Tracks

01. Prologue
02. The Awareness
03. Eyes Of Time
04. The Banishment
05. Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy
06. Sail Away To Avalon
07. Nature's Dance
08. Computer-Reign (Game Over)
09. Waracle
10. Listen To The Waves
11. Magic Ride
12. Merlin's Will
13. The Charm Of The Seer
14. Swan Song
15. Ayreon's Fate



01. Prologue

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
A The Time Telepathy Experiment
Vocals: Edward Reekers

This is the voice of Merlin. Listen well, for it concerns you. This chronicle commences in the year 2084 A.D. Mankind has virtually destroyed itself. Its survival depends on 'The Final Experiment'.

Scientists from the 21st century have developed a new computerprogram called 'Time Telepathy'. By using this technique they have sent visions of humanities' decline back in time. These transmissions have been received by the mind of a blind minstrel who lives in 6th century Britain. His name.... is "Ayreon".

B Overture
(instrumental)

C Ayreon's Quest
Vocals: Edward Reekers

It shall be Ayreon's quest to sing of these visions and thus warn the world of its impending downfall in order to change its future into a long and prosperous one. Let us go back to "the Dark Ages".


02. The Awareness

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
A The Premonition

A strange sensation comes over Ayreon, as if something mysterious is about to occur.

B Dreamtime (Words Become A Song)
Vocals: Edward Reekers

Ayreon:
A cry in the silence
A shine in the dark
Like a rising star
The dream is coming

Images of violence
A flight through time and space
It's such a lonely place
The dream has started

The smoke is rising
The vision's getting clearer
And words become a song
In the dreamtime

I've lost control
Marooned and cold
I suffer the fears
Of a future untold
I cannot change
The shape of things to come

The smoke is rising
The vision's getting clearer
The hands of time are whirling around
I'm realising
The future's getting nearer
And words become a song

C The Awakening

Abruptly the vision ends and Ayreon recedes into his darkness.


03. Eyes Of Time

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
A Eyes Of Time
Vocals: Lenny Wolf

It slowly dawns on Ayreon that these visions he is experiencing are visions of the future. But he does not fully comprehend their importance yet.

Ayreon:
I cannot see with these eyes
My world is dark
Like a cold eternal night

I could not tell you no lies
My words are lost
In a shroud of mystery

Villagers:
Tell me what you see
Ayreon:
I cannot tell you now
I see the world through the eyes of time
Villagers:
Tell me what you feel
Ayreon:
I wouldn't know how
I cannot free my mind
From the eyes of time

I do not know where I am
I'm lost in time
Drifting in eternity

I cannot tell if it's real
Or fantasy
Or a view of things to come

I'm still trying to understand
Why do I see the things I see
Could it be a future world
That's warning us through me
I'm still trying to understand
Why do I know the things I know
Does it mean I'm a god
Will nobody tell me so?

B Brainwaves

It all gets too confusing for Ayreon and the thin line between illusion and reality fades.


04. The Banishment

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
A A New Dawn

A perceptible tension is hovering above Ayreon's hometown. Something is at hand.

B The Gathering

The townspeople gather on the market square to judge of Ayreon. Is he a prophet or a charlatan, or even worse: an apparition most unholy?

C The Accusation
Vocals: Robert Soeterboek

The villagers accuse Ayreon of being the devil's spawn, but Ayreon persists in his innocence.

Villagers:
Have you seen his eyes
Up in the skies
Like hypnotized
And he never smiles
He never cries

Have you heard his song
Fierce and strong
Right or wrong
Should he be condemned
For he doesn't belong

Ayreon:
What have I done
Villagers:
You've aroused the forces of destruction
Ayreon:
What have I done
Villagers:
You've unleashed the rage of the gods
Ayreon:
What have I done
Villagers:
You've denounced the wonder of creation
Ayreon:
What have I done
Villagers:
You've betrayed your own,
Now you have to pay

It has been foretold
In days of old
'N evil soul
Will corrupt the world
To achieve his goal

He's the devil's seed
An evil breed
He's gonna make you bleed
He'll take all he needs
With uncontrollable greed

Ayreon:
I've done nothing at all,
No nothing at all

D The Banishment

With sticks and torches in hand, the angry villagers drive Ayreon out of their demesne.

E Oblivion
Vocals: Jan-Chris de Koeijer

Completely exhausted Ayreon roams through the forest, only an indistinct sense of unaccomplishment sustains him.

