Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds

1975 album

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is the debut album by Jeff Wayne, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, released in the United Kingdom on 9 June 1978. A concept album, its main format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story and rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. It has since spawned multiple versions of the album, video games, DVDs, and live tours.

JournalistEdit

  • No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.
  • At midnight on the 12th of August, a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth. Across 200 million miles of void, invisibly hurtling towards us came the first of the missiles that were to bring so much calamity to Earth. As I watched, there was another jet of gas. It was another missile, starting on its way.
  • And that's how it was for the next 10 nights. A flare, spurting out from Mars – bright green, drawing a green mist behind it – a beautiful, but somehow disturbing sight. Ogilvy, the astronomer, assured me we were in no danger. He was convinced there could be no living thing on that remote, forbidding planet.
  • Then came the night the first missile approached Earth. It was thought to be an ordinary falling star, but next day there was a huge crater in the middle of the Common, and Ogilvy came to examine what lay there: a cylinder, 30 yards across, glowing hot, and with faint sounds of movement coming from within. Suddenly the top began moving, rotating, unscrewing, and Ogilvy feared there was a man inside, trying to escape. He rushed to the cylinder, but the intense heat stopped him before he could burn himself on the metal.
  • It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance. It all seemed so safe and tranquil.
  • Next morning, a crowd gathered on the Common, hypnotized by the unscrewing of the cylinder. Two feet of shining screw projected when, suddenly, the lid fell off! Two luminous disc-like eyes appeared above the rim. A huge, rounded bulk, larger than a bear, rose up slowly, glistening like wet leather. Its lipless mouth quivered and slathered – and snake-like tentacles writhed as the clumsy body heaved and pulsated.
  • A few young men crept closer to the pit. A tall funnel rose, then an invisible ray of heat leapt from man to man and there was a bright glare, as each was instantly turned to fire. Every tree and bush became a mass of flames at the touch of this savage, unearthly Heat Ray.
  • People clawed their way off the Common, and I ran too. I felt I was being toyed with, that when I was on the very verge of safety, this mysterious death would leap after me and strike me down. At last I reached Maybury Hill and in the dim coolness of my home, I wrote an account for my newspaper before I sank into a restless, haunted sleep.
  • I woke to alien sounds of hammering from the pit, and hurried to the railway station to buy the paper. Around me, the daily routine of life – working, eating, sleeping – was continuing serenely as it had for countless years. On Horsell Common, the Martians continued hammering and stirring, sleepless, indefatigable, at work upon the machines they were making. Now and again, a light, like the beam of a warship's searchlight, swept the Common – and the Heat Ray was ready to follow.
  • In the afternoon, a company of soldiers came through and deployed along the edge of the Common, to form a cordon. That evening, there was a violent crash and I realized with horror that my home was now within range of the Martian's Heat Ray. At dawn, a falling star with a trail of green mist landed with a flash like summer lightning. This was the second cylinder.
  • Quickly, one after the other, four of the Fighting Machines appeared. Monstrous tripods, higher than the tallest steeple, striding over the pine trees and smashing them. Walking engines of glittering metal. Each carried a huge funnel and I realized with horror that I'd seen this awful thing before. A fifth Machine appeared on the far bank. It raised itself to full height, flourished the funnel high in the air – and the ghostly, terrible Heat Ray struck the town. As it struck, all five Fighting Machines exulted, emitting deafening howls which roared like thunder.
  • The six guns we had seen now fired simultaneously, decapitating a Fighting Machine. The Martian inside the hood was slain, splashed to the four winds, and the body, nothing now but an intricate device of metal, went whirling to destruction. As the other Monsters advanced, people ran away blindly, the Artilleryman among them, but I jumped into the water and hid until forced up to breathe. Now the guns spoke again, but this time the Heat Ray sent them to oblivion.
  • With a white flash, the Heat Ray swept across the river. Scalded, half-blinded and agonized, I staggered through leaping, hissing water towards the shore. I fell helplessly, in full sight of the Martians, expecting nothing but death. The foot of a Fighting Machine came down close to my head, then lifted again, as the four Martians carried away the debris of their fallen comrade... and I realized that by a miracle, I had escaped.
  • For three days I fought my way along roads packed with refugees, the homeless, burdened with boxes and bundles containing their valuables. All that was of value to me was in London, but by the time I reached their little red-brick house, Carrie and her father were gone.
  • Fire suddenly leapt from house to house. The population panicked and ran – and I was swept along with them, aimless and lost without Carrie. Finally, I headed Eastward for the ocean, and my only hope of survival – a boat out of England.
  • As I hastened through Covent Garden, Blackfriars and Billingsgate, more and more people joined the painful exodus. Sad, weary women, their children stumbling and streaked with tears, their men bitter and angry, the rich rubbing shoulders with beggars and outcasts. Dogs snarled and whined, the horses' bits were covered with foam... and here and there were wounded soldiers, as helpless as the rest. We saw tripods wading up the Thames, cutting through bridges as though they were paper – Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge. One appeared above Big Ben.
  • Never before in the history of the world had such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. This was no disciplined march – it was a stampede – without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.
