Song Lyric Sunday —Blue Öyster Cult

The obvious choice for me when I saw that Helen Vahdati had chosen “fear” as the theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday was “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Cult.

The song was written and sung by Blue Öyster Cult‘s lead guitarist, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, and it appeared on the band’s 1976 album, Agents of Fortune. “(Don’t Frear) The Reaper” was Blue Öyster Cult’s highest charting single, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1976.

As to the meaning of the song, Roeser said, “I was thinking about my own mortality. I wrote the guitar riff, the first two lines of lyric sprung into my head, then the rest of it came as I formed a story about a love affair that transcends death. I was thinking about my wife, and that maybe we’d get together after I was gone.”

There was some controversy around the song because some thought it promoted suicide. Lyrics such as “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity” led many listeners to interpret the song to be about a murder-suicide pact, but Roeser insists it was about eternal love and not suicide.

The song coupled the group’s mysticism with a beautiful melody, lush harmonies, and what some have called “one of the coolest guitar riffs of the ‘70s.”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are

Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand, don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly, don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man

La, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la

Valentine is done
Here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity, Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday, Like Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday, Redefine happiness
Another 40,000 coming everyday, We can be like they are

Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand, don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly, don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man

La, la, la, la, la
La, la, la, la, la

Love of two is one
Here but now they’re gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn’t go on

Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared, saying don’t be afraid

Come on baby, and she had no fear
And she ran to him, then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodby, she had become like they are
She had taken his hand, she had become like they are
Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday —Blue Öyster Cult

  1. newepicauthor August 19, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Great background information on this song and as for myself, I welcome the reaper, as I want to kick its ass.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brandewulf August 19, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Was wondering who was going to post this one..great choice from a great band and a great album. I always liked Agents of Fortune.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. eschudel August 19, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I posted this comment on the wrong post…doh! Must be the weekend… Don’t Fear the Reaper is one of my favourite songs – it got me through some dark times. I have the cowbell part hanging on my wall at work (long story).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 19, 2018 / 9:21 am

      No worries. I’ve done that more times than I care to remember.

      Like

  4. Sight11 August 19, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    That’s a song in which the lyrics are submerged to the background music..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. leigha66 August 21, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Interesting to learn the origins of the song… great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 21, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      That’s one of the reasons I like responding to Helen’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. I learn a lot about the background that was behind the writing and recording of the songs.

      Liked by 1 person

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