Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum – Symphonic Rock

Procol Harum’s single “Whiter Shade of Pale” was released in 1967 and was one of the first “symphonic rock” songs I heard. The other is the Moody Blue’s “Nights in White Satin“.  I particularly like the sound of the Hammond organ.

There is a lot of discussion of how the music was influenced by J. S. Bach and you can read more on Wikipedia about this.

So let’s hear the original song, follow the lyrics then watch a more recent live version.

We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda’ seasick
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 a mirror told its tale
that her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said: “There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see”
but I wandered through my playing cards
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.

Live recording

 

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