The existential depths of The Flower Kings Part 2

Part 2: Flower Power to Unfold the Future

Read Part 1 HERE!

A good reason for making a division as Flower Power is Two hours of music and so is Unfold the future.

Flower Power

Garden of Dreams

A complex cycle of almost an hour of music. It would be my preferred soundtrack to the garden scenes of Myst IV, one of my favourite games.

II Simple song

The child seeking faith. How simple the life as a child is. The bible talks about how we as adults must be as children to come into the kingdom of God, an expression of innocence. It also contains a reference to a very well known hymn, Amazing Grace.

At the same time you can see the clouds of the sky and experiences similar to ones i have had, feeling part of a bigger thing.

III Business Vamp

This i found deeply spiritual. The need for priests in a time when greed has taken over the world.

Call for doctors, call for a Priest
Soon get rid of that greedy beast
Soon I’ll catch my long lost freedom
Will I get back my private Eden?
My private Eden

Business Vamp (C) 1999 Bodin/Stolt

The longing for an undisturbed place, away from climate change and where we can see the nature in it’s full prime. This is the return to the private eden, the innocence of our inner child.

IV All you can save

All you can save is portraying God as a female, an interesting picture, in a similar fashion to Ingemar Olssons God is mother too. If we lay them side by side like i will do below.

She’ll host all the Gardens all of splendour
Treasure all the diamonds and of gold
The fruits of their labor, you know know it won’t save her
The day when the ship comes……….by,

All You Can Save (C)1999 Stolt/Bodin

Mother’s love
goes a long long way
High as a mountain,
deeper than the ocean
Mother’s love
goes a long long way
Love is from God and God is mother too

God is Mother Too Ingemar Olsson (C)Little Beat Music

There is the dimension of care and love. At the same time the sentimental longing of the childhood.

VIII Garden of dreams

A light summer dream, laying in the grass watching the clouds feeling united with everything. The flower king has turned into a queen. Sometimes a gender bended narrative is necessary for what you want to tell.

There is something quite transcendent in this piece. Light but still mystic queen.

IX Don’t Let the Devil in

The evil is a subject we can not skip over. It is prevalent in the world. The sinful sides in us all, our greed and slandering.

The necessity of love as a driving force is mentioned. How love conquers all. I relate this to Depeche Modes ”Going Backwards”.

Roine portrays it:

The big black moon in the skies above
There ain’t no freedom if there ain’t no love
You speak of progress but you’re going back
Defend your Kingdom of the snakepit shack”The big black moon in the skies above
There ain’t no freedom if there ain’t no love
You speak of progress but you’re going back
Defend your Kingdom of the snakepit shack

Don’t Let the devil in (c) 1999 Stolt/Bodin

While Depeche mode portrays it

We’re going backwards
Turning back our history
Going backwards
Piling on the misery

Going Backwards (C) 2017 Martin L Gore

XI: There’s no such night

The sun has turned into an eclipse over the garden of dreams. The shadows are long and scary. But at the same time the halo is shining. The dark night of the souls as described by St John of The Cross.

XVIII The Final deal

We are travelling out of the garden. Travelling through gates closing behind us. Being set free by God. It is in one way a form of absolution.

Deaf, Numb and Blind

Starting as a dream about the garden we just left. The garden of dreams but elevated into a temple.

In some ways it reminds me of the psalmist in the bible

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?

Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;

Psalm 15 NIV https://my.bible.com/bible/111/PSA.15.niv

It is also the secret of a relationship with the living god – not being Deaf, numb and blind. Listening actively.

Magic Pie

Mystical experiences like i have had, feeling united with everything. Feelings of unity with the highest creator.

I also associate this to a ship travelling over an ocean. Being carried by a higher power.


Iconographic pictures of the master painting the picture. Like russian icons.

