I’ve Seen All Good People 7-29-19

I was on my way home with my youngest son from an art festival on Saturday. We were listening to music. A song by the band “YES” came on. My son shared one of his favorite songs was “I’ve Seen All Good People”. I had to agree it was my favorite also. When my kids were young I would play the beginning of the song over and over. I was surprised to hear my son share a story of when he was on a trip in Oakland.

Derek shared he was at a restaurant with friends. He heard this song playing and became distracted. The owner of the restaurant was at their table welcoming the group to his restaurant. He looked at my son and commented that clearly his mind was somewhere else. Derek told the owner that he could hear this song playing. It reminded him of hearing it repeatedly when he was young. He shared it was one of his favorites. The owner began to cry. He told Derek that it was his brothers favorite song too. His brother had passed away when he was a teenager. Derek was so moved by the story as was I when my son shared the story with me.

We played the song on the way home. I have to admit, we played the beginning over and over. I told my son I was really curious to know what the meaning of the song was. We looked it up on Wikipedia and Song Facts.

I’ve Seen All Good People” is a song performed by the English progressive rock band Yes. Written by Yes members Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, it was first included on 1971’s The Yes Album and has appeared on several later albums. The first part of the song, titled “Your Move“, was released as a single. It became a top 40 hit in the United States, which helped the group build momentum

The tune uses chess as a lyrical metaphor for navigating interpersonal relationships. It has received positive reviews from several critics and has been considered one of Yes’s best-known songs, with AllMusic‘s Mike DeGagne stating that “the harmonies are resilient from start to finish” and that the track “still stands as one of their most appealing” works. Music critic Robert Christgau has also singled it out for praise.

The first part of the song, “Your Move”, alludes to the game of chess as a metaphor for male–female relationships. Examples include the phrases “move me onto any black square”, “make the white queen run so fast”, and “the goal is for us all to capture only one”.

A reference to John Lennon’s work is in the lyric “send that instant karma to me”, with “Instant Karma!” being a single released by Lennon in 1970. Also, the sentence “All we are saying is give peace a chance” is heard in the organ part before switching to “All Good People”, referencing another Lennon song, “Give Peace a Chance“. More generally, Anderson has stated that the line “’cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time” was an attempt to say that he would “do anything that is required of me to reach God” and that he wants the listener to feel “in tune and in time with God.” Just before the three-minute mark of the song, at the final part of “Your Move”, the chorus of Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” can be heard in the background. – Wikipedia

This is an anti-war song. The term “I’ve seen all good people” is ALL the people, including the so-called enemy.

The line, “Don’t surround yourself with yourself” refers to self-righteous behavior; “Move on back two squares” is a chess term meaning to retreat and rethink your position. The lyrics also refer to the queen, which is the most versatile and powerful chess piece. It talks about how news is captured for use by the queen, which uses forces to take control and manipulate troops against the enemy. War is like a game of chess.

With the line, “Send an instant comment to me, initial it with loving care,” this song references “Instant Karma,” which was a song recorded by John Lennon a year earlier. Lennon was a huge influence on Yes, who covered The Beatles song “Every Little Thing” on their first album.

The lines: “Just remember that the gold is for us to capture all we want, anywhere, Yea, yea, yea” refers to the rich and powerful victimizing the weak and poor. The US was taken off the Gold standard by Richard Nixon August 15, 1971 the same year this was released. – Song Facts.

LYRICS

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

Take a straight and stronger course

To the corner of your life

Make the white queen run so fast

She hasn’t got time to make you a wife

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Move me on to any black square

Use me anytime you want

Just remember that the goal

Is for us all to capture all we want (Move me on to any black square)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Don’t surround yourself with yourself)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself (Don’t surround yourself)

Move on back two squares

Send an instant karma to me (Send an instant karma to me)

Initial it with loving care (Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And its news is captured

For the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time

And it’s news is captured

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day

So satisfied I’m on my way

After reading about the meaning of this song, I couldn’t help but love the song even more. In my opinion, we should all strive to be better. We should also strive to be closer to God. Besides the fact this song is anti-war song, it also encourages all of us to step back and reflect on our own selves opposed to judging others. I feel we have become a nation of so much fighting and pointing fingers. The lyrics also encourage us to strive for peace. Interestingly enough, I feel our current situation with our president is very similar to the Nixon era. There is absolutely no peace in this country.

I love how “YES” uses a game of chess as a metaphor to get their point across. I’m not sure why I’m sharing all this on my blog tonight. Possibly because I can really resonate with the meaning. I would love nothing more than for everyone to find a sense of peace not only in their own lives but with others. Who knows. All I know is I love this song. I love that I’m able to share that same love of a song with my son Derek. I love the beat. I love the lyrics and I love the meaning.

This tune is a classic. It was released in the 70’s. It was a hit then and in truth is still a hit in my eyes so many years later. I’d like to encourage you to listen to the song. Who knows, maybe you too might be touched and find yourself wishing for a little bit of peace too. Like the song, I’m sending a little good karma your way. Initialed with loving care and I hope you will do the same for me. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

6 thoughts on “I’ve Seen All Good People 7-29-19

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