The Knight, the Devil and Death



Qualifies, that's what Goran said (2)
The knight, the devil and death
The knight, the devil and death
Zip it
The knight, the devil and death
The knight, the devil and death
Usurping cost cuts, that's why we... 
... smart-aleck
The knight, the devil and death
The knight, the devil and death
The knight, the devil and death
Accelerate! Accelerate! Accelerate!
The knight, the devil and death!


1. This song is not sung by MES but by Cassell Webb, wife of producer Craig Leon and a prolific musician and producer in her own right. The title comes from a 1513 engraving by Albrecht Dürer, the name of which is actually more literally translated as "The Knight, Death and the Devil" (Ritter, Tod und Teufel), but MES's version sounds better in English; less whimsical, with the final word bespeaking finality, with its single doomy syllable.

DJ Ash points out that the cover of the Ed's Babe extended single, from whence this track comes, seems to be Pascal LeGras's take on the Dürer engraving. See More Information below.

Incidentally, the mayor of Nuremberg presented Hitler with a print of Dürer's engraving at a 1933 Nazi rally.

Reformation points out that it may also be inspired by the book The Knight, Death, and the Devil, a fictionalized account of the life of Hermann Goering.

According to Hanley, the lyrics are by Craig Scanlon.


2. I do not have a copy of the version of this song that has lyrics; if Reformation's theory is correct (see note 1 above) this could be "Goering," but I cannot listen to it and check at the present time. "Goran" is a Slavic first name.


More Information

The Knight, The Devil,and Death: Fall Tracks A-Z



The Knight, Death and the Devil by Albrecht Dürer:


The Knight, Death, and the Devil | ClipArt ETC


The cover of Ed's Babe:

Front cover

Comments (14)

  • 1. Mark | 29/06/2014
Correction: the instrumental version of this song appears on one of the Receiver Records compilations: "Sinister Waltz", I think. The version on the "Ed's Babe" single has vocals.
  • 2. dannyno | 03/07/2014
The version with lyrics is also on the Listening In compilation.
  • 3. dannyno | 03/07/2014
it does sound like Goering rather than Goran, to me. I'm not sure "qualifies" is right, either, but it's hard to make out.

"Usurper" sounds kind of more like "Zip it", but I dunno.
  • 4. dannyno | 03/07/2014
I can confirm: vocals present on Listening In and Ed's Babe. Instrumental on Sinister Waltz.
  • 5. dannyno | 07/05/2015
At the Louder Than Words festival, 2013, Steve Hanley confirms that this is a Craig Scanlon lyric.
  • 6. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!! | 12/12/2020
Doesn't Bergmann's The Seventh Seal feature a Knight and Death and possibly also a devil?
  • 7. dannyno | 05/01/2021
Comment #6 - I don't think there's anyone who plays the devil in the movie, although Satan (or references to Satan) is/are clearly part of the story. Given theories about this song have tended to coalesce around the Dürer/Goering angle, it's worth noting alternatives.
  • 8. DJAsh (link) | 06/04/2021
The Pascal LeGras cover art seems very much like his take on the Durer engraving.
  • 9. bzfgt (link) | 10/04/2021
Definitely! Good catch, DJ
  • 10. bzfgt (link) | 10/04/2021
Actually now that I look closer I'm not as confident there's a connection, but I chunked it in More Information for the People to decide.
  • 11. dannyno | 14/04/2021
Mm, even allowing for the abstracted nature of Le Gras' art, there appears to be no Durer similarity at all.
  • 12. bzfgt (link) | 17/04/2021
Yeah I thought so at first but I'm myopic, when I blew it up I didn't see a resemblance.
  • 13. dannyno | 01/03/2022
On the episode of the Hanley brothers' Oh! Brother podcast with Steve Pringle, Steve Hanley confirms that this song was titled and written by Craig Scanlon.
Robert Meldrum
  • 14. Robert Meldrum (link) | 09/08/2023
I always thought I heard the word "Insomnia" slipped in there at some point and you did not have to know about Durers to get this same very entranced mystical yet grounded feel to the song. "The Knight, the Devil, (insomnia) and death" I will probably do a painting based on both the print and this song at some point.
It's one of my favourite Fall songs and it's interesting to learn it was not Brix singing. Though I have a gut feeling thats still her shouting "ACCELERATE!!"

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