Calling home

The longing for being loved that we all have in us. In part 2 of this we come into a more existential mode as shown in the lyrics below:

Free from the bad old ways, soon set for the Silver Mountains
See how the children play, closer to what’s coming soon
Eagerly they drop their dreams to the big black void
Flesh and bone now hold them back, like the rusty chains
Billion souls, now turn to fate
Coming strong but losing late

Calling Home (C) Stolt 1999

It is a freedom coming with exiting the garden of dreams. The same freeedom i sometimes feel in the spirit.

Space Revolver

Just the opening first few pads sounds like modern Christian worship music, a few years before Bethel Music came around.

I am the sun pt 1

The epic of this album whom open and closes this album. In one of the stanzas goes as quoted below

Now, I am the sun, I am the first day of summer
Never give in to the dark deep, fast becoming
Now, I am the moon, I am the end of the tunnel
Never believe in the dark age, let’s move a mountain

Roine Stolt 2000

It makes me relate to the short lived christian band The Front with Tommy Funderburk on vocals from their only album under that name. The old testament image from the book of Exodus.

”Holy light, you’re a cloud by day and a fire by night”

Bob Wilson, Tommy Funderburk
Holy Light by The Front

Dream on dreamer

A very transcendental cosmic view of seeking God. Mysticism at its finest. Hildegard von Bingen is what comes to mind and her ecstatic music. Also St Bridget of Vadstenas revelations spring to mind but also a return to a child sleeping safe and sound.

Monster within

All people have a good side and a bad side. But is it black and white? I am thinking about Jesus in the gospel of Matthew 7

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!


Is it that easy? Of Course not. The text talks about your rights but also a transcendental precense of aliens. Is this a matter of cosmology mixed with Mariology?

There is something out there, there’s always been
I’ve seen the killer, he lives within
I’ve heard the aliens screaming loud

(C) Roine Stolt

And Mother Mary comes in, probably an image borrowed from Beatles Let it be

Mother Mary, she’s left the building crying
Silent tears rolling down her cheek
Following the final breakdown, built this monster from within!

(C) Roine Stolt ”The Monster within”

So is there a monster within our selves? I don’t think so, we all have good and evil sides. It is all about which side we expose.

A Kings Prayer

It is a sort of a secular mans prayer. A longing for absolution. The division between logic and science on one hand and money on the other.

How our society treats money as the solution to everything. But also our need to take care of the creation. How we exploit the nature.

I Am The Sun Pt 2

Back to the epic track. Back to the open sense of everything being possible. The freedom to be your self.

It has a hilarious Frank Zappa reference to the song Baby Snakes. Snakes is also something that exists in The Interior Castle by Therese of Avila.

Floating out in space is this track.

The Rainmaker

Last Minute on Earth

Apocalypse. Hellfire and brimstone. I feel a similarity to the Christian Gothmetal band Saviour machines The Birth Pangs or Larry Normans I’d wish we’d all been ready.

I still feel like there is a lot of hope, just look at the stanza below:

Last fraction of hope, a flickering light
Voices so clеar, step out of the night
Go talk to your God instead of talk to yourself
Look into the light if you’re looking for help

(C) Roine Stolt Last Minute on Earth

It shows the need for a higher power. That we as humans need something to hold on to. Something that has been prooved in research like World Value Survey.

It also about the inevitable death as in the quote below.

Last minute alive
Check your account, to buy a way out
Beating the clock
But you cannot beat the feeling of being alive

(C) Roine Stolt Last Minute on Earth

Road to Sanctuary

A journey up to a temple. The imagery of a very dwindling walk up to a temple. Something like the old Kaipa piece ”Förlorad i Istanbul”. Leading us to the gates:

”Then you’re alone with the dogs at the gate
One road may lead you to sanctuary
They’ll still be playing hockey in Hell
You’re still in debt”

(C) Roine Stolt

The dogs. The dogs are often in a religious imagery as something dirty, begging creature. The knocking and begging to an unknown God.