Ayreon:
If I have died, then this must be hell
If I'm alive, I cannot break this gruesome spell
I am seeking relief and finding none
I have fallen into oblivion

A force within dominates my tormented soul
And empowers me to regain absolute control
I shall not yield, for I am the chosen one
Who shall rise from oblivion


05. Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy

Music by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Lyrics by Ian Parry
Vocals: Ian Parry

A new horizon
Hear the travelers call
Behold there lies a kingdom
Go forth ye minstrel tall

Sing of your wisdom
Spread tidings of joy
A feast of song and laughter
Ye courtyard minstrel boy

O'dance thee 'round the table
For conquerors and kings
Thou must win the heart of Gwenhwyfar
Fair maiden of the king

Thy lord thy master
Arthur thee so bold
Heed the words of Ayreon
And thy future will unfold

Sing ye tales of wonder
Whilst ye hide behind the joy
Cast thy spell asunder
Ye courtyard minstrel boy

Sing ye, oh sing ye, courtyard minstrel boy

A day of splendour
How beautiful birds sing
Ladies, lords and masters
And rainbows he would bring

A child's sadness
Sweet dreams, oh princely boy
Let thyne eyes reveal the madness
Ye courtyard minstrel boy


06. Sail Away To Avalon

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Barry Hay

To entertain the court, Ayreon makes up a song about the brave Knights of the Round Table and their journey to the isle of Avalon in search of the Holy Grail.

Ayreon:
Noble men in shining armour
Knights of the table-round
Go out and ride like thunder
Cross the sky at the speed of

Sound the horn, 'n blow the trumpets
Upon the castle wall
Now the quest has started
Listen to the prophet's call

Sail away
Sail away to Avalon
The journey has begun
Sail away through the night
Sail away, never die
The gods are at your side
Sail away through the night

Ride on the road to glory
Find the Holy Grail
And learn the ancient story
'S more than just a fairy-

Tale about the key to life
And all its mysteries
You'll find the grail within you
Slay the dragon in your dreams!


07. Nature's Dance

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Ayreon retires in the garden of dreams surrounding Camelot, enjoys the wonders of nature and reflects on his fate. He now fully understands, and reluctantly submits to his destiny.

Ayreon:
I can smell the grass
And touch the flowers
Among the trees
I pass the hours
And fantasize
I let the dance of nature
Inspire me
Now my mind is free
From apparitions
I switch off like a 'television'
And close my eyes

And I wish that I could see
Like everybody can
How I wish that I could be
Like any other man

I can't see the sun
But I sense its glow
I hear the sound of water flowing
Down the stream
And my heart cries out
For a little bit love
But I know that it was not meant to be
So I'll fulfill my destiny
And accept my fate

Still I wish that I could see
Like everybody can
How I wish that I could be
Like any other man  


08. Computer-Reign (Game Over)

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Ian Parry

Ayreon describes a distant future in which technology triumphs over passion, and "serving" computers will gradually gain control over mankind.

Ayreon:
I see a future cold as ice
Where all the love has gone
I see a race that pays the price
For everything it's done

I see shadows of giant machines
Cast upon the land
I see a world where kings nor queens
But chips are in command

COMPUTER...COMPUTER...COMPUTER...COMPUTER-REIGN

Now the end has just begun
Technology has won
And it cannot be undone
There will be nowhere to run
Now the damage has been done

GAME OVER! GAME OVER!

I see a game gone out of hand
And memories erased
I see a programmed master plan
And man will be replaced

I see a planet die in space
And slowly fade away
I see the end of the human race
There has to be a way!


09. Waracle

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Jan van Feggelen

Ayreon sings of the uselessness of the countless wars to come, and the absurdity of the final annihilation by the push of just one button by just one man.

Ayreon:
Echoes of a thousand screams
Smoke, blood and fire
A deserted battlefield
Millions of men will die
At one man's desire
And the docile mass will yield

All through the ages
Men will die before their time
In an everlasting war
As long as man is taught
That war is not a crime
Man will fight for evermore

Out of the ashes
A war-lord will arise
And tyrannize the land
His reign of terror
Will cost many a sacrifice
An inferno is at hand

All through the centuries
Men will be caged
In the name of liberty
As long as man shall live
Wars will be waged
Or will we ever be set free?
Set me free!

The road to ruin
Gets shorter all the time
As technology will improve
It takes but one man
To commit the ultimate crime
And make the final move


10. Listen To The Waves

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Ayreon warns the people that if man does not mend his ways, man will contaminate the skies, so there will be no more air to breathe, he will poison the seas, so there will be no more water to drink and he will pollute the land, so there will be no more food to live on.

