Album: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970)
Charted: 48
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  • He had white horses
    And ladies by the score
    All dressed in satin
    And waiting by the door

    Ooh, what a lucky man he was
    Ooh, what a lucky man he was

    White lace and feathers
    They made up his bed
    A gold covered mattress
    On which he was laid

    Ooh, what a lucky man he was
    Ooh, what a lucky man he was

    He went to fight wars
    For his country and his king
    Of his honor and his glory
    The people would sing

    Ooh, what a lucky man he was
    Ooh, what a lucky man he was

    A bullet had found him
    His blood ran as he cried
    No money could save him
    So he laid down and he died

    Ooh, what a lucky man he was
    Ooh, what a lucky man he was Writer/s: Gregory Lake
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, MUSIC SALES CORPORATION
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 28

  • Memphisbelle from Memphis, TnFantastic song.
  • Nachia Hansen from Washington StateI believe this song was about the infamous Richard Neville of the 1400's, also known as "King Maker" he was popular, wealthy and charismatic. He was killed in battle
  • Szotman from Merrillville , InIf you want to know where Alternative Rock began, just go to the 3:16 mark of Lucky Man. 'Nuff said.
  • Rick from Indian LakeI remember an early version of this song that played during the Vietnam war that had the sounds of fighting and bagpipes playing just before the song resumes with " a bullet that found him". But I cannot find this version anywhere
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer:
    Greg Lake, guitarist with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died Wednesday (December 7th, 2016) of cancer at the age of 69...
    Born in Poole, Dorset, England, he learned to play guitar at age 12 and, in 1969, formed King Crimson with his friend Roger Fripp. The group shot to fame with their classic album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King", but Greg was gone after their second album ("In The Wake Of Poseidon") a year later, having been approached by Keith Emerson to form ELP with Carl Palmer. Though primarily an album-oriented band (including the classics "Pictures At An Exhibition" and "Brain Salad Surgery"), they charted four times on the singles charts, as well, with staples like "Lucky Man" (#48-1971 and #51-1972), "Nut Rocker" (#70 in 1972), and "From The Beginning" (#39-1972)— with Greg producing most of their material. The group broke up in 1979 (having sold a reported 49 million records and earning 7 gold records) though Greg and Keith re-formed ELP with Cozy Powell in 2010. Greg is also remembered for his anti-Christmas tune "I Believe In Father Christmas" (#95) in 1975, he also made the Top 100 with "C'est La Vie" (#91 in 1977) and "Let Me Love You Once" (#48 in 1981)...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Howard from Levittown, PaRecently, I wasn't sure if. "Lucky Man" was intended as a dry satire, especially from the mind of the man who would write "I Believe in Father Christmas. " Nothing about that here, but from me.
  • Pavel from Mikulov, Czech RepublicSuper song/ return to my youth...
  • Josh from Champaign, IlI don't believe Lucky Man was written about JFK. The historical record seems pretty clear that Lake wrote the song when he was twelve years old. Lake was born in 1947, making him 12 years old in 1959, JFK was killed four years later.
  • Greg from New Windsor, NyI once heard on a classic rock station in NYC that this song was about Kennedy (I believe Robert).
  • Lance from Wilkes Barre, PaA lot is written about Emerson's Moog solo which is outstanding...but how about Palmer's drumming at the end of the song...listen carefully and you will hear the drumming mimic the fallen soldier's fluttering heart as it fibrillates while he this creative or what???
  • Chris from Alhambra, CaI was ditching high school in 1971 and I was in in my friends car,,, (getting baked),,, and I heard the moog solo at end,,,, Being a piano player I jumped out of my seat and said "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?" Keith Emerson is one of the greatest rock keyboardists of our day!!!! I still play his music to this day.
  • John from Nashua, NhI played this song extremely loud in a stereo store on AR-90 speakers and at the end of the song where the moog dips into some seriously low db tones I CLIPPED BOTH SPEAKERS! HAHAHA!!! I'll never forget that. I got kicked out of the store. Oh yeah...umm...I was pretty baked at the time.
  • Thegripester from Wellington, New ZealandOne of the urban legends floating around in the 70's was that this song was about JFK.
  • Jesse from Madison, WiI do like this song alot, namely the Moog solo at the end, but I find it rather unfortunate that it somewhat "defined" ELP. It shouldn't have branded the band as just another "rock band". Thank GOD really Emerson added that Moog at the end to help define the deeper meaning behind the band. That helped people realize that this band was truly progressive and their album cuts BLOW AWAY Lucky Man. Their albums were all strong until Love Beach, and Emerson feels people undercut that album too much. He really did like some of the material on it. But the press wins in the end and stupid American audiences never will fully appreciate what ELP really was - the ultimate over-the-top progressive band!
  • Jay from Sunset, UtIn High School (back in 1974) in one of my classes they showed the movie "El Cid". I still, to this day, every time I hear the song think of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid).
    I always change two words in my mind. Change "a bullet" to "an arrow" and "no money" to "no body".