City of Angels

Back in a more mythological setting we come. What i feel is a C.S Lewis Narnia world. It is an image of how our egos destroys what we have in form of nature and how we are trying to feed our inner hole.

The native world they gather around the firе
To feed their swirling dragons of desire
”Thе ones that have shall get” and that’s a fact
Take one step forward, then move two steps back
We all provide the monsters of excess
To fill the holes in souls will leave no rest
”A man is nothing more than his success”
This self-consuming race will be your test

The City of Angels – Roine Stolt 2001

The self consuming race is a clear reference to the rockstar myth.

There is also post colonialistic thoughts here. The need to bring back what they rightfully own from museums to the tribes.

They took your land, they took your history
In grand old gestures saying you are free
They took your youth, they took the labour years
And last of all – they took your dignity

The City of Angels – Roine Stolt 2001

Sword of God

Let me be honest here, i struggle with the image. The image from the early chapters of Genesis. The god with the Sword in his hand.

I find the images used very legalistic and almost Phariseean. Something so far from my own image of god.

The Rainmaker thoughts

I understand why this album is so looked down upon. It is after all a very dark album compared to for example Space Revolver. I almost felt fatigued at times, it is so bloody dark that i wanted to flee.

Unfold the Future

The Truth will set you free

Just the title is from the bible

”To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 NIV https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.8.NIV

This is a true epic! 30 minutes almost like the swedish jazz/fusion group Solar Plexus Concerto Grosso for Popgroup and Symphony Orchestra, in terms of having a multitude of parts.

The spiritual dimensions of this song is very conscious. It also connects the searching human being, just read the sentence below

Rising higher from the primal cries, Like a spiral up to the moon.
Day by day this ambitious grind
Search for a new state of mind

The Truth will set you Free (C) Roine Stolt 2002

I see a clear trace of Artur Janov in the text line. Janov invented or discovered Primal scream therapy, something that was very common in the 1970’s. At the same time we travel through the cosmic spiral.

There is a clear line of new age in all this, something i don’t agree to my self, but to each their own.

Positivity is still a hallmark, thou. How everything we see are bound together by what i call God.

It also has an almost mystical view on nature. The creation is somewhat central in Roines universe, a conciousness for the creation.

Every leaf on each tree, they’re talking to me
As I’m flat on the ground,
Each to the sparkling of tears
When a new life begins.

The truth will set you free – (C) Roine Stolt 2002

Again a reference to the biblical story of Adam and Eve can be found here as I interpret it.

Rest your legs by the apple tree
See the alternate realities
How you customize the journey, still
You’ve been here before, now you know the drill

The Truth will set you free (C) Roine Stolt 2002

Monkey Business

The start of this is interesting.

I’m not a monkey anymore
I’ve built a new house – that touch the sky
I’m not a monkey anymore
I’ve straightened my back and that’s a fact

Monkey Business (C) Roine Stolt 2002

The imagery from the tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. This song is also pinpointing our egoism and how we abuse the creation for our own good, contrary to the biblical Gods plan. Our sinful nature really comes out in the stanza below

Looking at all God’s creatures
I’m not the brightest one
One in an angry crowd
Come down to wave the gun

Monkey Business (C) Roine Stolt 2002

We are not always making the wisest choices. We are only flesh and bone, not God.

Silent Inferno

A sleepless night as Inferno? Yes probably. From a night when your head goes round way to much and you can not for the sake of the world fall asleep.

There is something about the night. Looking for peace within. I had a period in my late twenties with a lot of insomnia. The recognition of waiting for sleep but still overthinking everything is so common. In the last scene of the song we float out in a chamber. Like a meditation exercise in a floating tank. Like the monks in the 5th century that put themselves in the boats without a rudder or other steering devices. Trusting blindly like a child.

The Navigator

Something in the title threw me to Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunnings Prayer of St Brendan, an irish saint whom according to legend reached America already in the 5th century.

