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Suzanne Vega — The Queen And The Soldier
Album: Suzanne Vega
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 370









Released: 1985
Length: 4:45
Plays (last 30 days): 0
The soldier came knocking upon the queen's door
He said, "I am not fighting for you any more."
The queen knew she'd seen his face someplace before
And slowly she let him inside

He said, "I've watched your palace up here on the hill
"And I've wondered who's the woman for whom we all kill
"But I am leaving tomorrow and you can do what you will
"Only first I am asking you why."

Down in the long narrow hall he was led
Into her rooms with her tapestries red
And she never once took the crown from her head
She asked him there to sit down

He said, "I see you now, and you are so very young
"But I've seen more battles lost than I have battles won
"And I've got this intuition, says it's all for your fun
"And now will you tell me why?"

The young queen, she fixed him with an arrogant eye
She said, "You won't understand, and you may as well not try."
But her face was a child's, and he thought she would cry
But she closed herself up like a fan

And she said, "I've swallowed a secret burning thread
"It cuts me inside, and often I've bled."
He laid his hand then on top of her head
And he bowed her down to the ground

"Tell me how hungry are you? How weak you must feel
"As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed
"But I won't march again on your battlefield."
And he took her to the window to see.

And the sun, it was gold, though the sky, it was gray
And she wanted more than she ever could say
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away
And would not look at his face again

And he said, "I want to live as an honest man
"To get all I deserve and to give all I can
"And to love a young woman who I don't understand
"Your highness, your ways are very strange."

But the crown, it had fallen, and she thought she would break
And she stood there, ashamed of the way her heart ached
She took him to the doorstep and she asked him to wait
She would only be a moment inside

Out in the distance her order was heard
And the soldier was killed, still waiting for her word
And while the queen went on strangling in the solitude she preferred
The battle continued on
Comments (56)add comment



Suzanne Vega Interviews Leonard Cohen
October 1992



 hidey wrote:
Not very good. I'm sure Suzanne meant well but this tune doesn't work for me.
 
Yes, I'm an avid Suzanne Vega fan but this song seems to be filler compared to the rest of her work. (But I understand the song)
Not very good. I'm sure Suzanne meant well but this tune doesn't work for me.
This is truly bad music. I know, I know, it's subjective - I mean, other people decided it was a 7.5. But I just find this really repulsive and counter to everything I find aesthetically pleasing. I mean, I dislike this so strongly that I can't mute it. Like watching a car crash.
 Proclivities wrote:


It's obviously worked for Papernapkin; I mean, the guy has sold millions of books and records world-wide and he's considered an authority on musical composition.  What is "cheap poetry", though?  Apparently, it differs from the "expensive" varieties.

 
It's Walmart poetry in this song.
 Papernapkin wrote:

They give me chills, too. But in a bad way. Buy any book of cheap poetry, strum on a guitar, and, presto, a Vega song. I like her as a person, though. Suzanne, please forgive me for dissing you. Cheers.
 

 peter_james_bond wrote:

That sounded like a great idea so I tried it....it did not produce the desired results....{#Frown}
 

It's obviously worked for Papernapkin; I mean, the guy has sold millions of books and records world-wide and he's considered an authority on musical composition.  What is "cheap poetry", though?  Apparently, it differs from the "expensive" varieties.

this needed a better ending.  The rest is nice.
Uh, what was this about again?
 Shimmer wrote:
I have loved this song for 25 years.
 
Likewise, a beautiful tragic story in song
Sounds like sentimental baloney.
I have loved this song for 25 years.
 Papernapkin wrote:
They give me chills, too. But in a bad way. Buy any book of cheap poetry, strum on a guitar, and, presto, a Vega song. I like her as a person, though. Suzanne, please forgive me for dissing you. Cheers.
 
That sounded like a great idea so I tried it....it did not produce the desired results....{#Frown}
 bluecshells wrote:
Ms. Vega is truly under-rated...I'd love to hear and see her live one day.  Her lyrics give me chills. 
 

