El tema fue publicado en mayo de 1967 y es reconocido casi de inmediato por la recurrente melodía de órgano Hammond interpretado por Matthew Fisher que, sumados a la voz de Gary Brooker y a la misteriosa letra de Keith Reid, lo convirtieron en un éxito de venta inmediato y lo transformaron en un clásico.
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I was feeling kinda seasick but the crowd called out for more.
The room was humming harder as the ceiling flew away
when we called out for another drink the waiter brought a tray.
And so it was that later as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale.
She said, 'There is no reason and the truth is plain to see.'
but I wandered through my playing cards and would not let her be.
One of sixteen vestal virgins who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open they might have just as well've been closed.
She said, 'I'm home on shore leave,' though in truth we were at sea
so I took her by the looking glass and forced her to agree.
Saying, 'You must be the mermaid who took Neptune for a ride.'
but she smiled at me so sadly that my anger straightway died.
If music be the food of love then laughter is its queen
and likewise if behind is in front then dirt in truth is clean.
My mouth by then like cardboard seemed to slip straight through my head
so we crash-dived straightway quickly and attacked the ocean bed.