The Riddle Song Meaning by Nick Kershaw

The name of the song The Riddle, which we will talk about below, is translated from English as “The Riddle”, and it is hardly possible to come up with a better name for it. The fact is that fans of the British singer Nick Kershaw are still thinking about the meaning of the text of the composition, although more than a quarter of a century has passed since the release of the single.

Fans of the search for truth are not even embarrassed by the fact that Nick told in detail under what circumstances The Riddle was written. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of versions of the interpretation of the mysterious song, and new versions continue to appear.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song The Riddle

Here is what Nick Kershaw himself, the author of music and words, said about The Riddle in an interview:

My producer came to my house just before we started recording the second album to see how my writing was going. He left saying he thought everything sounded great, but I didn’t have the first single. Angry, I went straight to an empty room and pieced together the chords and melody for The Riddle. All this took, I think, about twenty minutes. Knowing that there was not much time before we started, I quickly sketched out some nonsense, intending to write the real lyrics during the recording process.

About a week later we started recording and I did the rough vocals using those stupid words. While we were working on the album, I tried several lyric options, but it turned out that none of them fit as well as the first one. So we decided to stick with what we had. I thought, “Let’s call it ‘The Riddle’.” And then people started to think that she was really into something.

I didn’t anticipate the fuss she made at all. To make matters worse, the marketing and PR people at MCA decided to run a contest about her (without telling me). The reaction was incredible. We received bags of letters with scrupulous and detailed analyzes of the song. Line by line, word by word. Some were the size of a small novel. Some even made sense! People stopped me on the street to share their thoughts and theories. …

In short, The Riddle is absurdity, rubbish, bullshit, the tangled chatter of an eighties pop star.

As you can see, there is a reasonable explanation for the set of meaningless phrases that make up the lyrics of The Riddle. So why do people continue to search for a secret meaning, connecting it with politics, religion, love and other topics?

After all, Nick Kershaw talked more than once about how he composed The Riddle. What makes them see the lies in his explanations? They probably just don’t want to admit that their favorite song is bullshit. However, it is possible that Nick really does not say anything about something …

Release and achievements

In 1984, The Riddle was released as the first single from the album of the same name. It climbed to number three in the UK charts.

Clip The Riddle – Nick Kershaw

The video for The Riddle contains clear references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Interesting Facts

  • The keyboard entry from The Riddle was used by the Ukrainian band Skryabin in the song Love to Pay.

The Riddle Lyrics

I got two strong arms
Blessings of Babylon
With time to carry on
and try
For sins and alarms
So to America the brave
Wise men save

chorus:
near a tree by a river
There’s a hole in the ground
Where an old man of Aran
Goes around and around
And his mind is a beacon
In the veil of the night
For a strange kind of fashion
There’s a wrong and a right
But he’ll never, never fight over you

I got plans for us
Nights in the scullery
And days instead of me
I only know what to discuss
Of for anything but light
Wise men fighting over you

It’s not me you see
Pieces of valentine
With just a song of mine
To keep from burning history
Seasons of gasoline and gold
Wise men fold

I got time to kill
Sly looks in corridors
Without a plan of yours
A blackbird sings on bluebird hill
Thanks to the calling of the wild
Wise men’s child

The Riddle Lyrics – Nick Kershaw

I have two strong hands
Babylonian blessing,
To keep going like this
And keep searching
Sins and confusion
So America is saved by the brave
And the wise

Chorus:
Under a tree by the river
There is a hole in the ground
Where is the old man from Aran
Walking in circles
And his mind is a beacon
In the darkness of the night
In some strange way
There is evil and good
But he will never, never defeat you.

I have something planned for us
Nights in the pantry
And days instead of me
I only know what to discuss
For something but not light
The wise men overcome you

See it’s not me
Pieces of valentine
With my song
To refrain from burning history
Times of gasoline and gold
Wise men disappear

I need to kill time
sly glances in the corridors
No intentions for you
The blackbird sings on the hill of the azure bird
Through the call of the furious
The child of the wise men

Song quote

People, forgive me. I didn’t know what I was doing

Nick Kershaw on “The Riddle”

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