Cathedral Lyrics - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Review The Song (19)



Words & Music - Graham Nash
copyright 1977, Thin Ice Music, ASCAP.


Six o' clock
In the morning, I feel pretty good
So I dropped into the luxury of the Lords
Fighting dragons and crossing swords
With the people against the hordes
Who came to conquer.

Seven o'clock
In the morning, here it comes
I taste the warning and I am so amazed
I'm here today, seeing things so clear this way
In the car and on my way
To Stonehenge.

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral
Sunlight pouring through the break of day.
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Stumbled through the door and into the chamber;
There's a lady setting flowers on a table covered lace
And a cleaner in the distance finds a cobweb on a face
And a feeling deep inside of me tells me
This can't be the place

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral.
All religion has to have its day
Expressions on the face of the Saviour
Made me say
I can't stay.

Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here!
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
For anyone to heed the call.
So many people have died in the name of Christ
That I can't believe it all.

And now I'm standing on the grave of a soldier that died in 1799
And the day he died it was a birthday
And I noticed it was mine.
And my head didn't know just who I was
And I went spinning back in time.
And I am high upon the altar
High upon the altar, high.

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral,
It's hard enough to drink the wine.
The air inside just hangs in delusion,
But given time,
I'll be fine.


Crosby, Stills, Nash - Vocals
Graham Nash - Piano
Joe Vitale - Drums, Timpani, Percussion
George Perry - Bass
Mike Lewis, David Crosby, Graham Nash & Joel Bernstein - String Arrangements




Click here to submit the Corrections of Cathedral Lyrics
I understand now | Reviewer: John Schenkel | 1/9/14

I have been a fan of CSN for many years. But I never broke down there songs, so one day i did and I agree with the words to this song. To many people have died in the name of Christ. They died because of there faith! Amen

Works for me | Reviewer: Karen | 11/15/13

Embarrassed by this because I've been a CSN(Y) fan since they first performed "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" at Woodstock. I don't think whether or not it's an allusion to an acid trip is important. I can soooooo relate to the viewpoint character (Graham or someone he developed who would have this viewpoint) and his wandering into Winchester Cathedral and then screaming to be let out. I don't think the song bashes anything that Christ actually taught but what man later made of Christianity. As with any religion, as time goes on it gets polluted by what men make of it. And one thing men make of it (women probably would never have made this of it if they'd had more power) is a reason to go to war. Who is buried in the great cathedrals all over Europe? Although you get shrines to a few people like Tomas a Becket, mainly cathedrals are places where men of war are venerated. In the times the great cathedrals were being built, those riding to war were led and directed by kings who proclaimed they were doing so in the name of Christ. In the time period of the song, Viet Nam was a live issue. Troops were led from behind by presidents and generals, proclaiming we were going to war to protect democracy---but since a lot of bastions of the Christian West were involved, you can infer that the thoughts of our heads of state were Democracy=Christianity=we're the good guys dying, if we're Christian, in the name of Christ. Did Christ preach a message of war? No, and neither did Muhammad, the Buddha, Zoroaster, Abraham... Man has both a selfish and a godly nature; lots of men acceding to the former will give us a world at odds with itself. I'll go out on a limb here and say maybe that's why the world has had a sequence of Prophets and not just one forever and always. The message starts out pure---there is one God, we should love him and pray to him, all men are brothers---but eventually, after the Prophet dies and men take over, the pure water of the message of any of these Prophets gets diverted and polluted. That panicked "Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here!" makes perfect sense for a person who wandered in looking for some peace and quiet and a sense of spirituality and then was smitten by all these monuments to men of war. And the line that has the viewpoint person high above/upon the altar---has anyone given some thought to the idea that the viewpoint character is Christ? I mean, really, where do you put a crucifix in a cathedral but high above the altar? Perhaps it's Christ Himself singing about what a mess we've made of the faith He taught in 2000 years,