Ayreon:
All the trees have fallen
The soil is scorched and dry
I can't respire
A storm of fire
Is raging in the sky

Where is all the wildlife
Extinct from pole to pole
The hunt for skin
A deadly sin
Took its heavy toll

The seas are red, the skies are grim
The soil is filled with graves
The earth is dead, the sun is dim
Listen to the waves

We befoul the air
And burn a hole in the sky
Deadly rays
From outer space
Cause our race to die

Standing at the crossroads
A choice of life and death
We'll take more care
And clear the air
Or take our final breath


11. Magic Ride

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Somehow Ayreon senses that his fate is upon him, and he implores, no he commands his future tormentors to grant him one last moment of splendour in place of all the misery that haunts his mind. But no one hears his plea...

Ayreon:
I sense a fear
Deep inside
The end is near
I cannot hide
Blood is spilt
My quest is unfulfilled

There's still so much
I long to see
I need to touch
I wish to be
I can't believe
This is all I can achieve

Hark me now and let me go

To far-away lands and distant shores
An angel at my side
No evil plans or future wars
Take me high on a magic ride

Did you ever care
How I could feel
As you dreamt up
This one-way deal
My lords of time
Don't you understand

My life's been rough
I was born to lose
I've had enough
Of them future-blues
Grant my wish
My wish is your command


12. Merlin's Will

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Leon Goewie

Merlin, who is unaffected by -and therefore ignorant of- the "Time Telepathy" experiment, assumes that Ayreon's prophecies are deceptive, and so Ayreon must be silenced. Or could there be an undertone of envy in his words?

Merlin:
Ayreon, don't you know who I am
Ayreon, I'll have you know that I can
Charm you with a wave of my hand
You bow to my command

Ayreon, you're an evil stranger
Ayreon, you've become a danger
Your words are all but a lie
I vow that ye shall die

Knights:
It's Merlin's will, his will be done
The end has come for Ayreon
It's Merlin's will
And his will be done

Merlin:
Ayreon, you're in my domain now
Ayreon, I renounce your name now
No one will know who you are
You'll fade out like a star


13. The Charm Of The Seer

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Vocals: Ruud Houweling, Lucie Hillen

Ayreon understands that he was not individually chosen for the "time telepathy experiment", but that he unintentionally received its transmissions. This could be because of a more developed sixth sense as a result of his blindness. He also realises that he can neither accomplish his mission, nor stop the visions from penetrating his mind. His sole escape is to submit to the magic charm of the great seer Merlin.

Ayreon:
I've been lost in the valley of nightmares
I've been found in the garden of dreams
Speak thy charm; I know you are out there
Cast thy spell and silence the screams

But as I poise on the edge of life
Where time disappears
I bow in fear
To the charm of the seer

I've seen fear in valiant faces
I've seen hope in desperate eyes
Lead me home to familiar places
Lead me back to crystalline skies

And as I poise on the edge of life
Where time disappears
I bow in fear
To the charm of the seer

I have failed, I have been forsaken
I've been scorned and misunderstood
I have lost, my life has been taken
I'd surrender if only I could


14. Swan Song

Music by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Merlin grants Ayreon his last request: to experience one last brief moment of serenity. Flashes of his past life pass before his eyes.


15. Ayreon's Fate

Music & lyrics by Arjen Anthony Lucassen
A Ayreon's Fate
Vocals: Leon Goewie (verses), Robert Soeterboek (chorus)

Ayreon desperately attempts to convince Merlin of his sincerity, but Merlin won't hear of it and casts his spell on poor Ayreon.

Ayreon:
Misguided Merlin
You fail to understand
I could never be your rival
I was just a pawn
In a future master plan
For the purpose of survival

Merlin:
Ayreon, I've cast my spell on you
I have no faith, you cannot be true
Ayreon!

Ayreon:
I forgive you Merlin
For you don't know what you've done
Even for you, it was all a mystery
One day you'll see
That I was the one
Who could change the course of history

Merlin:
Ayreon, your words are all in vain
Close your eyes, there 'll be no more pain
Oh Ayreon...

B Merlin's Prophecy
Vocals: Robert Soeterboek (1st singer), Ian Parry (2nd singer), Mirjam van Doorn (3rd singer), Jan van Feggelen (4th singer), Leon Goewie (5th singer), Debby Scheuder (6th singer)

Merlin is stricken with grief for he has had a vision that proves Ayreon to be genuine. Reluctant to pass into eternity as the martyr of mankind, Merlin vows that Ayreon's word will be spread in the 20th century, in the hope that it will not be too late and that man will heed his premonitions.

Merlin:
I see one day
His story will be told
At the end of the 20th century
I see one day
The truth will unfold
And the quest has now begun
Oh Ayreon!

I hope one day
That man will understand
It's in his power to change his destiny
I hope one day
He'll do all that he can
And all the nations will be one
Oh Ayreon!

C Epilogue
Vocals: Edward Reekers

The outcome of the Final Experiment has now been placed in your hands........