Al Stewart - Helen & Cassandra Lyrics

According to the myths and legends
At the fringes of our memory
Paris stole the queen of Sparta
And carried her across the sea
As they fled, he never dreamt
That he held the world in his grip
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships

From Mycenae comes Agamemnon
And the Greeks of the city-states
Laden with their bronzen weapons
They're waiting at the Trojan Gates
As the arrow flies and Achilles falls
Does she raise the wine to her lips?
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships

It's funny how the story lingers
It's probably a myth of course
A whisper in the ear of Homer
Perhaps there never was a horse
She could have turned the head of Paris
With the gentle sway of her hips
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships

Oh Cassandra, what did you know
You who bring bad news wherever you go
You had the gift to see the future
From Apollo so it's said
And he made no one believe you
When you would not share his bed
Oh Cassandra, what did you see
As you walked the lonely road of your certainty
Gazing at the ruined city
That your warnings could not save

Oh Cassandra, so still and so grave, Cassandra
The Bronze Age kingdoms tumble
The cities fade one by one
The walls of Mycenae crumble
The Dark Age has begun
And the truth is lost in the ancient dust
Yet the memory forever persists
Of Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships
Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships

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Al Stewart Helen & Cassandra Comments
  1. Samantha gonçalves

    Lindo filme❤

  2. Samantha gonçalves

    Al Stwart...💗💗

  3. Shari C

    Al I wish he was my history teacher in school...I have grown up with him, I love his mind...and yes he is a great musician too, if you want a love song from him listen to Love Chronicles.....well Fields of France is a love song too and full of history

  4. Paul Brockman

    This song is great my mother's name was Hellen my co worker cassandra.kinda gives it some personal connection which makes it even better

  5. Mark Dreyer

    excellent merging of this great Al song and the movie Troy -- magic!

  6. Kenneth Bentsen

    A gifted songrighter and performer.

  7. CupcakeExplosion

    I think the song and video are a good retelling of the myth, but that's not Cassandra in the video, that's Briseis from the movie Troy.


    Well spotted. I couldn't find another Cassandra that fitted with the video.

    BigKat Smyth

    That’s really Cassandra using Briseis’ name.

  8. Graham Sutherland

    Along with coldest winter this is an incredible song. How they never made it onto mainstream albums I’ll never know

  9. James Wilson

    Al's music is timeless and appreciated by few. So sad there are so many shallow people.

  10. david collier

    Thanks for this - a new track to me, and I'm a fan. Saw him in about '75 in a hall near Regent's Park. He was too high to remember the lines to Roads to Moscow, so we all sang them while he played. I know of no-one else who writes songs with so much historical depth.

  11. Khalid Sharif

    Another brilliant historical song by a brilliant singer songwriter. I've seen Al in concert many times. He needs more recognition.

  12. jose zurita

    wonderful Al Stewart.....eres muy grande, you are incredible....the best

  13. Cindy Owens

    To me, there is only one other artist that compares as well: Mark Knopfler.

  14. John Feliu

    We all been there

  15. John Feliu

    Totally bad assed tune

    John Feliu

    See what the wenches do to you?

    John Feliu

    Almost like Tull and the Broad sword

    John Feliu

    Never had the pleasure

    John Feliu

    This is blow your mind cool,it's excellent

  16. George Isaac

    Solos in Al's songs- whether it's a flute solo or sax solo or a guitar solo have always been standouts.

  17. Buddy Joe

    Beautiful song and wonderful video content, ..Has someone got the lyrics too?😊

  18. Collin Keegan

    Brings to mind the Great War of Alak... oh wait that's in my fictional universe.

    Collin Keegan

    Also brings to mind Ubach Uchuba... fictional universe again, crud.

  19. Ms Grand

    Megs super!!!! Thanks Al Stewart!

  20. Ajay Das

    We should feel sorry for Cassandra , Helen was not worthy of anything. Paris we can never trust you as a Guest.

  21. John Turner

    the great al stewart? how could there be anything more truthful and accurate.

  22. Cory Dundee

    Just saw this movie and I loved it. Also love song. Al Stewart does a great job telling a story.

  23. Mosta Bouz

    Beautiful song

    wolfgang volkmann

    Ellen Parsons Project

  24. Ajay Das

    Cassandra was a very important character in the history of Troy. Please make a movie about her.

    Cassandra of Troy

    I concur!

  25. Alexander Baron

    Helen, the woman who cannot hold a candle to Candice Night, but what woman real or imagined can?

    Alexander Baron

    She may give Helen a run for her money, but Candice is in a class by herself.


    Well, Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, no arguing with that. I don't see anything extraordinary in Candice Night, you do, and so does Richie Blackmore. She's beautiful to be sure, but so are a million other women. What sets one apart, and makes them the apex of beauty? That's up to the individual.

    Alexander Baron

    Stunningly attractive blonde, married a guy 26 years her senior and never looked at another man with carnal intent since. Musician, songwriter, mother of two, sweet-natured. There are indeed millions of other women out there, many of them extremely attractive, but none comes close to Candice Night.