You were all in the flow
On the road to a better known
So we wait and we watch
For the Master Plan to show

The Navigator (C) Roine Stolt 2002

The masterplan makes me think of Martin Gores Precious

If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it’s your eyes He’s seeing through

(C) 2005 Martin L Gore

The Masterplan is fragile. And we must be fragile to get it.

Vox Humana

Final song of the first disc! Named after an common pipe organ registration.

I would class this song as very light, almost like a summer dream, my interpretation is us being enfolded in the love of God, the sacred source within us.

”If you listen close now, you can hear a stream
Running from a sacred place within
Calling gently without promise but a dream
To let the flood of love begin”

Vox Humana (C) Roine Stolt 2002

Adding the puzzle pieces together. Really spiritual. How we need to find the peace within our selves, as quoted below:

Now straight from the heart
Your dreams will tell you where you will begin
It’s straight from the source
The image from a long forgotten dream

Vox Humana (C) Roine Stolt 2002

It shows the need of being true to your selves, a dimension of being.

Genie in A Bottle

I know for a fact that Roine has sons in my generation or below and probably saw Disney’s Aladdin based on an arabic folk tale from One Thousand and one nights. How Aladdin uses his last wish to set the Genie free. That is what i find in this song. The Genie and Aladdin.

At the same time i found the I in the song looking for the Genie:

”Where’s my connection,where’s my protection
Where in the world is there a doorway out
Look to the left, look to the right
I’m looking for a genie in a bottle!”

Genie in a Bottle (C) Roine Stolt 2002

It is the lack of being true to one self. Something that i think has gotten even worse since Roine wrote this in the age of TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. How false ideals are projected on us and how we rarely stimulate the long term memory as a consequence of TikTok and reels. How disturbed the body ideals are of today.

Searching for god as well is there. Read the lines below.

He’s shaking like a Cuban shaker
Just dying now to meet his maker
Don’t give it up – don’t give it up
Don’t lay down ’til you reach the top

Genie in A Bottle (C) Roine Stolt 2002

Fast Lane

The pace of our society is higher than ever and we are trying to change really old patterns that have been engrained into our behaviours for a very long time. The back side of a high paced society and how we forget to relax.

These are truths and how we need to slow down to find God.

Rollin’ the dice

I found this song interesting as it portrays the interaction between the devil and a young man. The images used are the sinful nature and the division between our good and the evil. Well the young man chooses the good side in the end.

Solitary Shell

An old overgrown chapel has opened, the angels are singing softly and candles are flickering.

The power balance is restored between good and evil is restored.

That is all for now!

Looking forward to write part three.


The existential depths of The Flower Kings Part 1

Part 1: The Flower King to Stardust we are

The Flower kings is a swedish progressive rock band from Uppsala, Sweden. I started listening to them after being given a concert ticket as a birthday present for their gig in our hometown.

As one of the most positive and uplifting music I have ever listened to in my life. I recommend you following my playlist down here on Spotify.

I have now for about a year and a half listened to this amazing band and found a heavy spiritual streak.

The Flower King

It all starts on Roines solo album The Flower King and it’s title track “The Flower King”. The sort of chorus goes

”Don’t deny, just verify the genius of it all. It’s the cycle of all living thing, hear the children. Hear the children call!

We believe in the light, we believe in love, every precious little thing.

We believe you can still surrender you can serve the Flower King”

The Flower King Lyrics by Roine Stolt (C) 1994 InsideOut Music

It is a streak of Intelligent design as I interpret it from my religious, baptist background. That there must be something bigger as so many other prog artists have written over the years. Roine is a secular swedish person, but still so religious.

The band it self was formed after this solo album. It can also be interpreted as an hommage to Carl Linneaus, who actually was called the Flower king.

At the same time i can see the metaphor of God as the Flower King.