  • A vast crowd buffered me towards the already packed steamer. I looked up enviously at those safely on board – straight into the eyes of my beloved Carrie! At sight of me she began to fight her way along the packed deck to the gangplank. At that very moment it was raised, and I caught a last glimpse of her despairing face as the crowd swept me away from her.
  • The steamer began to move slowly away – but on the landward horizon appeared the silhouette of a Fighting Machine. Another came, and another, striding over hills and trees, plunging far out to sea and blocking the exit of the steamer. Between them lay the silent, gray Ironclad Thunder Child. Slowly it moved towards shore; then, with a deafening roar and whoosh of spray, it swung about and drove at full speed towards the waiting Martians.
  • The Martians released their Black Smoke, but the ship sped on, cutting down one of the tripod figures. Instantly, the others released their Heat Rays and melted the Thunder Child‍'‍s valiant heart.
  • When the smoke cleared, the little steamer had reached the misty horizon, and Carrie was safe. But the Thunder Child had vanished forever, taking with her man's last hope for victory. The leaden sky was lit with green flashes, cylinder following cylinder, and nothing and no one was left now to fight them. The Earth belonged to the Martians.
  • Next day, the dawn was a brilliant, fiery red and I wandered through the weird and and lurid landscape of another planet; for the vegetation which gives Mars its red appearance had taken root on Earth. As Man had succumbed to the Martians, so our land now succumbed to the Red Weed.
  • Wherever there was a stream, the Red Weed clung and grew with frightening voraciousness, its claw-like fronds choking the movement of the water; and then it began to creep like a slimy red animal across the land, covering field and ditch and tree and hedgerow with living scarlet feelers, crawling, crawling!
  • As time passed in our dark and dusty prison, the Parson wrestled endlessly with his doubts. His outcries invited death for us both – and yet I pitied him.
  • Then, on the 9th day, we saw the Martians eating. Inside the hood of their new machine, they were draining the fresh, living blood of men and women and injecting it into their own veins.
  • The curious eye of a Martian appeared at the window-slit, and a menacing claw explored the room. I dragged the Parson down to the coal cellar. I heard the Martian fumbling at the latch. In the darkness I could see the claw touching things: walls, coal, wood – and then it touched my boot! I almost shouted! For a time it was still and then, with a click, it gripped something. The Parson! With slow, deliberate movements, his unconscious body was dragged away, and there was nothing I could do to prevent it.
  • I crept to the blocked window-slit and peered through the creeper. The Martians and all their machinery had gone! Trembling, I dug my way out and clambered to the top of the mound. Not a Martian in sight! The day seemed dazzling bright after my imprisonment, and the sky a glowing blue. Red Weed covered every scrap of ground, but a gentle breeze kept it swaying and oh, the sweetness of the air!
  • Again, I was on my way to London, through towns and villages that were blackened ruins, totally silent, desolate, deserted. Man's empire had passed away, taken swiftly and without error, by these creatures who were composed entirely of brain. Unhampered by the complex systems which make up man, they made and used different bodies according to their needs. They never tired, never slept and never suffered, having long since eliminated from their planet the bacteria which cause all fever and other morbidities.
  • There were a dozen dead bodies in the Euston Road, their outlines softened by the Black Dust. All was still, houses locked and empty, shops closed – but looters had helped themselves to wine and food, and outside a jewellers some gold chains and a watch were scattered on the pavement.
  • I stopped, staring towards the sound. It seemed as if that mighty desert of houses had found a voice for its fear and solitude.
  • The desolating cry worked upon my mind. The wailing took possession of me. I was intensely weary, footsore, hungry and thirsty. Why was I wandering alone in this city of the dead? Why was I alive, when London was lying in state in its black shroud? I felt intolerably lonely, drifting from street to empty street, drawn inexorably towards that cry.
  • I saw, over the trees on Primrose Hill, the Fighting Machine from which the howling came. I crossed Regents Canal. There stood a second machine, upright, but as still as the first.
  • Abruptly, the sound ceased. Suddenly, the desolation, the solitude, became unendurable. While that voice sounded, London had still seemed alive. Now, suddenly, there was a change, the passing of something – and all that remained was this gaunt quiet. I looked up and saw a third machine. It was erect and motionless, like the others. An insane resolve possessed me. I would give my life to the Martians here and now. I marched recklessly toward the Titan and saw that a multitude of black birds was circling and clustering about the hood. I began running along the road. I felt no fear, only a wild, trembling exultation, as I ran up the hill towards the motionless monster. Out of the hood hung red shreds, at which the hungry birds now pecked and tore.
  • I scrambled up to the crest of Primrose Hill, and the Martian's camp was below me. A mighty space it was, and scattered about it, in their overturned machines, were the Martians – dead... slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things upon the Earth. Bacteria. Minute, invisible bacteria! Directly the Invaders arrived and drank and fed; our microscopic allies attacked them. From that moment – they were doomed!
  • The torment was ended. The people scattered over the country, desperate, leaderless, starved...the thousands who had fled by sea – including the one most dear to me – all would return. The pulse of life, growing stronger and stronger, would beat again.
  • As life returns to normal, the question of another attack from Mars causes universal concern. Is our planet safe, or is this time of peace merely a reprieve? It may be that, across the immensity of space, they have learned their lessons and even now await their opportunity. Perhaps the future belongs not to us – but to the Martians?

