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DescriptionEdit

Batman versionEdit

This song is alternately titled "Vespers" or "The Song of Gotham City." Jim Steinman offers this description of the Batman opening sequence, consisting of this song and "Graveyard Shift": "It starts with 'Vespers' coming from the Gotham Cathedral, then into 'The song of Gotham City' which includes, for the first time, the 'Angels Arise' melody (later 'Appropriated & annexed & snatched' for Vampires, where it was wasted. We see the Gothamites fearing the onset of night, pulling those metal sliding 'doors/barriers' down and filling with oncoming terror as a storm approaches. The soprano is a Salvation Army woman on the street in front of the cathedral. Then: 'we rise up' to see the entire panoramic vista of all of Gotham City. And from the darkness, amidst gargoyles and turrets and spires (oh my!), suddenly we see a gargoyle come alive -- its Batman, watching all before & below him. He sings 'The Graveyard Shift', on the Gothic rooftops, a human, watchful, vengeful dark presence. Then he's gone! During his aria, a parade of characters pass by: Selena Kyle/Catwoman, The Joker, various city dwellers and 'villains' we'll meet later on..."[1]

DOTV versionEdit

In the American run of Dance of the Vampires, this was the opening song in the show following the overture. In the new plot for the American version, the piece opened with Sarah and her friends picking mushrooms in a gloomy forest in deepest Transylvania three nights before Halloween (a fact repeatedly referred to for comic effect in the show's final script). One of the friends is terrified of the old stories of the creatures of the night, and to reassure each other, they sing this song, characterized by them as an "old Transylvanian prayer" that one of them always said as a child when they were scared.

VersionsEdit

Emily Pulley on a Batman demo recording

Demo by unknown UK vocalists for Dance of the Vampires

The Dream Engine at various live shows

Arielle Murphy & Sheldon Rogers at Steinman Stripped: A Musical Tribute

Similar SongsEdit

This song shares musical and lyrical elements with "Cry to Heaven" and (in the Vampires version) "Surf's Up" and "Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are," among other songs that use a similar chord progression.

LyricsEdit

Batman versionEdit

Nox noctis venit
Nox noctis venit
Tenebrae tenebris involvunt
Tenebrae tenebris involvunt
Salva nos, domine
Salva nos, domine

Come midnight's midnight
Come midnight's midnight
When the dark entwines with darkness
When the dark entwines with darkness
Save us, O Lord
Save us
Save us

Angels arise
As night must fall and
Radiant eyes
Stare down
On us all

If the powers that be
Be beyond our call
Then angels arise
As the night must
Fall...

I can hear the thunder roll
I can feel the lightning strike
Could a storm be on its way
How I wish it would stay light

It's so much better in the day
Everything seems safe and bright
Looks like it's gonna be a dark one tonight!
Looks like it's gonna be a dark one tonight!

Come, come and cry
Cry, cry to heaven
Say a prayer and light a candle
Toll a bell

Come, come and cry
Cry unto heaven
And if your tears fall on deaf ears then
Go ahead
And cry like hell

Will the sirens never cease
Will the fires fade away
Gotham City is our home
But we fear the end of days

From the cradle to the grave
From the dawn to the last twilight
Looks like it's gonna be a dark one tonight!
Looks like it's gonna be a dark one tonight!

Angels arise
As night must fall and
Glorious eyes stare down
On us all

If the powers that be
Be beyond our call
Then angels arise
As the night must surely, always, always
Fall...

Nox noctis venit
Nox noctis venit
Tenebrae tenebris involvunt
Tenebrae tenebris involvunt
Salva nos, domine
Salva nos, domine

Come midnight's midnight
Come midnight's midnight
When the dark entwines with darkness
When the dark entwines with darkness
Save us, O Lord
Save us
Save us...

DOTV versionEdit

Angels arise
As night must fall and
Radiant eyes stare down
On us all

If the powers that be
Be beyond our call
Then angels arise
As the night must surely fall

And for every pit of darkness
There's a light so pure divine
And I ask you to protect me
From those gasps and shudders
And those shivers down my spine

Angels arise
As night must fall and
All-knowing eyes
Stare down on us all

If the powers that be
Be beyond our call
Then angels arise
As the night must surely fall

There are things that must be magic
There's no explaining
Why or how
And there's every sign
That once-upon-a-time
Is starting here
And now

There's every sign
That once-upon-a-time
Is starting right here and
Now...

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