I saw her at a small club in Santa Cruz—approx. 1990.  The setting was very intimate.  She was wonderful.  It will always be one of my top 5 favorite shows I've been to.
I basically like the premise of this song - who would not? But, as a whole it is weak and I cannot help but roll my eyes when it comes on RP WAAAAAY too often. Suzanne has many other much better compositions please let them have some airplay.
 bluecshells wrote:
Ms. Vega is truly under-rated...I'd love to hear and see her live one day.  Her lyrics give me chills. 
 
I saw her at the Newport Folk Festival sometime around '92 and she sang this.  First time I'd heard it and I never forgot it.  I'd like to know more about what the lyrics mean.

I was there to see Randy Newman, but got to enjoy Suzanne and also the Indigo Girls.

 bluecshells wrote:
Ms. Vega is truly under-rated...I'd love to hear and see her live one day.  Her lyrics give me chills. 
 
They give me chills, too. But in a bad way. Buy any book of cheap poetry, strum on a guitar, and, presto, a Vega song. I like her as a person, though. Suzanne, please forgive me for dissing you. Cheers.
Ms. Vega is truly under-rated...I'd love to hear and see her live one day.  Her lyrics give me chills. 

Renée Fleming,  Joan Baez,  Suzanne Vega,  Lou Reed  - Oh, freedom!, Live

"Oh Freedom" is thought to date back to the newly-post-Civil War era, though no specific author is known. It was recorded by Odetta in 1956 and became an important anthem during the Civil Rights movement of the mid-20th Century. On the morning of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C., Joan Baez opened the day's events by singing this classic song of liberty and the inalienable right to freedom.     folkmusic.about.com

Oh freedom, oh freedom,
Oh freedom over me,
And before I'll be a slave,
I'll be buried in my grave,
And go home to my Lord
And be free.

No more weeping

No more shooting

There'll be singing
The concert This is it, 14 November 2009, reminder of 20 years of the fall of the Iron Curtain broadcast by The Czech Television in Prague, organized by former President of The Czech Republic Václav Havel.

"Is it just me or does Suzanne seem to be overwhelmed after each time Lou sings his line. I thought that she really looked up to him, but this shows me without a doubt that she really appreciates him."     PossibleExplanation

 




 Bocephus wrote:
schmaltz....{#Foot-in-mouth}
 
Yep.  Definitely not her best, and I love most things by her that I've heard.
 teadye wrote:
A great follow-up would be Jennifer Warnes singing Leonard Cohen's "Joan of Arc."
 
{#High-five} Oh, nice suggestion!


This just makes me want to turn off RP, open iTunes, and listen to Kate Rusby's version...so much better.
I don't know what you're smoking Suzanne but don't pass it around.
Again, OMG...great to hear this on RP. I love her, she is a great lyricist!

Stonehenge! 'Tis a magic place
Where the moon doth rise with a dragon's face


Very powerful lyrics...

"The Queen & The Soldier"

The soldier came knocking upon the queen's door
He said, "I am not fighting for you any more"
The queen knew she'd seen his face someplace before
And slowly she let him inside.

He said, "I've watched your palace up here on the hill
And I've wondered who's the woman for whom we all kill
But I am leaving tomorrow and you can do what you will
Only first I am asking you why."

Down in the long narrow hall he was led
Into her rooms with her tapestries red
And she never once took the crown from her head
She asked him there to sit down.

He said, "I see you now, and you are so very young
But I've seen more battles lost than I have battles won
And I've got this intuition, says it's all for your fun
And now will you tell me why?"

The young queen, she fixed him with an arrogant eye
She said, "You won't understand, and you may as well not try"
But her face was a child's, and he thought she would cry
But she closed herself up like a fan.

And she said, "I've swallowed a secret burning thread
It cuts me inside, and often I've bled"
He laid his hand then on top of her head
And he bowed her down to the ground.

"Tell me how hungry are you? How weak you must feel
As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed
But I won't march again on your battlefield"
And he took her to the window to see.

And the sun, it was gold, though the sky, it was gray
And she wanted more than she ever could say
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away
And would not look at his face again.

And he said, "I want to live as an honest man
To get all I deserve and to give all I can
And to love a young woman who I don't understand
Your highness, your ways are very strange."