  26. rac717

    If there is a more beautiful, stirring flute solo in existence, I'd love to hear it. But this is what one comes to expect from the great Al Stewart.

    007Stalled 7

    +rac717 Another good flute solo is on Optical Illusions.


    +007Stalled 7 And 'Fields of France'


    @007Stalled 7 Absolutely the Optical Illusions flute solo is beautiful.


    @jonnoms Fields of France is a classic Al tune. "Here am I more true than anything I do High above the fields of France."

  27. Guillermo Monje

    Al's a genious!


    Yes! There's no end to the man's brilliance!

  28. MobyDicksWife

    There was always such resonance to to Al's songs. They were never the "I'm horny but can't get laid" or "I like him/her but do they like me" shallow lyrics or story that so much pop songs have. There is always a larger historical background to his songs that adds such depth.

    Farang Abroad

    +MobyDicksWife So well said, since I reached the age of reason i realized how not so much can feel the substance in depth from master piece of Art. Even if not directly concerned we should be able to detect the degree of quality? But, no il n'en est rien unfortunatly ~


    +MobyDicksWife Al paints a picture which incorporates YOU and ME inside it. Amazing. Special, rare gift indeed.

    Merlijn Pieron

    So it is the same theme "I am horny bla bla bla" or "I like bla bla"...but then performed with finesse *cry laughing*. you are right, that shows true skill! Though in thise song the credit goes to homerus that showed skill finesse :P.

    Russell Hawkins


    Al is a keen military historian and first class lyricist. Rommel was a focus of his studies..... “Where Are They Now” is full of military allusions....

  29. Frank B

    Music and storytelling DOES NOT GET BETTER than what Al Stewart did.


    @Frank B, no, they really don't. Al is a wizard of words.

  30. D Taylor

    I love his one can do it like him

  31. George Abraham

    What lovely song writer .....


    Excelente postagem.

  33. Anna Koivulehto

    Thank you for the song and the videoclip. What a nice discovery!

  34. George Abraham

    In a class of his own ..haunting .....loved it always 

  35. Angelo Nardo

    Great song. Great songwriter!

  36. Ken Paulsen

    Bought my first CD player and LDOTC my first CD for this song.


    That was an excellent way to begin your collection, too.

  37. George Abraham

    One always in my treasure of Folks Al ..what a beautiful rendition ..

  38. sandinyourshoes

    That scene with the fall of Achilles (Pitt) is very intense!  Al's song should have been on the soundtrack of this impressive film!

  39. Ludwig Henkelmann

    Wonderful song from Al Stewart, one of the best songwriters

  40. brightsorcerer

    Al is like a modern day Homer.... excellent accompanying footage, uploader!!!! It is songs like this that put him a class all of his own.

  41. M Watney

    The war wasn't really Helen's fault.  Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world.  What was not mentioned was that actually she was already married to someone else.  Moral of the story: don't trust Greek gods.


    Helen still gets so much blame.

    Veronica Matry

    @sandinyourshoes  I blame Paris. When he got to Sparta it should have been pretty clear.


    @Veronica Matry, was it he for whom the French capital is named?

    Shaina de Aries

    @sandinyourshoes In matter of fact, most of the blame was Aphrodite's for make her fall in love with Paris forgetting her husband and daugther.
    And is Priam's too, for no returning Helen,when he had the chance. And of course, Paris blame for think with his hormones(?)

    Vallin Sfas

    According to Ritchie Wagner the German-Aryan ones are even worse. Don't trust NONE-of-'em. ESPECIALLY that loud bearded one that Handel goes on about!

  42. Ronald C. Uehara

    The Prince of Troy, not Sparta. The war was called the Trojan War.

  43. sandinyourshoes

    This song would have been absolutely perfect as part of the soundtrack for this movie! What a shame how man has spent so much of his existence fighting and slashing other men to pieces. He is capable of so much great and dazzling creativity, but he is also so inclined to cause giant destruction. Man is often his own worst enemy.

    Al Stewart writes and performs such good music to the background of the pages of history. How many other artists do that type of work? It's such a rare treat, too.

  44. sergio kokaido

    the best the best the best THE BEST THE BEST N 1 LOVE SONGS N1

  45. Piggy-218

    where can I find the lyrics since this song is not on the original LAST DAYS Lp ?

  46. Graham Sutherland

    Nice job, great song

  47. TheTareent

    troll in 3,2,1

  48. Andreas Nietmann

    This is wonderful! Today, 25-May-2012 there are NO dislikes!! Sure hope this persists! Thank you Al for your beautiful music!

  49. rac717

    @sandinyourshoes BTW, JONNOMS, super video. Thank you so much.

  50. rac717

    The flute bridge sends shivers down my spine every time. Al Stewart is awesome!!! And he's still going strong.

  51. jonnoms

    @legothug Thanks, mine too. I've done a few others but for some reason I can't fathom, those ones have been banned worldwide :(

  52. legothug

    Very nice. One of my favorite Al Stewart songs.