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Blue Öyster Cult — Don't Fear The Reaper
Album: Agents of Fortune
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2334









Released: 1976
Length: 4:53
Plays (last 30 days): 1
All our times have come
Here, but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun, or the rain (We can be like they are)

Come on, baby (Don't fear the reaper)
Baby, take my hand (Don't fear the reaper)
We'll be able to fly (Don't fear the reaper)
Baby, I'm your man

La la la la la
La la la la la

Valentine is done
Here, but now they're gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity (Romeo and Juliet)
Forty-thousand men and women every day (Like Romeo and Juliet)
Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness)
Another forty-thousand coming every day (We can be like they are)

Come on, baby (Don't fear the reaper)
Baby, take my hand (Don't fear the reaper)
We'll be able to fly (Don't fear the reaper)
Baby, I'm your man

La la la la la
La la la la la

Love of two is one
Here, but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
The door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew and then he appeared (Saying don't be afraid)

Come on, baby (And she had no fear)
And she ran to him (Then they started to fly)
They looked backward and said goodbye (She had become like they are)
She had taken his hand (She had become like they are)
Come on, baby (Don't fear the reaper)
Comments (350)add comment
I find it fascinating that you can find a song like this where it is really far beyond most songs on many levels, but the band's other music never hit the mark again (mostly).  

This song just blows me away with:
- Great lyrics and concept
- Great music writing
- Great playing
- Excellent production
 LaurieinTucson wrote:
it's symphonic
it's dramatic
it's poetic 
it has the whole cowbell history
it has everything 
 

"More Cowbell" so funny 
 wtango wrote:
Great song. 
But I always wondered what these lines mean:

"Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness)
Another forty-thousand coming every day..."

Is the speaker saying that's how many people die every day?  If so, that seems low to me...
 
Buck Dharma was just guessing at the number of deaths- at the time the number was closer to 135,000.  Source-songfacts.com
 jffhns wrote:
 
Christopher Walken has the same problem, people quote the skit to him all the time. Like he's never done anything else...
Great song. 
But I always wondered what these lines mean:

"Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness)
Another forty-thousand coming every day..."

Is the speaker saying that's how many people die every day?  If so, that seems low to me...
 hifigreg wrote:
Ummmm, more cowbell ?
 
SNL totally ruined this song! I can't think of anything other than "More Cowbell"
data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AA...
 musikluvr wrote:
COWBELL

{#Dancingbanana_2} Don't fear the Cowbell
 
I don't fear any cowbell but I  worry about all the lost cows.
I can't hear this song and NOT think of The Stand.
Checked a live Blue Oyster Cult arena show off the list back in 1992 - B.O.C. and Steppenwolf popped into town together. A Local Spokane Washington radio station ran a free ticket promotion, and my old pal and I skipped school and blasted down to the ticket location in his 1972 two door Pontiac "Green Machine".  Swamp green to be exact. I actually had low expectations as I wasn't a huge fan of either band, other then their radio hits. Pretty great show. Lots of a guitar shred! Good check off for the young 17 year old me.
 Art_Carnage wrote:
I can never hear this song without thinking about the original "Halloween" movie, and how it was perfectly used in the soundtrack.
 

For me it's Stephen King's "The Stand". First the book, then the 90's miniseries. I should probably check out Halloween though, seems I never got around to watching that one. :)
Ummmm, more cowbell ?
Wikipedia says they were active 1967-present. Present? Not hardly. Even when you click their band link, the webpage appears to be frozen in 1992. At least we have the music!
https://gph.is/1Szm7Z0
as I can see  - Rock Mix consists mainly from groups from the 80's.. why? There are no contemporary rock bands?

This is one of the few songs you can find on every digital music device I own. 
Iconic song.  'nuff said.
Plain and simple, I love this song.  The whole album is something that I can still listen to from beginning to end.  And they are a freaking hoot live.


{#Cowboy}
 Pjesnik wrote:
Which side you are on? That is,  Atlantic. :-)  
  Nomen Omen...  Scottish side

 ScottishWillie wrote:
Grossly overplayed (even on this side of the Atlantic) for 40 years but I still adore it every time I hear it!
 
Which side you are on? That is,  Atlantic. :-)  


 Aoxomoxoa wrote:


You don't have to agree, you could still afford to be a little sympathetic...
I see this as being overly sensitive to a non-issue (a misinterpretation as already discussed). I am puzzled as to why we expected to tread on eggshells these days for fear of exciting those who look for ways of being upset - usually and especially on behalf of others, who more likely aren't unduly bothered themselves?  