Back in the World of Adventures

Go West Judas

First we dive into the mind of a famous biblical character, the disciple of Jesus named Judas Iskariot but in a modern context as a betrayer but also the image of duality in the human nature.

I’m not perfect, I’m no saint
But you can’t fool me, so wipe off that paint
You may think that I’m your stepping stone
But in this game you’re all alone”

Go West Judas – Roine Stolt (C) 1995 Foxtrot Music

In christianity we often talk about the humans divided and i think Roine in some way portrays this. But that is just my interpretation and my world. False images, fake news is so well described in the text above.

The Big Puzzle

It is clear that we have a mystical, divine intervention in this song. As someone who read St John of the Cross and Therese of Avila, this fits quite well into the mindset of both these spanish carmelitic mystics.

The question of where are you God in a difficult time is so central to them and to Roine in the big puzzle.

He said, ”Son of mine, whom I idolize
Very first smile touched my heart
I’ll stand by your side in the darkest of nights
When this nightmare hold a grip on your heart”

Verse from ”The Big Puzzle” Text: (C)Roine Stolt 1995

When we continue a few stanzas down in the refrain that I in Sheet music describe as part ”F”:

Every night when I’m watching the sky
Look for big ships passing by
I’m out on my own, you may say that I’m alone
But wish that someone would take me home, take me home

Verse from ”The Big Puzzle” Text: (C)Roine Stolt 1995

This is one of the questions i can find that is most central to the Christian mystics.

At the same time the phrase ”But wish that someone would take me home” is a longing for a pilgrims goal, home at rest with God.

I think personally that the general imagery in The Big Puzzle is so beautiful and that the images of two birds that flies over the sky is so strong for me. It helped me through the black hole that last autumn was for me.


There is more to this world

Of course there is. We start with the metaphor of the classic image of the Medicine man in verse one.

Take these words from the medicine man
I saw the sign of men with cold hearts
With a heart of stone, unholy rolling stone

There is more to this world (C) Roine Stolt 1996

At the same time for me a famous end time bible passage comes to mind from Matthew 24:9-12:

”At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. ”

Matthew 24:10-13 https://my.bible.com/bible/111/MAT.24.10-13

This is just my annotation. That Roine describes the culture of the world growing colder of lack of love whom fits well inside the scripture passage above. And if you put them side by side i can see what is happening in the world right now.

At the same time i think that the description in what is technically used as refrain describes the spirit as a free roaming nature

See how we run the fields
Ride the wild horse again
Run with your open heart
See with your open eyes

There is more to this world (C) Roine Stolt 1996 Foxtrot Music

It is a description that fits also in the mindset of Roine and his generation. Roine was a teenager when the whole swedish leftwing political vein was at it’s peak height. The young adults that him and his band Kaipa met at Uppsala Musikforum where the hippies used to hang out in a former clothing factory.

Judas kiss

We are back in the biblical imagery of Judas. Now even more after the crucifiction and his inner battle. The shame of the betrayal. At the same time you can see Judas being dragged down a street by a mob. The bible does not give us any real clue.

Time running out, and the wolves getting closer
Judas kissing, the world is a loser
Curtains are down for the Nazarean
He’ll carry the cross and the world will go free

Judas Kiss (C) Roine Stolt 1996

It paints a picture of the scapegoat. They have existed in all eras and ages. It also talks about the veil in the temple of Jerusalem

Stardust we are

In the eyes of the world

This track is multifaceted and has many depths. In verse one i feel there is a reference to Mozarts The Magic flute. A piece many people in Roines generation saw on the telly in Ingemar Bergmans cast (No not Ingemar Bergman from KAIPA).

I can also find references to the story of Adam and Eve, another conceptalbum they did.

In one way it also describes the view of the artist as a clown. An imagery often found in medieval comedic plays. The pied piper has been depictured alot in progressive rock over the years and probably comes from the story Pied Piper of Hamelin.

