Ever Wonder Where They Came Up With The Idea For That….Song?


Okay so for the past few day’s I’ve been dealing with a bad back. So I’ve been on my back mostly listening to a LOT of music. Everything from The Beatles Blackbird, to A Whiter Shade of Pale… So I am listening to the lyrics to A Whiter Shade of Pale saying to myself, what the F#@K, these lyrics make absolutely no sense at all. now I am dissecting the song going what the  F@#k is, ” we skipped the light fandango” and “the ceiling flew away,” Oh and my favorite “the room was humming harder”… really??? That must be one heck of a room…those must have been some mighty fine drugs… yep that’s where I think the idea for the song came from. But, just to be sure, I am putting on my Internet Journalistic hat on to try to find out how A Whiter Shade of Pale came to be… But first here are the actual lyrics:

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But 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 the miller told his 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
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have 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

And so it was that later

Allrighty then as Jim Carey would say. Here is what I’ve found out…

As far as I can see, Reid got the title and starting point for the song at a party. He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, “You’ve turned a whiter shade of pale,” and the phrase stuck in his mind. The original lyrics had four verses, of which only two are heard on the original recording. The third verse has been heard in live performances by Procol Harum, and more seldom also the fourth. The author of Procol Harum: beyond the pale, Claes Johansen, suggests that the song “deals in metaphorical form with a male/female relationship which after some negotiation ends in a sexual act.” This is supported by Tim de Lisle in Lives of the Great Songs, who remarks that the lyrics concern a drunken seduction, which is described through references to sex as a form of travel, usually nautical, using mythical and literary journeys. Other observers have also commented that the lyrics concern a sexual relationship.

Structurally and thematically, the song is unusual in many respects. While the recorded version is 4:03 long, it is composed of only two verses, each with chorus. The piece is also more instrument-driven than most songs of the period, and with a much looser rhyme scheme. Its unusually allusive and referential lyrics are much more complex than most lyrics of the time (for example, the chorus focuses on Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale”). Thus, this piece can be considered an early example of progressive rock.

The phrase a whiter shade of pale has since gained widespread use in the English language, noticed by several dictionaries. As such, the phrase is today often used in contexts independent of any consideration of the song. It has also been heavily paraphrased, in forms like an Xer shade of Y — this to the extent that it has been recognized as a snow clone, a type of cliche and phrasal template.

So my conclusion is this…. Great Song, no in depth meaning tho…. Yup that’s all I have to say about that….

Thanks for stopping by….Peace


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