This came on when I was setting out for my Aunt's funeral. She would have thought it apt! But she was 90 and I'm 60 so we were both taught/have learnt how to deal with life, and to not fear the reaper...

On the other side of the discussion we have 'in your face' morally dubious drill music and others of that ilk. Certainly not my bag, but there's apparently a market for it. Music will always affect the listener - that's what its all about, but it's all part of free expression. I might not agree with it but can't see why I should try to stop it being heard - unless its being inappropriately forced into my ears! 

One man's fish is another man's poisson  
We need more cowbell...
 Kilroy wrote:

Should we also ban Romeo and Juliet or the poems of Sylvia Plath?
 

You don't have to agree, you could still afford to be a little sympathetic...
my kids complain that i had all the good bands when i was young,i don't argue that, just wish i had at that time the money and time to have seen more of them!!!!  i don't give them money to see current bands for the reason they gave above; LOL
 ziggytrix wrote:
This song has been used in EVERYTHING but for some reason my brain thinks it was used in one of those Supernatural "Previously On" weekly recaps and reality is just NOT backing me up on this one. 
 
Maybe you're thinking of "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas?  (I may be suggesting that only because it's the only song I can immediately think of used in those Supernatural "The Road So Far..." recaps)
This song's about a suicide pact?  Hmm ... I've never thought that, and do not see it even after your suggestion.

My brother committed suicide thirty years ago, and I can guarantee you this song had nothing to do with it.  Suicidal folks have far deeper problems than listening to classic rock, and to suggest that this song might motivate them to pull the trigger is oversimplification to the highest.
Less cowbell.

( Which doesn't mean I don't like the song - just being contrary ;) )
I'm with the guy who said Don't Fear the Reefer.
Grossly overplayed (even on this side of the Atlantic) for 40 years but I still adore it every time I hear it!
Redmark wrote: This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it. Right so no one should ever play this song again ever. Hmmm. Should we start burning books too
This song has been used in EVERYTHING but for some reason my brain thinks it was used in one of those Supernatural "Previously On" weekly recaps and reality is just NOT backing me up on this one. 
I had all of their Cd' at one time. Still 9ne of the best bands of the 70's and 80's.
Wins the Cowbell contest, again
 socalhol wrote:
"And Gene, explore the space.  Really - explore the space." 

You got it Bruce
 

More cowbell! Great tune!
 LizK wrote:
Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.
  


Proclivities wrote:

The writer of this song (Buck Dharma) has always denied that allegation, which has been made since shortly after this song was released.
 
Like claiming Donald never fibs.    {#Shhh}

You see, to me, as a teen hearing this song, it brought the thought of "40,000 men and women everyday" to a curious sadness. It's one of the first songs I could really hear the lyrics without mistaking words and phrases. As a bipolar who gets tired of being asked the question "do you ever think of hurting yourself or others," this song still makes my heart ache for those who do and attempt it or succeed (and their families too).
 LizK wrote:
Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.
  


Proclivities wrote:

The writer of this song (Buck Dharma) has always denied that allegation, which has been made since shortly after this song was released.
 
Like claiming Donald never fibs.    {#Shhh}
 
Nope, it's not like claiming that at all; it's quite different.  It is generally easy to find verifiable proof of Donald's lies, but difficult to find proof of what Dharma was thinking about when he wrote these lyrics, other than what he has said about them.  I was merely stating that he had always denied the "suicide pact" allegation, I was not defending his assertion.
Reminds me of watching "Stoned Age" with friends in college. Sounds sad, but it was a happy time...
 bobcouch wrote:
Needs more cow bell.
 
Personally, I think it has just the right amount. 
Back in the day when I first heard this I thought he was singing "Don't Fear the Reefer"
 idiot_wind wrote:
Play something from the "Tyranny and Mutation". That was their best guitar album. In their day, they were a very good guitar band.  

 
Yes. Much better than Agents of Fortune. The self titled first album and Tyranny and Mutation are really unique. T&M sounds like amphetamines. The first album sounds like something that if it is not illegal then should be. 
Jeez. This song has so much potential. I wish they had released more than the two songs - Reaper and Days of May. I bet BOC could have some really great other songs that could be played on RP, had they tried.
Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.
  


Proclivities wrote:

The writer of this song (Buck Dharma) has always denied that allegation, which has been made since shortly after this song was released.
 