BethEdit

  • People loved you and trusted you, came to you for help.

ParsonEdit

  • Didn't I warn them this would happen? "Be on your guard," I said; "for the Evil One never rests." I said, "Exorcise the devil." But no, they wouldn't listen. The demons inside them grew and grew until Satan gave his signal and destroyed the world we knew.
  • Forget about goodness and mercy. They're gone.
  • Didn't I warn them?! "Pray," I said! "Destroy the devil," I said! They wouldn't listen! I could've saved the world! But now it's too late! Too late!!!

ArtillerymanEdit

  • We're gonna build a whole new world for ourselves. Look, they clap eyes on us and we're dead, right? So we gotta make a new life where they'll never find us. You know where? Underground. You should see it down there – hundreds of miles of drains – sweet and clean now after the rain. Dark, quiet, safe. We can build houses and everything, start again from scratch. And what's so bad about living underground, eh? It's not been so great living up there, if you want my opinion.
  • We'll build shops and hospitals and barracks right under their noses – right under their feet! Everything we need – banks, prisons and schools. We'll send scouting parties to collect books and stuff, and men like you will teach the kids. Not poems and rubbish – science, so we can get everything working. We'll build villages and towns and...and...we'll play each other at cricket! Listen, maybe one day we'll capture a Fighting Machine, eh? Learn how to make 'em ourselves and then wallop! Our turn to do some wiping out! Whoosh with our Heat Ray – whoosh! And them running and dying, beaten at their own game. Man on top again!
  • I've got a plan! Can't you just see it? Civilization starting all over again – a second chance. We'll even build a railway and tunnel to the coast, go there for our holidays. Nothing can stop men like us. I've made a start already. Come on down here and have a look.

MartiansEdit

  • Ulla! Ulla!

The Eve of the WarEdit

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one," he said.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one – but still, they come!"


"The chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one," he said.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one – but still, they come!"
"Yes, the chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one," he said.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are million to one – but still, they come!"

Forever AutumnEdit

The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The winter winds will be much colder
Now you're not here

I watch the birds fly south across the autumn sky
And one by one they disappear
I wish that I was flying with them
Now you're not here

Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

Through autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way
You always loved this time of year
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here


Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

A gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes
As if to hide a lonely tear
My life will be Forever Autumn
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here


Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

Through autumn's golden gown we used to kick our way
You always loved this time of year
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here
'Cause you're not here

Thunder ChildEdit

There were ships of shapes and sizes
Scattered out along the bay
And I thought I heard her calling
As the steamer pulled away

The Invaders must have seen them
As across the coast they filed
Standing firm between them
There lay Thunder Child

Moving swiftly through the waters
Cannons blazing as she came
Brought a mighty metal warlord
Crashing down in sheets of flame

Sensing victory was nearing
Thinking fortune must have smiled
People started cheering
"Come on, Thunder Child!"
"Come on, Thunder Child!"


Lashing ropes and smashing timbers
Flashing Heat Rays pierced the deck
Dashing hopes for our deliverance
As we watched the sinking wreck

With the smoke of battle clearing
Over graves in waves defiled
Slowly disappearing
Farewell, Thunder Child!