YAHUSHA ha Mashiach | Reviewer: jose jamora III | 11/8/13

The message of this song was right. Too many people have died in the name of jesus christ for anyone to heed the call. Was this the religion you are following to? Open your eyes. thaT's why they said that open up the gates of the church and let me outta here. Made me say i cant stay. Csn know the dark secret of christianity. Thats why they dont want to stay anymore. Please seek for the truth.please open your eyes.please dont be blinded and deceived by the wolf wearing sheep clothing. This is the call that christianty dont want to let this spread by us. Too many people have died in the name of christ for anyone to heed the call.they dont want others to know and reveal their dark secret. Jesus is a latinized nThe message of this song was right. Too many people have died in the name of jesus christ for anyone to heed the call. Was this the religion you are following to? Open your eyes. thaT's why they said that open up the gates of the church and let me outta here. Made me say i cant stay. Csn know the dark secret of christianity. Thats why they dont want to stay anymore. Please seek for the truth.please open your eyes.please dont be blinded and deceived by the wolf wearing sheep clothing. This is the call that christianty dont want to let this spread by us. Too many people have died in the name of christ for anyone to heed the call.they dont want others to know and reveal their dark secret. Jesus is a latinized name(greek) changed by the emperor constantine, why they changed the name of the messiah?the HEBREW name.why they blotted out the original name that is in hebrew? Christianty want to let us worship the sun gods. The original hebrew name written in paleo hebrew was YAHUSHA,the messiah! halleluYAH! Praise be to YAH! We cant say halleluJE praise be to jesus?well u are kidding me if u said that. Letter j was just in 1500's era.there was no letter j before in the time of messiah. YAhusha the name of the son and Yahuah the name of the spirit or the father. .halleluYAH! Shalom2!(hebrew greetings)

Open your eyes..so that you can see things so clear this way like what csn sees. .H! Praise be to YAH! We cant say halleluJE praise be to jesus?well u are kidding me if u said that. Letter j was just in 1500's era.there was no letter j before in the time of messiah. YAhusha the name of the son and Yahuah the name of the spirit or the father. .halleluYAH! Shalom2!(hebrew greetings)

Open your eyes..so that you can see things so clear this way like what csn sees. .

Think about it | Reviewer: Jose Cathedral | 12/24/12

This song is right on point. If you don't like the message then I suggest you find a Christian faith that doesn't abide war, or patriotism, one that like Jesus believed in peace and turning the other cheek. They are out there, but no one can argue that 'too many people have died in the name oc Christ'

About a particular trip episode | Reviewer: Thomas A. Smith | 1/9/12

This is a magnificently detailed and honest song about an acid trip, apparently part of which was taken in the environs of WInchester cathedral. People who publish their thoughts, no matter what they are saying, are basically cowardly and on the same level as people who write graffiti on restroom walls. If you really feel and believe a certain way, declaring your ID should be no problem. Otherwise you're just a waster. Graham Nash signed his name to this. Jesus left no doubt about his identity, and neither did Ian Anderson. But thousands of cowrds will try to pull down their beautiful ideas and neverleave their names so they don't have to concern themselves with reprisal or correction.

an LSD trip for sure | Reviewer: alice cooper | 6/5/11

Anyone who has met Albert Hoffmans GREAT creation KNOWS this sone is about tripping, and what a song it is !
I can FEEL IT everytime I listen to it and if I think back real hard I can taste it too:)

You see what is in your mind. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/4/11


Don't believe for a moment that every image you envision when hearing a song or reading a poem was the intent of the artist. The artist uses words to fill in a phrase to fit the music the more ambiguous the better. What the listener does with it is an entirely different thing.
In this tune CSN is creating an atmosphere with the music and words which enable listeners to see what is already in their mind.
If a listener believes in religion they may have totally different images than one who rejects religion and different yet someone who doesn't believe in God at all. Some will not like this tune others will find this to be a powerful tune which appeals to them. I say Good Tune!


Religious Content? | Reviewer: Jon | 11/21/10

I think the best way to ruin this classic is to focus on the possible religious expression in it. It is musical expression (and beautifully done) first, so kindly bugger off. The best thing about religion is that it is about belief - i.e., it should properly be kept private. Your beliefs, and not necessarily mine. Personally, discussion of religious aspect lessens the musical experience, so save it for your place of worship.

