Siberian Khatru
by Yes

Album: Close To The Edge (1972)

Songfacts®:

  • The closing track on the Close To The Edge album, this song is about unity across cultures. Jon Anderson, who wrote the lyric, has given different accounts of what "Khatru" means. He has said that it means "winter," and also that it translates to "as you wish" in Yemenite Hebrew.

    The meaning of the song is more clear: Anderson is expressing how Siberians go through the same emotions that he does. They're people like us, just geographically distant. We may be from different places, but we're all basically the same. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dino - Bandung, Indonesia
  • Jon Anderson is credited with writing the lyric to this song, with keyboard player Rick Wakeman, guitarist Steve Howe and Anderson credited for composing the music. The songwriting credits on Yes songs can be deceptive, since the full band was usually involved in some aspect of working up the song.

    Howe said that this song was one of their more collaborative efforts. "That song came together with the arranging skills of the band," he told Guitar World. "Jon had the rough idea of the song, and Chris [Squire], Bill [Bruford], Rick and me would collaborate on getting the riffs together."
  • Eddy Offord, who produced the album, remembers using a primitive studio technique to get a swirling sound in the mix: he had an assistant attach a microphone to a cable and swing it around the room to get a Doppler effect.

Comments: 3

  • Ladster from Basingstoke, UkI always thought it was a prediction that ultra-orthodox Communism (Winter) would eventually thaw into something warmer and less harsh in the penal province of Siberia; Lo and behold, Glasnost & Perestroika (Summer) appeared on the scene in the fullness of time, and the rest is history. A favourite Yes song dear to my heart!
  • Dave Erie Pa from Erie Pa"as they reguard the summit" could be relevant to todays political situation.. some of my favourite Mellotron @ 5:55 da..dat da da dat (6:50 ish)
  • Scott from Bothell, Wa"Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru." This song is so dear to me.
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