Slowly disappearing
Farewell, Thunder Child!
Farewell, Thunder Child!
Farewell, Thunder Child!

The Spirit of ManEdit

Listen, do you hear them drawing near in their search for the sinners?
Feeding on the power of our fear and the evil within us.
Incarnation of Satan's creation of all that we dread
When the demons arrive those alive would be better off dead!

There must be something worth living for
There must be something worth trying for
Even some things worth dying for
And if one man can stand tall
There must be hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere in the spirit of man

Once there was a time when I believed without hesitation
That the power of love and truth could conquer all in the name of salvation
Tell me what kind of weapon is love, when it comes to the fight
And just how much protection is truth against all Satan's might

There must be something worth living for
There must be something worth trying for
Even some things worth dying for
And if one man can stand tall
There must be some hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere in the spirit of man


No, Nathaniel
Oh no, Nathaniel
No, Nathaniel, no

There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The love we used to know
No, Nathaniel, no

There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The light that we have lost

Now darkness has descended on our land and all your prayers cannot save us
Like fools we've let the devil take command of the souls that God gave us
To the altar of evil like lambs to the slaughter we're led
When the demons arrive, the survivors will envy the dead!

There must be something worth living for (No, there is nothing!)
There must be something worth trying for (I don't believe it's so.)
Even some things worth dying for
If just one man could stand tall
There would be some hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere in the spirit of man


No, Nathaniel
Oh no, Nathaniel
No, Nathaniel, no

There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The love we used to know
No, Nathaniel, no

There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The light that we have lost


There is a curse on Mankind
We may as well be resigned
To let the devil, the devil take the spirit of man.

Brave New WorldEdit

Take a look around you at the world we've come to know
Does it seem to be much more than a crazy circus show
But maybe from the madness something beautiful will grow
In a brave new world

With just a handful of men
We'll start – we'll start all over again
All over again
All over again
All over again


Now our domination of the Earth is fading fast
And out of the confusion the chance has come at last
To build a better future from the ashes of the past
In a brave new world

Give me a handful of men
We'll start all over again

Look, man is born in freedom but he soon becomes a slave
In cages of convention from the cradle to the grave
The weak fall by the wayside but the strong will be saved
In a brave new world

With just a handful of men
We'll start all over again

I'm not trying to tell you what to be
Oh no, oh no, not me
But if mankind is to survive
The people left alive

They're gonna have to build this world anew
And it's going to have to start with me and you
Yes!

I'm not trying to tell you what to be
Oh no, oh no, not me
But if mankind is to survive
The people left alive

They're gonna have to build this world anew
Yes, and we will have to be the chosen few

Just think of all the poverty, the hatred and the lies
And imagine the destruction of all that you despise
Slowly from the ashes the phoenix will arise
In a brave new world

With just a handful of men
We'll start all over again

Take a look around you at the world you've loved so well
And bid the aging empire of man a last farewell
It may not sound like Heaven, but at least it isn't Hell
It's a brave new world

With just a handful of men
We'll start – we'll start all over again
All over again
All over again
All over again


Take a look around you at the world we've come to know
Does it seem to be much more than a crazy circus show
But maybe from the madness something beautiful will grow...

DialogueEdit

Journalist: [as narrator] The hammering from the pit and the pounding of guns grew louder. My fear rose at the sound of someone creeping into the house. Then I saw it was a young artilleryman, weary, streaked with blood and dirt.
Artilleryman: Anyone here?
Journalist: Come in. Here – drink this.
Artilleryman: Thank you.
Journalist: What's happened?
Artilleryman: They wiped us out. Hundreds dead – maybe thousands.
Journalist: The Heat Ray?
Artilleryman: The Martians! They were inside the hoods of machines they'd made – massive metal things on legs! Giant machines that walked – they attacked us! They wiped us out!
Journalist: Machines?
Artilleryman: Fighting Machines! Picking up men and bashing 'em against trees. Just hunks of metal, but they knew exactly what they were doing.
Journalist: Mmm. There was another cylinder came last night.
Artilleryman: Yes. It looked bound for London.
Journalist: London! Carrie! I hadn't dreamed there could be danger to Carrie and her father, so many miles away. I must go to London at once.
Artilleryman: And me. Got to report to Headquarters – if there's anything left of it.

Journalist: [as narrator] At Byfleet we came upon an Inn, but it was deserted.
Artilleryman: Is everybody dead?
Journalist: Not everybody. Look! Six cannons with gunners standing by.
Artilleryman: It's bows and arrows against the lightning. They haven't seen the Heat Ray yet.
Journalist: [as narrator] We hurried along the road to Weybridge. Suddenly, there was a heavy explosion. The ground heaved, windows shattered and gusts of smoke erupted into the air.
Artilleryman: Look! There they are! What did I tell you?

