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The song is divided into two sections, which are listed on the album as:
a. Your Move (running 3:35)
b. All Good People (running 3:21)
"Your Move" was written by lead singer Jon Anderson
, "All Good People" by bassist Chris Squire
In America, a single version of the song was released as "Your Move (I've Seen All Good People)," which reached #40 in December, 1971. This version credits lead singer Jon Anderson as the sole composer, and was the first chart hit for Yes. When we asked Anderson what he thought of the cut-down release, he replied, "A bit disjointed." Radio stations typically play the full 6:56 version of the song.
Lead singer/lyricist Jon Anderson says that on the "Your Move" portion of this song, he was using the game of chess in this song as a metaphor for life's spiritual challenges. "Life is a game of strategically placed situations presented to you, and you have to learn to live with them and work with them," he said. "Doors are open and sometimes they're closed. It's the idea that we are surrounded by a spirit or god or energy is in time with our understanding of who we are.
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. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington)
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