Today at the Crown Court in London, former Procul “Whiter Shade of Pale” Harum keyboardist Matthew Fisher is claiming £1 million in unpaid royalties, for creating the song’s distinctive organ riff.

It’s little known however that the original lyrics were a Nostradamus-like account of Australian politics in 2006, and Crikey can present them here for the first time.

Whiter Shade of Pale originally recorded by Neocon Bedlam in 1967 based on JS Bach’s Air on a Dog-whistle

We crapped our pants in Canberra

When Petro said he’d cross the floor

Still seasick from the Tampa

but the crowd called out for more

The party’s mood was darker

As our strong lead fell away

Clearly time for a rethink

As Pelosi won the day

And so it was that later

We made a fuss about the veil

And we tried to turn core values

To a whiter shade of pale

We said there is no reason

To believe Green prophecy

But we’d long played all our marked cards

As everyone could see

we’d told sixteen varied versions

Of why our farmland’s dry as toast

And though our eyes looked open

They might just as well be closed

And so it was that later

we made the imams wail

And with a lynching of Hilali

Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said I’m home on shore leave

Though in truth we are at sea

When I read the Tele-Mirror [as was]

Then I can’t help but agree

Said you must be the Boneheads

Who took us a for a ride

Looked at me with shock and awe

Then half a million Arabs died

And so in Minnesota

A muslim cabbie won’t take ale

Made the Oz front page later

A whiter shade of pale

And so we said we love you

And the cheque is in the mail

And if it’s in the mouth at least

you’ll be a whiter shade of pale

A whiter shade of pale

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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