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I got two strong arms
Blessings of babylon
Time to carry on
And try
For sins and false alarms
So to America the brave
Wise men save

Near a tree by a river
There's a hole in the ground
Where an old man of aran
Goes around and around
And his mind is a beacon
In the veil of the night
For a strange kind of fashion
There's a wrong and a right
But he'll never, never fight over you

I got plans for us
Nights in the scullery
And days instead of me
I only know what to discuss
Oh for anything but light
Wise men fighting over you

It's not me you see
Pieces of valentine
With just a song of mine
To keep from burning history
Seasons of gasoline and gold
Wise men fold

Near a tree by a river
There's a hole in the ground
Where an old man of aran
Goes around and around
And his mind is a beacon
In the veil of the night
For a strange kind of fashion
There's a wrong and a right
But he'll never, never fight over you

I got time to kill
Sly looks in corridors
Without a plan of yours
A blackbird sings on bluebird hill
Thanks to the calling of the wild
Wise mens' child

Near a tree by a river
There's a hole in the ground
Where an old man of aran
Goes around and around
And his mind is a beacon
In the veil of the night
For a strange kind of fashion
There's a wrong and a right
But he'll never, never fight over you



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/nik_kershaw/the_riddle.html

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  • k
    +1
    Katja TissariFeb 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm
    The man who wanted to see, fought for me. There's no superior to a warrior. U divine desire. Thru the line of fire of wrong n right w a good forsight. Your win is my gain. Everything else is insain.

    This was my favvo when 7 or sum. Ask my dad. "The questionmark house". ~~ :) Nooo-o! I don't speak in riddles. Lol
  • u
    +1
    UnregisteredAug 21, 2012 at 10:41 am
    I know this song has no literal meaning, but if you sit and listen to it, this song could be about batman. I know that sounds strange, but lets take a look at the chorus and i'll show you;

    Near a tree by a river
    There's a hole in the ground
    "the bat-cave location"

    Where an old man of aran
    Goes around and around
    "talking about batman and his never ending fight against crime"

    And his mind is a beacon
    In the veil of the night
    "when the bat-signal shines in the night sky, he's ready"

    For a strange kind of fashion
    There's a wrong and a right
    "he and his enemies dress strangely but, he is the right and they are the wrong"

    But he'll never, never fight over you
    "never, never is a double negative, he'll always fight over you. "

    See what i mean? Now listen to the whole song with this in you mind and you'll see what i see.
    Read more at
  • m
    -0
    Milton CrowMar 11, 2014 at 1:03 am
    Kershaw actually made up the story about the lyrics being nonsense many years after the song's release because he was sick of explaining it out of context. Obviously the rhyme and meter of the song could not just come off the top of his head, and almost all Kershaw's lyrics have a social commentary.

    The concept of the album, "The Riddle," was that each song questioned a different detrimental aspect of society: "Coming Up Roses" - environmental destruction, "Wide Boy" - adoration of celebrity, "Wild Horses" - resistance to reform, etc.

    The album's title song questions conflict over oil, particularly in the Middle East. Aran is the ancient name of Azerbaijan, where petroleum was produced to light the lamps of the Persian empire. Aran was also the birthplace of Zoroaster. "Old Man of Aran" is a double entendre of Zoroaster (source of wisdom) and petroleum (first a source of light, but eventually a source of strife).

    Everything else in the song is debatable, but to me the allusions all fit together, particularly considering Kershaw's sentiments in other songs about imperialism, espionage, pollution and warfare.
  • u
    -0
    UnregisteredAug 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm
    There is no meaning. Nick came up with this song 5 minutes before going on stage - hence the random lyrics.
  • u
    -0
    UnregisteredMar 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm
    Near a tree by a river, there's a hole in the ground, there's a man of aran that goes around and around:

    A man hanged from a tree?

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