We Have Heaven
by Yes

Album: Fragile (1971)
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Songfacts®:

  • Running 1:30, "We Have Heaven" was written by Yes frontman Jon Anderson, who built it by combining three different lyrical ideas:

    Tell the moon don't tell the marcher
    He is clear
    We have heaven

    Anderson repeats each line, layering them on top of each other to create the soundscape.

    The lyrics came from vocalizations that he would use to warm up his voice and pull together song ideas - note how "Tell the moon don't tell the marcher" works as a vocal exercise. It was the first time one of his vocalizations made it into a song.
  • On the Fragile album, the five members of Yes each got one showcase song that they worked on individually, and this was Anderson's. The others were:

    Drummer Bill Bruford: "Five Per Cent For Nothing" (played by the entire group with percussion instruments).

    Bass player Chris Squire: "The Fish."

    Guitarist Steve Howe: "Mood For A Day."

    Keyboard player Rick Wakeman: "Cans And Brahms."

    In a Songfacts interview, Anderson explained how it came together: "Chris was working upstairs in the studio on a bass solo, which was the second half of 'Long Distance Runaround.' I went downstairs into the smaller studio where ELP were working. They had the afternoon off, so I used the studio to sing these ideas over and over. Steve was doing a solo at that time and Rick was going to do a solo and Chris was doing a solo, so I thought, I'll do a solo, which was me on my own singing a repetition of ideas, and it worked out great.
  • A reprise of this song begins several seconds after the last track, "Heart Of The Sunrise," ends. It takes about a minute to fade out, bringing the length of the overall track to 11:27, which at that time was the longest song Yes had released. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD

Comments: 23

  • Bill from MaineI hear 7 distinct voice overs, possibly 8 in We Have Heaven
  • Bruce from New Yorkif you listen to the song. At 0.00 they sing tell the moon dog tell the March hare
    As 0.07 they added we have heaven.
    At 0.47 they add ”help/he is here.”
    As 0.51 I hear “do you have a bone” Which keeps repeating throughout the rest of the song. And at 0.58. To me it sounds like somebody says “take another hit”
    Listen to it, and you can decide. Have a great day folks!
  • Joe from IllinoisP.S. There are cross references which can be made with this one to other songs especially Round About and Heart of The Sunrise, the overall theme and concept of Fragile. Each band member also his their own song that serves as there own Moon Dog or Yes Dog. Makes sense as we don't see much of these sorts of short smaller package silhouettes of their more typical longer or larger songs.
  • Joe from IllinoisTell the Moon Dog, tell the March Hare.... We have (like) heaven... Tell them on... He is here (Here is here) (Here is him)... (To) Go look around... (Just) Yes...

    Finishes in 7 layer round on "We Have Heaven", with the above 7 parts, you can hear these variations as well, may possibly more or so it sure seems.

    For "Tell the Moon Dog", a moon dog is known scientifically as a "visual phenomena" whereby cirrus clouds refract the moon light, create a halo and at times a moon dog as well which is a second or more smaller silhouette(s) of the moon. There are other view points on moon dogs (and sun dogs) by way of the supernatural, ET's and more which is also quite intriguing. This may also be a reference to something else, as in a dog howling at the moon for instance, I think the reference is more the first one and possibly also the second.

