃝

    Some asshole did lotta drugs and got all arty in the lyrics.

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