Renaissance:Song of Scheherazade

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“Song of Scheherazade”
Artist: Renaissance
Albums: Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975)
Live at Carnegie Hall (1976)

I. Fanfare

(Instrumental)

II. The Betrayal

(Instrumental)

III. The Sultan

Sultan king cruel majesty
Ordered that his women die
A single night this for all his wives
Takes his pleasure then their lives

And so for many days with the dawn
The sultan had his way
Wives were put to death
His name on their dying breath

Then one day as the evening came
Sultan sends for him a wife
Choose her well, charms I wish to see
Bring her, send her in to me

Then came Scheherazade to his side
And her beauty shone
Like a flower grown
Gentle as he'd ever known

Scheherazade bewitched him
With songs of jewelled kings
Princes and of heroes
And eastern fantasies

Told him tales of sultans
And talismans and rings
A thousand and one nights she sang
To entertain her king
She sings, Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade

IV. Love Theme

(Instrumental)

V. The Young Prince and Princess as told by Scheherazade

And you would cause the sun to see your light
And then be shamed
You cover darkness with a thousand secret flames
With your love, oh my love, oh my love, my love
And I would cause the winds to blow a hundred different days
And bring the perfumes of the gardens of the ways
Of your love, oh my love, oh my love, my love

Crystal and the clay, nights and the days
All on the prince's seal
Eagle of the sky, lion of the earth
This is what the seal is worth, what the seal is worth
Holds all of the dreams of a man
Tapestries, wishes of man,
Pictures and visions of man
The spirit of the soul of the man
And he would vow to love her for the rest of all his days

VI. Festival Preparations

(Instrumental)

VII. Fugue for the Sultan

(Instrumental)

VIII. The Festival

Scheherazade this day is yours
The bearers of your gifts now all around you stand
The finest silk made in the land
Is waiting for your choice
It shimmers at your hand
Sheherazade your life is one
You have today the sultan's love
The people watch you step into the sun
Stalls and bars of every kind
Food piled high on woven leaves for all to eat
Drums and flutes at every turn
The music winding, twisting through the crowded streets
Caravans from far away bring people laughing
People come to see the sultan in Baghdad today

Scheherazade her name is known
Her tale is told
The Sultan let her life be spared
The festival begins this day
To celebrate her fame
The people sing her praise
Stories sung, the crowds are dancing
To the music and the entertainment all the voices sing
The people call to see the king
The sultan smiles
His story just begun
The Sultan and Scheherazade are one
Scheherazade
Scheherazade

She told him tales of sultans and talismans and rings
A thousand and one nights she sang to entertain her king
She sings
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade

IX. Finale

(Instrumental)


Live Version (1976)

(We love it!)

Thank you very much.

What we'd, what we'd like to play for you now is er, a song, or a collection of songs, that will in fact take, take up the entire second side of our forthcoming album. Um, if I can I'd like to give you an outline of the basic story, because if you know it, it might make you understand it a bit better. The story is basically um, of a thousand and one Arabian nights, and the particular part of the story that we are doing is as follows.

The Sultan of Baghdad finds out that his wife has been unfaithful to him, and because of this he has - ahahaha - yeah, I thought you'd be into it, um ahuh, because of this he has her beheaded. And in order that no woman may ever be unfaithful to him ever again, he decides to take a virgin bride, and each night after having taken his dastardly pleasure has her beheaded in the morning. That way, she can't cheat on him, you see. It's really quite clever when you think about it. Ahah. I don't want to start a range war or something, innit ... So anyway, um, in the end Scheherazade, who is the, the lady who features prominently in the story, um, manages to, to become the Sultan's bride, and on the night that she is actually with him, and he is doing his dastardly deeds, she begins to tell a story, um, which weaves a magic spell (as it says in the book) over the Sultan, and therefore for a thousand and one nights after that, the Sultan just can't live without these stories, and in the end renounces his bloody vow and marries Scheherazade, they have a big party, and everybody lives happily ever after.

That's an extremely basic version, it- it took me about three months to read the book, but anyway, this is our interpretation of three parts of that story: one: the Sultan, two: the young prince and princess which is one of the stories that Scheherazade tells him, and three: the festival, and the overall title is the Song of Scheherazade.



Sultan king cruel majesty
Ordered that his women die
A single night this for all his wives
Takes his pleasure then their lives

And so for many days
With the dawn
The sultan had his way
Wives were put to death
His name on their dying breath

Then one day as the evening came
Sultan sends for him a wife
Choose her well, charms I wish to see
Bring her, send her in to me

Then came Scheherazade
To his side
And her beauty shone
Like a flower grown
Gentle as he'd ever known

Scheherazade bewitched him
With songs of jewelled kings
Princes and of heroes
And eastern fantasies

Told him tales of sultans
And talismans and rings
A thousand and one nights she sang
To entertain her king
She sings
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade


And you would cause the sun to see your light
And then be shamed
You cover darkness with a thousand secret flames
With your love
Oh my love
Oh my love
My love

And I would cause the winds to blow a hundred different days
And bring the perfumes of the gardens of the ways
Of your love
Oh my love
Oh my love
My love

Crystal and the clay, nights and the days
All on the prince's seal
Eagle of the sky, lion of the earth
This is what the seal is worth
What the seal is worth

Holds all of the dreams of a man
Tapestries, wishes of man
Pictures and visions of man
The spirit of the soul of the man
And he would vow to love her for the rest of all his days


Scheherazade this day is yours
The bearers of your gifts now all around you stand
The finest silk made in the land
Is waiting for your choice
It shimmers at your hand
Scheherazade your life is one
You have today the sultan's love
The people watch you step into the sun
Stalls and bars of every kind
Food piled high on woven leaves for all to eat
Drums and flutes at every turn
The music winding, twisting through the crowded streets
Caravans from far away bring people laughing
People come to see the sultan in Baghdad today

Scheherazade her name is known
Her tale is told
The Sultan let her life be spared
The festival begins this day
To celebrate her fame
The people sing her praise
Stories sung, the crowds are dancing
To the music and the entertainment all the voices sing
The people call to see the king
The Sultan smiles
His story just begun
The Sultan and Scheherazade are one
Scheherazade
Scheherazade

She told him tales of sultans and talismans and rings
A thousand and one nights she sang to entertain her king
She sings
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade
Scheherazade

Thank you.

Thank you very much indeed, thank you.