Not again! | Reviewer: Anthony | 2/18/10

This song is over 30 years old. Again it's another in a line of songs bashing Christianity because of atrocities committed under its name! OK- true, terrible things have happened over the centuries. But in all faiths-
and all human systems for that matter terrible atrocities have been committed. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot- I could go on and on...the point is look at the leader of a faith or system, not the workings of the misguided followers. Musically this song is a good one- I would like to know if Mr. Nash still feels the same today as he did then. Mr. Ian Anderson, of Jethro Tull, wrote in his song "Backdoor Angels": "Why do the faithful have such a will to believe in something? And call it the name they choose, having chosen nothing!" That's a far more strong attack against people of any faith! Don't look at the past- study, read, and make your own reasoned decision-Too many people have died and lied in the names of many systems- but only one leader conquered death!! My take on this...

Re: Chaz | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/26/09

Interesting...have you also considered that CSN might have been trying to make a link between religion and the highs/lows of hallucinogenics?

I re-read the lyrics after reading your comment, and it doesn't completely match with that hypothesis to me, but I can definitely see where you're coming from.

--

re:'A false message' - many who misspell ARE semi-literate in the English language...or have reading/writing disabilities. I'm guessing you know this already, just pointing out that...pride of word and 'semi-literacy' can go together.]

Religion? Really? | Reviewer: chaz | 1/28/09

The preceding comments leaned heavily on the religious connotations, especially the two nay-sayers who thought that this powerful tune somehow denigrates Christianity and shoud instead be directed at other religions.

Has it not occured to any of you that these lyrics might tell of a hallucinatory experience brought on by modern chemistry? Wouldn't a cathedral make a great place for a trip?

Yes, the lines about "too many people have lied/died" are historical fact, so get over it.

But, step back a bit and wonder about why the death of a soldier in 1799 would have such an impact on a viewer - even given that they share a birthday.

"six o'clock...stepped into the luxury of the Lords" not Lord, Lords. Plural. That means he was participating in an ancient ritualistic act, eh?

"In the morning, here it comes
I taste the warning and I am so amazed
I'm here today, seeing things so clear this way
In the car and on my way
To Stonehenge." Clearly a reference to the building buzz and disassociation of having recently ingested a psychoactive substance.

But then, let's forget all that and just revel in the blissful feeling evoked by this haunting melody. Let's remember ourselves standing in a ruined cathedral, still feeling the majesty it must have once been. Let's feel that harried rush of a panic attack in the quick-time lyrics.

CSN and sometimes Y are the top of the musical form, wouldn't you say?

Well... | Reviewer: SiSartreEstMorte | 9/12/08

I love this song, I'm catholic, so I guess it's kind of rare to hear someone of my faith giving respects to Cathedral by Crosby, Stills and Nash, but everyone has their opinions, and anyone can express them. I think that they didn't attack the Church as it is now, but as it has been, especially before Vatican 2 Council. Anyways, props to CSN.

The lyrics | Reviewer: Sebastian S | 11/28/07

I simply love this song. It is so true, and too deep to fathom for so many, even though it's not very complex at all. And just that is very scary to see.
There's no need to debate religion, this song says it all. Oh, and yes you could just as well replace cathedral and christ with images from other religions, such as islam.
The below rewiewer is perfectly correct.
GREAT song! I'm 19 years, listen to electronic, heavy & punk music and everything, but this song is one of the best I know.

A False Message? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/24/07

The reviewer calling him/herself "nobody" remarks that "Cathedral" sends a "false message." Is it false to say that "too many people have died in the name of Christ?" That statement is an historical fact, if, like me, you feel that even one person's death in the name of religion...any religion...(let alone Christianity, which is based on the premise of Peace and "turning the other cheek")...is too many. So to state that the message is "false" isn't debatable at all. But religious fanatics are rarely well-grounded in reason or logic. By the way, I'm no English teacher, but I find it difficult to take seriously the remarks of anyone who can't take the time and effort to glance over the message they are about to put out to the world via the web and proofread it for spelling and other errors. Have these people no pride in their own words, or are they truly semi-literate?

Their words embody my own | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/28/07

I've long been a CSN fan, and this song only increases my respect for them. I think it's great that any popular group will stand up against the mainstream and tell it the way it is. Christianity has been in a place of power for far too long. Any way, there is way too much gospel music out there for any Christian to complain about this song.


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------ Performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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------ 09/30/2014

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