Like claiming Donald never fibs.    {#Shhh}
I laugh every time...Will Farrell at his most inspired/crazed...
This song belongs on RP but me... just can't get into it.  
This song needs more cowbell. {#Roflol}
 rmastrion wrote:
Is this Classic Rock
from SiriusXM?
 
You're not really familiar with what Radio Paradise is about, are you?
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Don't reap der fuhrer.
 
{#Lol}
Is this Classic Rock
from SiriusXM?
Don't reap der fuhrer.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Play something from the "Tyranny and Mutation". That was their best guitar album. In their day, they were a very good guitar band.  

 
Agreed. Their black and white period was their best. My favorite is their first album. Reaper is a hit for sure but the Agents of Fortune album is pretty weak.
Yann Tiersen's La Boulange to this was a great transition {#Cheers}
Cowbill
Needs more cow bell.
Play something from the "Tyranny and Mutation". That was their best guitar album. In their day, they were a very good guitar band.  
 randyblew wrote:
This played a bunch on AM radio when I was in 7th grade, and I SO fell in love with it. It was dark and mysterious and quite cool and rockin. They usually cut out the middle 8 with the semi-classical arpeggios, but still, a good tune by an interesting 70's band. Haunting. I mean c'mon, Romeo and Juliet, man! What more do you want? To a teenager at that time first exploring different musical sounds, it really meant a lot. Particularly on those cold Sunday nights with school the next morning and you were worried about the next day and the girl you liked and you didn't do your homework.

 
Cheers Randyblew!!!  Sweet nostalgia, perfectly stated  (cool song, imagine Patti Smith singing it : )
When it's all said and done, this really is a creepy song.
needs more cowbell
 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.

 
Should we also ban Romeo and Juliet or the poems of Sylvia Plath?
 divinemadness wrote:
You know, this song had its time and its place. it was Provo, Utah, for about ten minutes in the mid-70s, when disco was still a thing.

 
For me, this song was/is one of two classic "Get Psyched" songs  (the other being Locomotive Breath). In the late 70's as a college gymnast, I would play one of these two songs on my stereo in my dorm room at warp-volume 10 immediately before heading down to a meet - all in an effort to get psyched up for the competition!

One of the measures of great music is to be able to evoke emotions of times/places where the music was a significant part of our lives. This song was there for me....for a while.


 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.
 
The writer of this song (Buck Dharma) has always denied that allegation, which has been made since shortly after this song was released.
 bitbanger wrote:
Cultural pinnacle of Lön Güyland from their golden age of the 1970's

 
Lawnguylin    : (     wicked tune though!!!
 raewah wrote:

I would think that would only be a problem if you were willing to join a suicide pact.  I, for one, am not so therefore I think of it as a work of art.  

 
{#Clap}

"....a work of art, or an effort to create beauty, will always be regarded by some people as a personal attack."


Why not ban the bible?

Full of murder, slaughter, incest, infidelity, child abuse....to name but a few!
 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.

 
I would think that would only be a problem if you were willing to join a suicide pact.  I, for one, am not so therefore I think of it as a work of art.  
it's symphonic
it's dramatic
it's poetic 
it has the whole cowbell history
it has everything 
i can never hear this song the same since the SNL clip ripped it up!!! lol.  I can't find the full skit, but there are snippits in this excellent version... youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0ZQnfzIu8U  :) {#Bananajam}123K
Don't fear the Neeper indeed... sublime - heard it so many times
I get a fever every time I hear this song. :-)
 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.

 
Even if that was the case, I feel like this is a real broad stroke of censorship and I don't vibe with it. I'm betting if there was no art made about suicide it would happen a lot more often.

"I felt that I had just achieved some kind of resonance with the psychology of people when I came up with that, I was actually kind of appalled when I first realized that some people were seeing it as an advertisement for suicide or something that was not my intention at all. It is, like, not to be afraid of it (as opposed to actively bring it about). It's basically a love song where the love transcends the actual physical existence of the partners."

 — Buck Dharma, lead singer
 michaelc wrote:
I can not hear this without thinking "morecow bells"

 

 4GibMe wrote:

I can not hear this without thinking of my youthful past, of being with my buddies, in smoke filled rooms, having the munchies, and not being able to walk more then five steps, before forgetting what was going for? Ahhh, those were the days.

 
I hear you! {#Lol}
 michaelc wrote:
I can not hear this without thinking "morecow bells"

 
I can not hear this without thinking of my youthful past, of being with my buddies, in smoke filled rooms, having the munchies, and not being able to walk more then five steps, before forgetting what was going for? Ahhh, those were the days.
I can not hear this without thinking "morecow bells"
Bill & Rebecca need to add E.T.I. from Agents of Fortune to the library. The guitar outro is flawless.
 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.

 
bump
 Redmark wrote:
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.

