'39 Lyrics - Queen

Review The Song (47)



by Brian May
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing


In the year of thirty-nine
Assembled here the volunteers
In the days when lands were few
Here the ship sailed out into the blue and sunny morn
The sweetest sight ever seen
And the night followed day
And the story tellers say
That the score brave souls inside
For many a lonely day
Sailed across the milky seas
Ne'er looked back, never feared, never cried

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
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Write your letters in the sand
For the day I take your hand
In the land that our grandchildren knew

In the year of thirty-nine
Came a ship in from the blue
The volunteers came home that day
And they bring good news
Of a world so newly born
Though their hearts so heavily weigh
For the earth is old and grey
Little darlin', we'll away
But my love this cannot be
Oh so many years have gone
Though I'm older but a year
Your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I'll take your hand
In the land that our grandchildren knew

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
All your letters in the sand
Cannot heal me like your hand
For my life, still ahead, pity me






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Thanks to dannantavona@yahoo.com for submitting '39 Lyrics.
We Live and breathe in a universe (one word, one vibration) that is pure magic ~ | Reviewer: Evod ~ Northern California | 7/22/14


I have recently 'relearned' this song as a solo because of realizing my guitar and vocal ability far exceeds what it once was, and I am quite happy with the result. This is a most special song to me, and at times I become VERY emotional while listening to it. Brian May and Freddie are a major influence on my playing and writing. I also recently learned Brians solo version of 'Love of My Life'. 'Never was a more devestatingly talented group than Queen. They had everything the Beatles had, plus incredible MAGIC. I lived in Sedona Arizona and experienced what some would call 'real magic' many times. I tried not to label or get too excited about the things I experienced there so many years ago. But this song had just come out and it EXACTLY explained some of the experiences I had at that time, being; all energy, all consciousness expresses from a single beingness that masquerades on levels of consciousness that seem to take on physical matter and appearance, and time, although, depending on the person and the depth of realization you may experience the joy/sadness of existance because of realizing there is no such thing as time, while at the same instant you realize your birth, old age, and death, and also that of those around you. It makes one cry for the loss of what you thought was real at the same time, ecstatic for the incredible thing you/the universe actually is ~

You poor guy | Reviewer: Biff Tannen | 12/29/13

Hamish, I really pity you that your life is so empty that you have to kill time by insulting people who really achieved something in their life. Maybe someday you will do that as well. Hope never dies, you know.

When this was a hit? | Reviewer: Hamish McGeach | 12/12/13

It's about a group of ancient musicians who come back to reality 100 years in the future to discover their song is still crap, but listening to it for 3 minutes seems like an eternity in earth years.

The first one, hence maybe the dearest | Reviewer: MaxPoe | 12/16/13

I was just a 6 years old kid knowing more English words than those in my own language.
Mom and Dad were listening to Queen and Pink Floyd.

This is the first song I am aware of, which isn't a song for children.
I think I learned it by heart after two hearings.
There is something about it which constantly, after so many years, brings some weird nostalgy.

packed with meaning | Reviewer: j-cat | 5/17/13

IMHO, one of the most masterful songs ever created and my favorite Queen song, too. Freddie Mercury's talent is undisputed, but this song is best sung by Brian May, as on the album.

I was a kid when this song was a hit in the 70s and I always thought it was a sort of medieval-themed tale of a sailor going on a voyage, then returning to his love, but could never resolve the "land that our grandchildren knew" part until recently.

My love of this song has never diminished and I keep hitting "repeat" in iTunes..

Its 2239 to 2339 Not 1939 | Reviewer: Cousin IT co | 5/2/13

Brian May, himself an Astrophysicist, says this old folk song is a sci-fi story about a score of space adventurers (that’s 20) in the year of '39. NOT 1939! Traveling at relativistic speeds V near the speed of light C which causes time dilation. So one year t0 aboard the ship, will cause 100 years t to pass on earth > t = t0 / (1-v2/c2)1/2.They leave and return in the year of ’39. The important points in the song are
1) "Ne'er looked back, never feared, never cried", these are really brave guys!
2) “Your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me”, The child is a decedent of one guys lover, “But my love this cannot be”
3) “For my life, still ahead, pity me.” Everyone he knows is dead. He is alone for the rest of his life, “In the land that our grandchildren knew.”

That´s about the twins dilema | Reviewer: Peter | 12/14/12

That song efectivelly is about a group of space explorers, according to Einstein if they travelled light speed they'll be grow old only 1 year, but in the earth the time is dilatated and have been passed one hundred years

Its about a spaceship | Reviewer: OP | 6/10/12

Listen to Brian's own explanation at the Return of the Champions' perfomance of the song (track 9):
"This song is about time, its about a man who goes off in his silver spaceship to discover new lands, which he manages to do, but when he comes back he feels like he's only a year older but to the people back on Earth this planet is a hundred years older"

Kinda sad | Reviewer: Caroline | 5/3/12

It's about a group of space adventurers who go into space in the year of '39. They think they've only been gone a year but in fact have been gone a hundred (they also returned in '39). One of the adventurers says he's aged a year but his love looks like her mother now.

That's my opinion anyway.

Sci-Fi folk | Reviewer: Jordan | 1/23/12

If you have watch the "Classic Albums" episode about the making of "Night at the Opera" Brian May explains that he thought it would be cool to write an old folk song about a sci-fi story.

Remember... Brian May went to college and gradutated as an Astrophysicist

Not about WWII | Reviewer: Jeff | 9/5/11

To the previous reviewer: This song is not about WWII. There were no British volunteers deployed to the Continent until 1940, anyway. Either you made this story up or your friend is pulling your leg.

What do you think about this point of view? | Reviewer: Butterflies | 8/13/11

I have listened to this song for a long time, and I couldn´t guess the meaning of the lyric until I met a friend from the British Army and he has the following opinion on the song: In 1939, Great Britain sent soldiers to the occupied land in Europe by the German army. It seems it was the first time they did so and the shock on the soldiers and their families were very deep, specially because they were very young and unexperienced. Some of them came back and their families were gone. But they brought good news because the war was won and everything would be better!!! That is what I was told and this song means a lot for the soldiers of the British Army, even if they are retired. I am not so sure if it is true or not, but if so, I think it is a good story to tell!!!

. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/3/09

The song isn't actually in colonial times, but more like in the future. In some odd year of '39 when the Earth is slowly dying, 20 volunteers went out to look for another 'Earth'. Which is when he says they 'sailed the Milky Seas,' an obvious reference to the Milky Way.

The second verse tells when the volunteer came back to earth in the year '39, but this is a hundred years later. 'so many years have gone, though I'm older but a year.' Which most likely means that though a century passed on Earth, the volunteers only felt and aged a year difference, probably cause of time dilation. The last lines of the verse is most likely when he met his son, or grandson, since the ones that the volunteers knew already passed away. 'little darlin' well away'.

Just my 2c on the song

Colonial song? | Reviewer: Fraser | 11/8/09

This song seems to me to be a British colonial song- Explorers sailing for New Zealand or Australia from Britain, finding new lands full of beauty and potential, and then returning sad that the new lands would be turned 'old and grey' by the grandchildren of the settlers. The 'land that our grandchildren knew' is the settler colony

Bob Dylan's 'When the Ship Comes in' | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/30/09

There is a clear influence most obvious when Dylan's is heard right after this. Having said that, who did Dylan not influence?

Having said that, this is still a great song and I could listen to it for hours. It's my favourite queen song along with 'Radio Gaga'


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