Yours Is No Disgrace
by Yes

Album: The Yes Album (1971)
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  • Lyrics
  • The lyric in this song, "Caesar's Palace, morning glory, silly human race," helps explain the story behind it. Caesar's Palace is a casino in Las Vegas, and an interesting reference for a British band to make. When we asked Yes frontman/lyricist Jon Anderson about it, he explained: "I'd just been to Vegas and it was amazing how crazy the place was and how silly we are. Silly human race. It was something to do with how crazy we can be as a human race to be out there flittering money around and gambling, trying to earn that big payout, when actually that's not what life is truly about. Our life is truly about finding our divine connection with God, if you like. You know, that's why we live.

    And whenever I sing that song, it always comes back to me that I'm singing about that kind of Caesar's Palace, morning glory, sweet human race - it's on a sailing ship to nowhere, planet earth. The planet earth is not going anywhere. It's going around the sun, of course, but we're on this sailing ship to nowhere, leaving anyplace. It's like Earth Mother. So don't worry about stuff, it's not our fault if things go wrong." (Here's our full Jon Anderson interview.)
  • The Vietnam War was an influence on this song. Governments fight wars, not men and women - therefore yours is no disgrace. The message is that war has no winners and no real meaning - as Jon Anderson has explained, the young people going off to fight the war had no say in the matter, and the war itself was certainly not their fault.

    "Death defying, mutilated armies scatter the earth, Crawling out of dirty holes, their morals, their morals disappear" - killing is brutal and cruel, but the disgrace falls not on the soldiers, but on those who orchestrated the war.
  • Steve Howe devised a completely new opening to this song specifically for the Yessongs live album, a decision that was made at the last minute. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD
  • The entire band is credited with writing this song. Steve Howe has said that his guitar part is one of his favorite contributions to Yes. With modern equipment, they were able to do overdubs, which was new to Howe. "It was a 'studioized' solo because it was made up in different sections," he said. "I became three guitarists."
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Comments: 21

  • Jason F. from Los Osos, Ca. U.s.a.I play play a ton of TT board games and role playing games. This song fires my imagination to seek adventure in the theater of the minds eye. Great Musicianship. It could be different for some people and meanings can be many things to many other people. I love to listen to Yes(and this song) while(whilst) I drive. Super great art/prog rock!
  • Joe from CaJon is a classic western liberal. He absolves the modern western liberal from all past and present evils perpetrated by King & State. He was far ahead of his time as this form of thinking has grown to a crescendo in present progressive thinking, unfortunately the present day liberal has contorted this perspective into an unhealthy and misplaced western civilization guilt. Jon on the other hand left guilt out of his perspective and understood that those humans of good nature and intent are not responsible nor condone sins of past & present day.
  • Michael from San Diego, CaDear songfacts dudes,

    "I always thought that this song was about the raggedy ann doll---evil knievel ---yours is no disgrace before mr. Bill came along with father guido sarducci: my father's middle name was guido on a real roman catholic birth certificate---so-he always pissed me off.Va!!!
  • Bill from Phoenix, AzYes this song is about war. The question is, where is that war happening?
  • Rivaldo from Alagoinhas, BrazilAs músicas não estáo abrindo para ouvir. Não consigo ouvir a música yours is no disgrace bem com nenhuma dela há muinto tempo. Corrija elas por favor. Gostaria que voces incluissem "AMERICA" , e THE CALLING que faz o maios sucesso aquí no Brasil. São musicas que não podem ficar de fora

    -sf- : google translate : auto to english::

    The songs are not open to listen. I can not hear the music Yours Is No Disgrace well with it there is no muinto time. Fix them please. I wish you guys would include "AMERICA", and THE CALLING that is the greatest achievement aquarium in Brazil. They are songs that can not stay away
  • Dom from Southampton, United KingdomWeirdly the instrumental break in this song was used as a theme to the BBC nightly news programme through the 70s in Scotland!
  • Corey from Barrie, OnThe line "shining, flying purple wolfhounds" refers to British slang for a particular type of fighter jet.

    And yes, this song is about the Vietnam War.

    "Caesar's palace" --> gives a real governmental, dictator feel to the song, doesn't it?
  • Michael from OxfordPure coincidence, I'd say. But yeah... kind of.
  • Kent Lyle from Cincinnati, OhListen to Pink Floyd's "The Gnome" and tell me that the acoustic section of this song doesn't remind you of it, at least a little.
  • Lauren from Maryville, MoThe "shining flying purple wolfhounds" line (which I also like) was picked by one columnist (Dave Barry? I don't remember) as one of the worst lines in rock music.
  • Jim from Somewhere, PaHaving seen Yes "In The Round" about 8 times, I can imagine that one may feel as if they'er in a microwave with the lights being that close. Must be hot.. I suffered on stage under simular lighting, and its not fun.....
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaA Live YES show with a Microwave??? they must have thought of Fralile in a Kitchen...
  • Steve from Alexandria, VaThe first albumn i bought was Yes Fragile back in 1974. (I was 12) I saw Yes in concert in 1978 with Wakeman and Bill Bruford. They played on a huge round stage that revolved like a rotissarie in a microwave. Great concert!!!
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaI really think Yes is the best band in the world!! No one can do what steve howe can do. neither can anyone do the FANTASTIC!! keyboards that he wonderful Rick Wakmen can do. If you have listend to "Awaken" off "Going For The One" Wakemen does the best orgen i've ever heard in my life!! Jon anderson is a great singer aswell!! YES RULES!!
  • Tom from Freiburg, GermanySteve Howe is the most adventerous rock guitarist ever. He walks the fine line between rawness and finesse and has never been afraid to walk where no other guitarist has gone before. He is my overall favourite guitarist - even if there had been nothing else from him but "Clap".
  • Gregg from Denver, CoI love the "shining, flying, purple wolf-hounds" line !!!
  • Kent Lyle from Palo Alto, CaThe first Yes song credited to the entire band. Yes went through cycles of either listing individual songwriters or crediting everything on the album to all of the members. Still, most of the basic musical ideas generally originate from Anderson.
  • Kent Lyle from Palo Alto, CaAnderson's former bandmate from his Warriors days, David Foster, claimed he co-wrote part of this song with Anderson but was never credited. He even released an autobiography titled after the song. Foster did receive co-writing credit for "Sweet Dreams" and "Time and a Word" from the previous album.
  • John from Surrey, EnglandMaybe the second song with Steve Howe - but the first Steve recorded with them was the long 3 chord section at the end of Starship Trooper (The Wurm?)
  • Jonathan from Ann Arbor, MiThis is a great song. When I first heard it I just smiled. I kept thinking, "this is really good" I love the guitar break in the middle Steve Howe is a genius. When he came, they were their best.
  • Robert from Chicago, IlFirst Yes song featuring Steve Howe on guitar. Clocks in at 9:40.
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