A Call to Arms cover
A Call to Arms cover

A Call to Arms Lyrics Meanings
by Mike + The Mechanics

Rock
2014
312

A Call to Arms Lyrics

Pass the word, it's a call to arms
Midnight man at your door
Blackened faces run in the night
Daybreak under the floor

Bring my bow
Fill my head with flame, and we must
Let them know that the torch is lit again
Crystalize the pain behind your eyes
Are you ready to fight?

(You hear the drum and) run for your life
(Sweet Avalon the heat is on)
In other words, I hope and pray
That time and tide wash the hate away
A simple man with simple thoughts
Who turned to force as a last resort

All around us, chaos rings
Buildings crumbling down
Silhouettes in the fiery rain
Timbers crash to the ground Bring my spear, invested with my youth
Bring the children near, they must now be told the truth
Old and young and those of foreign tongue
Are you ready to fight?

(You hear the drum and) run for your life
(Sweet Avalon the heat is on)
In other words, I hope and pray
That time and tide wash the hate away
A simple man with simple thoughts
Who turned to force as a last resort

In other words, I hope and pray
That time and tide keep the day away
When simple men with simple thoughts
Will turn to force as a last recourse

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Thoughts & Meanings

Like "Silent Running" and "Take the Reins" on the same album, "A Call to Arms" is a song of rebellion, of the future needing to step up to address the wrongs of the past. The Arthurian imagery may be literal, or a post apocalyptic dark age, with the "fiery rain" reference making the latter more likely. A call to rebellion has come, and the downtrodden will rise up. The children, sheltered with lies, must now be told the truth, and the village leader must step forward in a way he never wished for. A 'simple man of simple thoughts', he must fill his head with fire--embrace courage, stand fast, and be a beacon to the rest. The 'torch is lit again'. The price will be high. 'Sweet Avalon, the heat is on' invokes the serenity and safety of a world now lost, as the lead singer enjoins "run for your life." War has come. Hate and oppression has made it inevitable, and the only prayer is that, for the survivors, it will end. The final chorus is changed; that war is over, but the threat is never gone, that 'simple men with simple thoughts will turn to force as a last recourse." This is a song that mourns the necessity of war even as it affirms that some battles must be fought, that truth must survive. It was very pertinent in 1985, and unfortunately is just as timely today.

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