“Turn of the Century”

Music can be so interesting if we go beyond superficial enjoyment, and start thinking about the experience! Was that piece you just heard instantly likeable? Assuming yes, was it because of the lyrics? The melody? The vocal tones? The general arrangement?

I can remember being totally absorbed by some popular song such that I would buy the album. That particular song was played often but, eventually, other songs on the album would be preferred. I am sure it was because the instantly liked song was a simple structure, which soon left little to “work on”, in contrast to more complex songs which needed time to “grow” on me!

From my perspective, classical music confirms the above perception in that while a few pieces do have an immediate appeal, classical works in general do tend to take a few listenings before I can start to interact with them. It would seem to me simply because of the complex structures and melodies. Once I become more familiar with “where it is going”, then I find it so much easier to appreciate it!

In the late 60’s and well into the 70’s, while popular songs in general were of a simple structure, some bands were producing more complex pieces with rhythm changes; melody changes and instrumental bridges. Like classical pieces, it took me a few listenings to reallyΒ  “get into them”… but the effort was well worth the end result.

The link below goes to “Turn of the Century” by Yes (1977). It is just under 8 minutes so please don’t go there unless you have 8 minutes to spare! If you are not familiar with it, you may find it a lot to absorb in one play but, hopefully, you will hear something that says “I should play it again later!” What caught my initial attention was the simple phrase “Like leaves we touch.”

It is very different from the songs that I have posted to date, but none the less, a gem in my music collection! It is suggested that you return to this page once the video starts, and follow the lyrics!


Realizing a form out of stone,
Set hands moving.
Roan shaped his heart,
Through his working hands.
Worked to mold his passion into clay,
Like the sun.

In his room, his lady,
She would dance and sing so completely.
“So be still,” he now cries,
“I have time, oh let clay transform thee so.”

In the deep cold of night,
Winter calls, he cries “Don’t deny me!”
For his lady, deep her illness.
Time has caught her,
And will for all reasons take her.

In the still light of dawn, she dies.
Helpless hands soul revealing.

Like leaves we touch, we learn.
We once knew the story.
As winter calls he will starve,
All but to see the stone be life.

Now Roan, no more tears.
Set to work his strength,
So transformed him.
Realizing a form out of stone,
His work so absorbed him.

Could she hear him?
Could she see him?
All aglow was his room,
Dazed in this light.
He would touch her,
He would hold her.

Laughing as they danced,
Highest colors touching others.

Did her eyes at the turn of the century,
Tell me plainly.
How we’ll meet, how we’ll love,
Oh, let life so transform me.

Like leaves we touch, we dance.
We once knew the story.
As autumn called and we both,
Remembered all those many years ago.
I’m sure we know.

Was the sign in the day with a touch,
As I kiss your fingers.
We walk hands in the sun,
Memories when we’re young,
Love lingers so.

Was it sun through the haze,
That made all your looks,
As warm as moonlight?
As a pearl deep your eyes,
Tears have flown away,
All the same light.

Did her eyes at the turn of the century,
Tell me plainly.
When we meet, how we’ll look,
As we smile time will leave me clearly.

Like leaves we touch, we see,
We will know the story.
As autumn calls we’ll both remember,
All those many years ago.

18 thoughts on ““Turn of the Century”

  1. I have been a YES fan for nearly all of their 50 years. Were you able to attend the “Yestival Tour”? This particular song’s music has a grandeur all its own, doesn’t it? I think it to be a close your eyes and soar with the music song. Thank-you for another of your “gems” of music, always so enjoyable! Oh, I want to wish Ray a “Happy National Dog Day” from here to there! Although, I think that everyday is a celebration of and for Ray…as it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ellen. I am so pleased that you enjoy Yes. Some of there “stuff” is a little rampant and seemingly disjointed, but then there comes a song like “Turn of the Century”! It will be interesting if I can come up with some music that you do not like! Your wishes to Ray will be passed on as soon as he wakes up from his late morning nap! πŸ™‚


  2. My husband listens to “Yes”, I typically don’t. I will say that you caught my attention with quoting the line, ” like leaves we touched”. I was impressed with the lyrics of this song. I may have found a “Yes” song that I like. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fair enough. I will listen to it a couple more times. It’s a different style, but I guess I am in the minority so far as I see that Ellen really liked it.
        Brad just came home and told me to mention to you that he really likes that song and that he was listening to “Yes” this morning at work. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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