    The March Hare is the character from the Alice in Wonderland story and may reference relevance to life, Spring, Spring equinox on March 20th, balance and equality, that celestial transition of a season to the next just as transition from life here to the here after. What's more, and in large part the relationship of the March Hare and those attributes to the elements of time, timeliness, no time to waist, lose or better than the present, as well time the illusion. The rest I have to agree is much at a second coming of Christ reference, the Kingdom of Heaven (Holy Spirit) that is around us, available to us and to come. It is here, go look around, find and be connected with it. Really, what else better is there that this world has to offer anyway? This little ditty does seem to reflect the band in a sort of band or Yes dog, in much as it is well rounded, layered, deep, purposeful and meaningful all in a small package by Yes standards. Yes that is so Yes eh? Brilliant here and all around with these classics from Yes - Fragile.
  • Eric from San Jose, CaThis song makes me think of the Second Coming of Christ: it is seemingly an ordinary day, men lying, working, killing, dying, sleeping. But then there is a moment of quiet in the countryside bordering ancient woods. An old man sitting alone in a chair on his porch feels a shiver, not of fear, but of the Holy Spirit. He knows something is happening. Mild forest creatures; a hare, a fox, a stag; approach his yard from the wood. He feels joy, because he sees the Holy Spirit in them, he knows that the Lord Christ is coming, and they are part of his herald. A beautiful simple song is heard, it builds in power and beauty, and spreads over the earth. People begin to disappear from the earth, those left behind are bemused. Then suddenly, the judgment is over. Those who had no faith are deprived of heaven, but those who had it are with God.
  • Bruce from Brewster, NyIf you listen closely to the background, it sounds like the keep repeating "take another hit"
  • Alex from Biel, SwitzerlandI would say #5 is Do Look Around! (not 'to')
  • Taylor from West Palm Beach, FlLOL!!! We always sing Tell the moon, don't tell the martians. Thanks for clearing that up!
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaSuch cool layering on this one. Great song!
  • Steve from Whittier, CaOne of the finest tunes I know - the vocals, the piano, and the way it's all blended together - most excellent. I will put in my vote as the lyrics are ...we LIKE heaven. VERY COOL to see the U Tube clip - THANKS for getting it there, whoever you are.
  • Jim from Johnsonburg, NyI love this song! I don't think there is any specific meaning, just Jon Anderson having fun creating a vibe with his voice. I made a transcription of the lyrics (LONG TIME, wearing headphones!) using different colored text for each of the voices. There are 6 main voices/phrases used throughout the song...there may also be a few more buried in the mix. Here are the six voices as I hear them and in the order that they come in during the song:

    1. Tell the moondog, tell the march hare
    2. We have heaven (We like heaven used once)
    3. Tell the moon
    4. He is here
    5. To look around
    6. Yes!
  • Michael from Oxford, -Sounds to me more like "We LIKE heaven". Which is only slightly less ridiculous.
  • Chris from Evanston, IlI made an animated film to this song in college, back in 1981. Basically, the furniture in my living room moved to the beat. A lounge chair would open and close, the blinds moved up and down, the coat rack spun with that occasional clanging percussion sound...

    Since I had to listen to the song over and over, I knew the words were moon-dog and march hare, but I noticed that the third time round Anderson sings "We LIE heaven" instead of "have" (as if that makes a big difference.) There's also a track of him singing "Tell the man" (I think!) behind the "Tell the moon-dog" line when the parts start overlaying each other.

    I still have no idea what the song's about, but it made for a good little film!
  • Ken from Aberdeen, Mdthe Lyrics are "tell the moon dog, tell the march hare" as read inside the cd cover the cover--also, it doesn't have to make sense--it's music- an art form- don't try to analyze it too much
  • D L from Nashville, TnCorrect Lyrics
    We Have Heaven
    Jon Anderson

    Tell the Moon-dog, tell the March-hare
    Tell the Moon-dog, tell the March-hare
    We...have...heaven
    To Look around, to look around
    Yes, he is here; Yes, he is here .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In my opinion, YES and each of many band members remain in the top five of the best bands ever including solo works, albums and live concerts.
  • Jim from Somewhere, PaI believe the correct line is " Tell The Moon Dog. Tell The March Hare". as were the lyrics we sung in our band way back when. I think I got the lyrics from one of Yes music publications that were available at that time....
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoMe and my buddy in junior high would sing the "To look around" line when we were heading to the mall to look at girls!
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaActully Listening to "The Ladder" (1999)i found out that "Can I?" also has the "we have heaven" saying it it...
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaI Thought it was tell the moon don't tell the Marcher....
  • Joe from Albion, Nythe lyrics i added are the ones that are said in the CD case
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaI really like this song because it starts off with just "tell the moon, don't tell the marcher" then after jon says it a few more times backing vocals go "we have heaven" then "tell the moon, don't tell the marcher. tell the moon, don't tell the marcher". then he go's "he is here, he is here, he is here here is here." then "look around" and then "yes" (wich is the name of the band!) then a door closes then there a running sound. VERY GOOD!! and it dosent make much sense either...
  • Gregg from Denver, CoI always thought it was "Tell the moon-dog, tell the march hare"....kind of an Alice-in-Wonderland feel ?
  • Andrew from New Middletown, OhAlways a classic. From what I thought I heard, he's saying, "We have heaven," "He is here," "Look around," "Here is here," "Yes," and "Tell the moon, don't tell the marger." Never seems to make sense, but I'm sure it all does to Jon!
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