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King Crimson – Happy Family lyrics

Happy family, one hand clap, four went by and
None come back.
Brother judas, ash and sack, swallowed aphrodisiac.
Rufus, silas, jonah too sang, "we'll blow our own
Canoes, "
Poked a finger in the zoo, punctured all the ballyhoo

Whipped the world and beat the clock, wound up
With their share of stock.
Silver rolls from golden rock, shaken by a knock,
Knock, knock.
Happy family, wave that grin, what goes round
Must surely spin;
Cheesecake, mousetrap, grip-pipe-thynne cried out,
"we're not rin tin tin."

Uncle rufus grew his nose, threw away his circus
Cousin silas grew a beard, drew another flask of
Nasty jonah grew a wife, judas drew his pruning
Happy family one hand clap, four went on but none
Came back

Happy family, pale applause, each to his revolving
Silas searching, rufus neat, jonah caustic, jude
So sweet.
Let their sergeant mirror spin if we lose the barbers
Happy family one hand clap, four went on but none
Came back

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Music Facts about King Crimson and "Happy Family" song

Happy Family meanings

  • u
    The lyrics are a coded reference to the break up of the beatles, who are here represented as a family - 'cousin silas' is george, 'jonah john', 'uncle rufus' ringo and 'brother judas' paul, probably because he was the one who initiated the break up of the band because he disagreed with the others over the invovlment of allen klein in their business affairs. Some of the clues are easier to decipher than others - obviously the 'whipped the world and beat the clock, wound up with their share of stock' relate to the bands enormous global success, and the 'four went on but none came back' relates to the fact of the band's demise. Grip-pipe thynne was a character in the goons, a favourite series of lennon in particular, so perhaps he's the one crying out 'we're not rin tin'. This is itself a reference to the dog saved in ww1 that was taught to peform amazing feats, so I think this section refers to the band not wanting to be a performing group, certainly not one that made 'cheesecake' (or 'cheesy') music or went on and on as long as the 'mousetrap' (the world's longest running stage play). Perhaps this is because the 'applause' of the crowds has turned 'pale' so everyone is looking for a way out, although the fact that the door is 'revolving' is perhaps a clue that it's not so easy to escape a world of fame when you've been a beatle.
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