    The Moog ending made me want a synthesizer so bad that I took electronics classes and built my own! I owe my interest to electronics to this song! Love it!!
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThis was played near-incessantly in 1970 by the same station I was listening to that wore out the grooves on Neil's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and CSNY's "Deja Vu". It was contextualized not just as an anti-war song, but anti-Vietnam in particular, as so many songs were at that time.
  • Tony from Stavanger, NorwayHave to admit I was never a big fan of ELP preferring Emerson's previous band The Nice and Lake's previous album 'In The Court Of The Crimson King'. That said I've always liked this song despite the fact that Lake thought it pretty basic since he wrote it in his teens. Must mention one of the best quotes I've ever read, by UK Radio legend, the late, great John Peel who once described ELP as, "A tragic waste of talent and electricity". Superb!
  • Roger from Rochester, NyThis is one of the all time classics and ELP is the all-time greatest prog rock band and the most under-rated band overall. Long Live ELP!!!
  • Luigino from Miami, FlYou are right Stephen, the whole song is written in "Past Sentence" and in "3rd Person". Definitely somebody is telling the story of this rich man, and probably from his funeral. This song has something magic that reaches inside your soul. Those guys take 3 simple chords and make art of it. Amazing!
    - Luigi, Miami, FL.
  • Allie from Pine Knob, MiThe song is pretty sad if you listen to it.
    But i love the acoustic guitar.
    Sounds like a ballad to me
  • Wes from Sherwood, Arstephen claymont,unless its urban legend i always thought the song was about jfk--john kennedy
  • Wes from Sherwood, Argreat song and easy to play for beginning guitarists! g d, chorus am em d---thats it!
  • Barry from New York, NcAlthough the story behind the recording of LUCKY MAN is that the song was recorded at the end of the ELP debut album sessions, this might not be true. According to the liner notes in the ELP box set "Return To Manticore," the album was recorded from July to September 1970 (on either side of their appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival). The liner notes states that LUCKY MAN being recorded at the July session (wheras "Knife Edge" and "Three Fates" from the album were recorded in September). Either the liner notes are incorrect, or the truth is that LUCKY MAN was not a last-minute leftover for the album after all!!
  • Chris from New York, NyEmerson Lake and Palmer is so underrated it boggles my mind. i have three of their albums and their are all great and one of them includes this great song. also includes on of the most famous synth solos at the end.
  • Stephen from Claymont , DeIf you listen to the song, you can hear that it is about a funeral. In the funeral they are talking about the lost life of a rich guy who had a great life and then that changed when he was drafted to go to the war. During the war he was shot now they are talking in the funeral...
  • Ethan from Franklin, TnI recently read "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and this song reminds me of Jay Gatsby.
  • David from Pitsburgh, PaI grew up in the Rockies in the 1970s, learning Waylon and Willie songs on my acoustic. But long before that I was singing Lucky Man between classes in Blacksburg VA. One of the greatest ballads by a rock band, to be sure, whether one likes ELP or the rock genre at all or not.
  • Jim from Oxnard, CaAnother one of those "throwaways becoming classics" stories.
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