Journalist: [as narrator] I suddenly noticed the body of a Parson, lying on the ground in a ruined churchyard. I felt unable to leave him to the mercy of the Red Weed and decided to bury him decently.
Beth: Nathaniel! Nathaniel!
Journalist: [as narrator] The Parson's eyes flickered open. He was alive!
Beth: Nathaniel! I saw the church burst into flame! Are you all right?
Parson: Don't touch me!
Beth: But it's me – Beth. Your wife.
Parson: No. You're one of them. A devil!
Beth: [to Journalist] He's delirious!
Parson: Lies! I saw the devil's sign.
Beth: What are you saying?
Parson: The green flash in the sky. His demons were here all along – in our hearts and souls – just waiting for a sign from him. And now they're destroying our world!
Beth: But they're not devils – they're Martians.
Journalist: We must leave here.
Beth: Look! A house still standing! Come, Nathaniel, quickly!
Journalist: [as narrator] We took shelter in a cottage and Black Smoke spread, hemming us in. Then a Fighting Machine came across the fields, spraying jets of steam that turned the smoke into thick, black dust.
Martians: Ulla!
Beth: Dear God – help us!
Parson: The voice of the devil is heard in our land!

Parson: Dear God! A cylinder's landed on the house! And we're underneath it – in the pit!
Journalist: [as narrator] The Martians spent the night making a new machine. It was a squat, metallic spider with huge articulated claws – but it, too, had a hood in which a Martian sat. I watched it pursuing some people across a field. It caught them nimbly and tossed them into a great metal basket upon its back.
Parson: Beth! She's dead! Buried under the rubble. Why? Satan! Why did you take one of your own?

Parson: It's a sign! I've been given a sign! They must be cast out and I have been chosen to do it. I must confront them now!
Journalist: No, Parson, no!
Parson: Those machines are just demons in another form! I shall destroy them with my prayers! I shall burn them with my Holy Cross! I shall—

Artilleryman: Halt! Who goes there?
Journalist: Er – a friend.
Artilleryman: Be on your way. This is my territory.
Journalist: Your territory? What do you mean?
Artilleryman: Wait a minute – it's you! The man from Maybury Hill!
Journalist: Good heavens! The Artilleryman! I thought you surely burned.
Artilleryman: I thought you surely drowned.
Journalist: Have you seen any Martians?
Artilleryman: Everywhere. We're done for, all right.
Journalist: We can't just give up.
Artilleryman: 'Course we can't. It's now we've got to start fighting – but not against them 'cause we can't win. Now we've got to fight for survival, and I reckon we can make it. I've got a plan.

Journalist: [as narrator] In the cellar was a tunnel scarcely 10 yards long, that had taken him a week to dig. I could've dug that much in a day, and I suddenly had my first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers.
Artilleryman: It's doing the working and the thinking that wears a fellow out. I'm ready for a bit of a rest. How about a drink, eh? Nothing but champagne; now I'm the boss.
Journalist: [as narrator] We drank and then he insisted upon playing games. With our species on the edge of extermination, with no prospect but a horrible death, we actually played games. Later he talked more of his plan, but I saw flames flashing in the deep blue night, Red Weed glowing, tripod figures moving distantly – and I put down my champagne glass. I felt a traitor to my kind and I knew I must leave this strange dreamer.

Pasadena Control: It's looking good. It's going good. We're getting great pictures here at NASA Control, Pasadena. The landing craft touched down on Mars 28 kilometers from the aim point. We're looking at a remarkable landscape, littered with different kinds of rocks – red, purple. How about that, Bermuda?
Bermuda Control: Fantastic! Look at that dune field.
Pasadena Control: Hey, wait, I'm getting a no-go signal. Now I'm losing one of the craft. Hey, Bermuda, you getting it?
Bermuda Control: No, I lost contact. There's a lot of dust blowing up there.
Pasadena Control: Now I've lost the second craft. We got problems.
Bermuda Control: All contact lost, Pasadena. Maybe the antenna's...
Pasadena Control: What's that flare? See it? A green flare, coming from Mars, kind of a green mist behind it. It's getting closer. You see it, Bermuda? Come in, Bermuda! Houston, come in! What's going on? Tracking station 43, Canberra, come in, Canberra! Tracking station 63, can you hear me, Madrid? Can anybody hear me? Come in, come in...

External linksEdit