But the crown, it had fallen, and she thought she would break
And she stood there, ashamed of the way her heart ached
She took him to the doorstep and she asked him to wait
She would only be a moment inside.

Out in the distance her order was heard
And the soldier was killed, still waiting for her word
And while the queen went on strangling in the solitude she preferred
The battle continued on


 HazzeSwede wrote:
  Nope !{#No}
 
I'm with you. I like several of SV's tracks and have them in regular rotation. This one is half-baked.

One of the many reasons I love RP...
I can hear Pink Floyd or Zep one hour and Suzanne Vega or Natalie Merchant the next.

A great follow-up would be Jennifer Warnes singing Leonard Cohen's "Joan of Arc."
Brilliant (and even better, if possible, live).
schmaltz....{#Foot-in-mouth}

26709_SuzanneVegaLFS04 by *formelin
Vladimír Lacena

Suzanne Vega na LFS 2009


Just saw her in concert a month ago - this number was greater live - more emotion!
Sophomoric, maybe. Not sophmoric.

 
RipperIII wrote:
a bit sophmoric don't you think?
 


First heard this tune done by Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts on their 1999 self-titled release and have been engrossed by the lyrics ever since.  Excellent album if you've not experienced these two sirens.  Not to detract from Suzanne Vega's rendition but I feel the Kate & Kathryn version is superior.

This always gives me goosebumps. I can't work while this is on, the lyrics just demand my attention and I'll be left thinking about them for a while after.

I saw Suzanne in concert in Coventry a few years ago, just her and a bass player.  It was an amazing intimate gig with her telling little stories in between the songs and trying out new material.


Never heard this one before.  I like it a lot!
I thought I had all of her albums...
 RipperIII wrote:
you actually like this?

   Nope !{#No}


Understated production really works well here.  The slow rise of the organ matches the dramatic sweep of the lyrics.

And a great transition from Jon Redfern's "I Love the Son" — clear evidence of a human ear in charge of song order.

Not really an explanation, but the most I've ever heard her say about it :)

Suzanne Vega on "The Queen and the Soldier"

 fredriley wrote:
I heard this song first a good 15 years ago, and was transfixed by the story and its innate symbolism, but never found out what the story was about. I can visualise the scenes in my mind, but it would be interesting to know if it's based on a folk tale or even a historical event. Anyone know? 7 from the (bemused but entranced) Nottingham jury.


OMG how beautiful is she!! {#Hearteyes}
I heard this song first a good 15 years ago, and was transfixed by the story and its innate symbolism, but never found out what the story was about. I can visualise the scenes in my mind, but it would be interesting to know if it's based on a folk tale or even a historical event. Anyone know? 7 from the (bemused but entranced) Nottingham jury.
What an brilliantly atmospheric tune. I can easily imagine a silent crowd spellbound at a live performance of this song.
 rtwingo wrote:
 ×ž RipperIII wrote:
you actually like this?

 

Well, only enough to give it a 10. That's all.
 

I actually LOVE this.  I rushed to give it a 10.  (some of that might be the nostalgia factor .. but only a small part)
 RipperIII wrote:
a bit sophmoric don't you think?
 
You say that like it might be a bad thing! Up-load your offerings dweeb!

Absolutely fabulous. This is one of my favorite obscure Suzanne Vega songs!
WOW ! what a surpise ! my favourite suzanne vega song on RP !!

this could be on more often ...


Obviously not, but thanks for asking :)  I'll be sure to let you know if my opinion changes!

RipperIII wrote:
a bit sophmoric don't you think?
 
a bit sophmoric don't you think?
 ×ž RipperIII wrote:
you actually like this?

 

Well, only enough to give it a 10. That's all.
I don't generally give out 9s on first listen but I somehow missed this one when it was new...24 years ago. {#Eek}

Making up for that now.

Ms. Vega is probably one of the top 10 songwriters of the last 50 years.
you actually like this?

Already went from 7 to 8.
wow this is new here?
Brilliant song. 
wondered when this would make it to Main!
I can't seem to find the 11!