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I Have Been Deceived
from Song Of Myself by Tobin Mueller
Jump to: LyricsLiner NotesSong Of Myself album Click here to download the mp3.

Holy Moses, I have been deceived

No man's a jester playing Shakespeare
Round your throne room floor,
While the juggler's act is danced upon
The crown that you once wore

And sooner or later
Everybody's kingdom must end
I'm so afraid your courtiers
Cannot be called best friends...

Caesars had their troubles
Widows had to cry
While mercenaries in cloisters sing
And the king must die

If you feel that it's real I'm on trial
And I'm here,here in your prison
Like a coin in your mint
I am dented and spent with high treason
Through a glass eye your throne
Is the one danger zone
Take me to the pilot for control

Take me to the pilot
Lead me through the chamber
Take me to the pilot
I am but a stranger

I think I've been deceived

Some men are better staying sailors
Take my word and go
Buttell the stableman that his name was
The very first they chose

And if my hands are stained forever
And the altar should refuse me
Would you let me in, would you let me in, would you let me in
Or should I cry "sanctuary"?

Caesar had his troubles
Widows had to cry
While mercenaries in the cloisters sing
And the king must die

The king is dead, the king is dead
The king is dead, the king is dead
Lead me through the chamber
I am but a stranger
Lead me

Holy Moses, I have been removed,
I've been poisoned from my head down to my shoes

Long live the king

- lyrics by Bernie Taupin, revised and rearranged

Liner Notes

Song Notes: One of my all-time favorite albums is Elton John's Elton John (1970), his second national release. He recorded the whole thing in three days with a live orchestra, which was a real trip for him back before he was the hall of fame celebrity he would become. Not able to settle on a single tune from that album, I've combined three: The King Must Die, which forms the main framework of this arrangement, plus Border Song and Take Me To The Pilot. My idea was to create a larger epic, trying to capture in lyrics the drama that was conjurted by the fabulous orchestrations and performances in the originals.

This version begins with the line "Holy Moses, I have been deceived" (Border Song), from which I take the title for my hydrid medley. It then presents the first verses of The King Must Die. Instead of going into the chorus, I switch to the bridge from Take Me To The Pilot, highlighting the sense of being on trial, of impedding doom, of finding a way to (either) escape or reach the actual throne room. The first chorus is the well known one from Take Me To The Pilot. It uses the same chord progression as the chorus from The King Must Die, so using one here and the other at the end has a sence of balance. After returning to the last versde from The King Must Die, I use the "poisoned" line from Border Song as an ending coda, identifying my character as the King who is to die, even as "Long Live The King" is on his lips. A statement of our wish for continuity, an ironic metaphor of our human condition.

My version, especially in the way the lyrics are arranged, speaks to the correlation between success and failure, beginnings and endings, connection and alienation. There is also a Kafka-esque sense of being both the King and the Jester, the betrayed and the betrayer, the stranger who never really knows what is going on. This is the one song in the collection with which I express a higher level of cynicism, a confused sense of anger, a moment of helpless regret without redemption. I also tried to keep a sense of melodramatic humor to the way I perform the vocals, as if it was all a divine comedy.

If you are a fan of The Game Of Thrones, you may get a kick out of how I've fit scenes from that show to the lyrics.

Song Of Myself

Return to the Song Of Myself page.

Other lyrics pages from Song Of Myself

  1. Impossible Dream [Mitch Leigh/Joe Darion, from Man of la Mancha]
  2. Dignity [Bob Dylan]
  3. American Tune [Paul Simon]
  4. Blue Tattoos [Joni Mitchell]
  5. Blackbird [Paul McCartney]
  6. Being Alive [Stephen Sondheim, from Company]
  7. Frozen Man [James Taylor]
  8. I Have Been Deceived [Elton John/Bernie Taupin]
  9. Let's Pretend [Anderson/Wakeman/Bruford/Howe] (altered lyrics)
  10. Oh Danny Boy [traditional, lyrics by Federic Weatherly]
  11. No Place Like Home [Arlen/Mueller/Mankowski]
  12. Before There Were Gods [lyrics by Tobin Mueller, music by Mueller/Hedges]