 
Never made that association before, but I suppose it could be. I always thought of it as a song about immortal love.
Love it, but ruined forever by intrusive thoughts of Will and his cowbell....
I bet 80% of adults chuckle when this awesome song is played. I know I do
This is a song about a suicide pact. I wish you wouldn't play it.
Depending on your age this song was played to death on FM radio, still hard for me to listen to because of that!
what a bloody annoying song!
woo-hoo, psd Duran Duran's Rio and wind up hearing bout the Reaper, la la la la laaa laaa  : )

cool tune
 divinemadness wrote:
You know, this song had its time and its place. it was Provo, Utah, for about ten minutes in the mid-70s, when disco was still a thing.

 
This comment makes no sense, as this song has nothing to do with disco. 
 
Secret Treaties is my fav.
 coloradojohn wrote:
Time Machine! It WAS a mind-blowing song by a mind-blowing group at the time... I'm lucky and blessed to have seen them jam LIVE!

 
Agreed. Saw them at AstroWorld in Houston 1982.
Time Machine! It WAS a mind-blowing song by a mind-blowing group at the time... I'm lucky and blessed to have seen them jam LIVE!
 divinemadness wrote:
You know, this song had its time and its place. it was Provo, Utah, for about ten minutes in the mid-70s, when disco was still a thing.

 
That is oddly specific.
You know, this song had its time and its place. it was Provo, Utah, for about ten minutes in the mid-70s, when disco was still a thing.
A classic!
I got tired of this song a few decades ago.
best 5 song in mainer jugend , scheee wars
Ausgezeichnet! Ich möchte mehr Cowbell, bitte!
Wow, it just doesn't date.   1976!    gotta give it a  9.
Definitive.
{#Bananajam}
A just about perfect pop-rock tune. Lyrics up there with the very best.
 socalhol wrote:
"And Gene, explore the space.  Really - explore the space." 

You got it Bruce

 
I'm the cock of the walk!
Cultural pinnacle of Lön Güyland from their golden age of the 1970's
 ScottN wrote:
no.

 
yes.
"And Gene, explore the space.  Really - explore the space." 

You got it Bruce
This needs to be followed by John Barleycorn.
In my next life I want a name like Buck Dharma.
Perfect song to accompany the opening to the miniseries, The Stand.
COWBELL

{#Dancingbanana_2} Don't fear the Cowbell
Cheers Randyblew!!!  Sweet nostalgia, perfectly stated
no.
This played a bunch on AM radio when I was in 7th grade, and I SO fell in love with it. It was dark and mysterious and quite cool and rockin. They usually cut out the middle 8 with the semi-classical arpeggios, but still, a good tune by an interesting 70's band. Haunting. I mean c'mon, Romeo and Juliet, man! What more do you want? To a teenager at that time first exploring different musical sounds, it really meant a lot. Particularly on those cold Sunday nights with school the next morning and you were worried about the next day and the girl you liked and you didn't do your homework.
Gosh do I not like this song. Maybe it is too much cowbell? :)

PSD! Take me away! See ya'll on the other side.
Is there a chance we could reject this re-recorded version? I get why it happens but with such an iconic song, it's really distracting

on the upside: more cowbell!
=) 
 Gregorama wrote:
"Babies: you'll be wearing gold-plated diapers."
 
Hahaha! I just saw A Late Quartet on a long plane ride, featuring Christopher Walken "playing" the cello. I know he wanted to bust out a "you know what this Beethoven quartet needs?? Moah cowbell!"
Reverend Jim Jones' theme song.....
On Your Feet or On Your Knees...... a classic live album from when they were a great band!
MadTV did a hilarious skit centered on this song.  Anybody seen it?
I think this is the only BOC song I like and I really like it. 8.
Classic of all time,love it.
 linzie wrote:

Just saw these guys with The Outlaws in Weston, FL. at a free (if you can believe it) concert!!

Could NOT beat it for the price....Godzilla got 'em all up and singing!!! The Outlaws were pretty friggin good, also....had a 10 min Skynrd like guitar  war at the end of one of theyre standards..cant remember the name...."Green Fields and Highways?" something like that...

 

Green Grass and High Tides, perhaps? Outstanding song!
"Babies: you'll be wearing gold-plated diapers."
This is not the typical radio version, and the aforementioned cowbell is less pronounced in the mix! 
More Cowbell indeed.