King Crimson

Notas de Liricas Progresivas

King Crimson - Starless and Bible BlackKING CRIMSON - STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK (1974)
David Cross - Violín, viola, teclados
Robert Fripp - Guitarra, melotrón, dispositivos
John Wetton - Bajo y Voces
William Bruford - Percusiones






Muchas gracias a   Langas  por la traducción de  Starless and Bible Black.

   Notas sobre el Disco

Del FAQ de  Elephant Talk:
Where does the phrase 'Starless and Bible Black' come from?
David Cross, quoted from a Circus-Raves article from 1974, states,

"The title is a phrase from Dylan Thomas, from 'Under Milkwood'. . . we have two songs called 'Starless and Bible Black'. . .The one on the album (S&BB) is a long instrumental. . .but the idea for a song was still very much alive in our lyricist, Richard Palmer-James. . .so he came up with something quite exciting, which is a different 'Starless' with lyrics."
Here is the Thomas quote:

"To begin at the beginning:
"It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea."
Also note the phrase "Acknowledgement to D. T." on the cover of LTiA.

What was the phrase Bill Bruford liked to use in place of of 'Starless and Bible Black'?
"Braless and Slightly Slack," apparently a reference to a memorable audience member.
  What does "this night wounds time" refer to? [New Jan. 3, 1999]
Tom Phillips, the cover artwork artist for 'Starless and Bible Black', created this word-canvas for the gatefold sleeve. Philips also created the cover art for Brian Eno's 'Another Green World'.

One of Philip's most intriguing techniques was to use the Victorian novel 'A Human Document' as a canvas, painting over selected portions of the printed page in order to exhibit only sentence fragments. "This night wounds time", therefore, is the result of taking several random words from four different lines of text, as the illustration in 'Starless and Bible Black' shows.

What are the 'The Night Watch' song lyrics about? [New June 25, 2000]
In an interview in the David Cross newsletter, lyricist Richard Palmer-James responded to this question about the song that appears on the album 'Starless and Bible Black':

"Nobody understood the song at all when it appeared. But there's nothing mysterious about it, it's just a brief historical commentary on Rembrandt and his situation in 17th-century Holland. This is probably not an ideal subject for rock music. More people seem to realize what the song's about nowadays. Rembrandt's supreme genius has enriched my existence since schooldays."
Perhaps seeing the painting itself will help us all to understand....It's available for viewing at Also, the full text of the Richard Palmer-James interview is at

[last update:]
ETer Michael Russell also provides this analysis:

"The topic of the song is Rembrandt's 1642 painting Captain Frans Benning Cocq Mustering His Company, a canvas colloquially known as The Night Watch. For almost 80 years starting in 1566, the Dutch fought for independence from Spain. After decades of sporadic warfare and truces, lasting peace was secured as part of the general settlement reached at Westphalia in 1648. The lyrics to the Crim song are filled with references to 17th Century Dutch bourgeois life and experience, including the Spanish conflict."

   Notas sobre las Traducciones

Como punto aparte, en el disco siguiente,  Red (que ya ha sido traducido), se incluye un último tema llamado Starless  y que sin duda continúa la mitología de este disco.

Estas son algunas anotaciones sobre las traducciones y los significados de la letra de este disco.

Night Watch (La Vigilancia Nocturna) - También se puede traducir como  Vigilia Nocturna, o Ronda Nocturna. El tema se inspira en la pintura del gran pintor holandés Rembrandt del mismo nombre. Se dice que la pintura ha sido malinterpretada debido a un barniz oscuro que cubre el lienzo, cuando su título en realidad es The Company of Captain Frans Cocq (La Compañía del Capitán Frans Cocq). De acuerdo al  Webmuseum.

lady friends (amantes) - Literalmente es  amigas de su dama, pero en realidad, simplemente como  amigas. De la misma forma como se usa actualmente como girl friend, amiga (dejando bien claro que es mujer, porque en inglés la palabra friend no indica el género). Lo que es diferente a girlfriend, enamorada, que se escribe junto. Lo he dejado como amantes, pero en el contexto del tema puede ser cualquiera de los dos. Habría que conocer un poco más la historia.

armour bright (la armadura en su esplendor) - Aquí también puede ir otra traducción:  la brillantez de su armadura. Seleccione la que le parezca mejor.

redbrick home (hogar recién fundado) - Literalmente,  hogar de ladrillos rojos, "redbrick" se puede traducir por "de reciente fundación", algo nuevo. Supongo que será por la asociación de que el ladrillo aún está rojo, como fresco, y con el tiempo se clarea perdiendo esa tonalidad encendida.


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