I’m just a clown in the eyes of the world
Guess I’m a clown in the eyes of the world

In the eyes of the world Text: Roine Stolt 1997 (C) Foxtrot Music

It is a warning for the false prophets, seeing the false tounges of media trying to affect society. The duality between sinner/saviour is a motif that comes back in the albums.

Just this once

It is all about the river of life and how little we understand. The exploration of mankinds spirituality and how we inherit certain things from our parents.

”You’re a child and I’m a man
There’s so much you don’t understand
I’m a little wiser, see
I got this taste of eternity”

Just This Once – Roine Stolt 1997 (C) Foxtrot Music

Still God is there. There is a strength hidden in the verse that alludes to the throne of angels or the book of Ester in the bible. Seeking audience.

”I’ve got this feeling inside
Go talk to the king, he’s got nothing to hide
Just once you’re on top of it all”

Just This Once – Roine Stolt 1997 (C) Foxtrot Music

Go talk to the king i believe is a seekers prayer to the unknown God. The unknown God in the darkness that i personally call Jesus.

Church of your heart

Spiritual freedom. To follow your inner mind, being true to your self. I find parallels in the lyrics to Andrew Petersons You’ll find your way.

”Don’t believe in matter, so please don’t fence me in
Do believe in freedom, you’ve seen the shape I’m in”

Church of your Heart (C) 1997 Foxtrot Music

The text also can be read with the bible passage quoted below:

“Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.”

Proverbs 5:4 NIV https://www.bible.com/sv/bible/111/PRO.4.NIV

It is still a song about being true to your self and true to what you believe in. Also looking in wonder at the creation.


This is a song that was played as encore in the concert i was in and feels extra important in this age.

It is a song of the importance of compassion in a world growing colder and colder. The song is about how we need it. There is also a reference to the passage from the sermon on the mount saying Thou shall forgive 70*77.

Kingdom of Lies

Adam and Eve. We will come back to them later in another episode of these blogposts. But it portrays how easily power goes to peoples heads and the effect of that.

Lizards and snakes in the garden of Eden
Whipping the weeds, made the flowers die
Down to the waters the holy lamb
Barely alive, and the shepherd cries

Kingdom of lies(C) Stolt/Bodin 1997

Stardust we are

The magnum opus of this record. 25 minutes of prog joy and a concert staple. A search of is there something more than we can grasp out there. The longing for something more.

See me, touch me, feel me, will I live forever?
Hold me, thrill me, in your love forever

Stardust We Are (C) Roine Stolt 1997

The longing of something more. The search is something so prevalent in the music of progressive rock.

The cosmic and extra terrestrial is so fascinating. Are we alone in space is a question TFK asks us quite a lot.

I found the view thou presented in the lyrics as problematic.

Stardust we are
Close to divine
Stardust we are
See how we shine

Stardust We Are (C) Roine Stolt 1997

The problem is that are we just dust, nothing more? I do not believe that. There must be more.

Final thoughts on part one

That is all for now. I will come back on this topic. The Next album is the mastodont ”Garden of dreams”. 2 hrs to plough through.

I will also try to compile all my notes in a more printer friendly format as this article series will be long.

Read Part 2


Introspection – Thijs Van Leer


Thijs van Leer, kanske mest känd för sin roll som musikalisk motor i holländska progrockarna i Focus släppte 1972 det utsökta albumet Introspections.

På detta album visar Thijs upp sig som en synnerligen kompetent soloflöjtist, något som verkligen framhävs av Rogier van Oterloos vackra arrangemang och dirigering.

Det är en skön skiva att lyssna på omedvetet, lite så där i bakgrunden, precis så som jag ofta gör med Björn J:son-Lindhs skivor.

Spåret Focus 2 är extra värt att nämna då Thijs skrivit det själv. Detta tycker jag bara visar på skolning och kompetens. Thijs pappa gillade tydligen aldrig att sonen ägnade sig åt rockmusik. Men gediget skolad – helt klart.