The 'prickly pears' is a reference to "The Hollow Men" by TS Eliot.

Most of the other references are pretty obvious.

The second to last stanza is a reference to the Biblical "Revelation"


Princesses sit in towers, forgotten

Princes ride their noble steeds into the sunset, unforgiven

And the witches all cackle 'round the pots and stir the brew


One by one, two by two,

'round the prickly pears we go


Dragons spurt their fire up into the blood-drenched clouds

Unicorns gallop into the sea

Wolves howl in the night to the moon, begging


And no one hears, no one ever hears


Three by three, four by four,

'round the prickly pears we go


Spread your wings, the minstrels chant

Spread your wings and soar away

Spread your wings, dear child—you, at least, can escape


The tiara balances on a precipice

The scepter shatters on the stones

The throne rusts and is covered by dust


And no one cares, no one ever cares


Scheherazade's voice fails and the king takes her life

Icarus' wings don't melt and he soars into the sun

Cinderella lives happily ever after, but Snow White dies—


Isn't life a grand fairytale?


Five by five, six by six

'round the prickly pears we go


The princesses fade into the shadows

The princes burn come light of day

And no one ever thought it could end


No one ever thought it could end

Legends never die


Legends aren't supposed to die


Seven by seven, eight by eight

'round the prickly pears we go


Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Didn't you wed Little Boy Blue?


Where is Valiant, and Charming?

Where are the heroes to slay the dragons—

Why has Hercules gone away?


Medusa wasn't supposed to kill Perseus—

Get your legends straight


Nine by nine, ten by ten

'round the prickly pear we go


Can't we start again?

I don't think I like where this is going…


Who's that on the pale horse?

And what is following behind him?


Give to me the sky