What does The Night Watch mean?

Search Login

King Crimson: The Night Watch Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

The Night Watch Lyrics

Shine, shine, the light of good works shine
The watch before the city gates depicted in their prime
That golden light all grimy now
Three hundred years have passed
The worthy Captain and his squad of troopers standing fast

The artist knew...

  1.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 16th, 2:01am report


    The subtlety of this song involves the artist's relationships with both the Watch and their wives (they're the "husbands of his lady friends" as well as his "creditors and counselors", "he knew their faces well." Also the Watch's relationships with their community and their wives "the merchant men" who live in "red brick homes" and pay for "guitar lessons for the wife."

    The reference to long suffering and at last a respite from "Spanish Wars" and "quiet" that lets them "think about prosperity again" provides historical context. Spain had dominated the Dutch who struggled for independence and were finally able to break free. This song takes place between or after these battles. Still, the Watch is charged with protecting the city gates in case of another attack.

    There is a sense of increasing longing in the song. The song begins with an imagining of the "city fathers" gathering for the painting, posing for the artist. The final lines refer to these "little men...good and true...still living through the painter's hand [who] request you all to understand."



  2.  

    astorian
    click a star to vote
    Mar 14th, 2012 3:23pm report


    This song is a fairly straightforward description of the Dutch artist Rembrandt's most famous paintings.

    In 1642, Rembrandt completed a painting entitled "The Shooting Company of Captain Cocq." The painting portrayed a group of middle-class Dutchmen who were part of a militia. The painting was not set at night, but a heavy coat of varnish made it APPEAR to be a night scene- hence, the painting was widely known (erroneously) as "The Night Watch."

    The painting shows us a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Dutchmen of the merchant class.




More King Crimson song meanings ยป


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

No Promises anonymous
Don't Hurt Yourself anonymous
Sandcastles anonymous
Love Drought anonymous
All Night anonymous
Beautiful Liar anonymous
Disappear anonymous
Pray You Catch Me anonymous
Formation anonymous
Daddy Lessons anonymous
Beautiful Liar anonymous
Fell On Black Days anonymous
I Am Machine anonymous
Amaranth anonymous
Landing in London anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Hated
Beartooth
Beauty And The Beast
Ariana Grande
Scared To Be Lonely
Martin Garrix
Keep Your Eyes On Me
Tim McGraw
Stuck In Your Head
I Prevail
Middle Fingers
MISSIO
Sing It Now
Reba McEntire
Blame
Bastille