Jethro Tull

Here are some of my favourite lyrics. The entire experience, with the music, Ian's voice and his flute, is truly inspiring.

At Last, Forever (Roots to Branches)

So why are you holding my hand tonight?
I'm not intending to go far away.
I'm just slipping through to the back room -
I'll leave you messages almost every day.

And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace.
Not in this lifetime, babe
but we'll cling together:
some kind of heaven written in your face.

So why are you holding my hand tonight?
Well, am I feeling so cold to the touch?
Do my eyes seem to focus
on some distant point?
Why do I find it hard to talk too much?
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace.
Not in this lifetime, babe
but we'll cling together:
some kind of heaven written in your face

Jack-In-The-Green (Songs from the Wood)

Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?
With his long tail hanging down.
He quietly sits under every tree
in the folds of his velvet gown.
He drinks from the empty acorn cup
the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
And taps his cane upon the ground
signals the snowdrops it's time to grow.

It's no fun being Jack-In-The-Green
no place to dance, no time for song.
He wears the colours of the summer soldier
carries the green flag all the winter long.
Jack, do you never sleep
does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
motorways, powerlines,
keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

The rowan, the oak and the holly tree
are the charges left for you to groom.
Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.
Oh Jack, please help me through my winter's night.
And we are the berries on the holly tree.
Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.
Jack, put out the light.

Velvet Green (Songs from the Wood)

Walking on velvet green. Scots pine growing.
Isn't it rare to be taking the air, singing.
Walking on velvet green.
Walking on velvet green. Distant cows lowing.
Never a care: with your legs in the air, loving.
Walking on velvet green.

Won't you have my company, yes, take it in your hands.
Go down on velvet green, with a country man.
Who's a young girls fancy and an old maid's dream.
Tell your mother that you walked all night on velvet green.
One dusky half-hour's ride up to the north.
There lies your reputation and all that you're worth.
Where the scent of wild roses turns the milk to cream.
Tell your mother that you walked all night on velvet green.
And the long grass blows in the evening cool.
And August's rare delight may be April's fool.
But think not of that, my love,
I'm tight against the seam.
And I'm growing up to meet you down on velvet green.

Now I may tell you that it's love and not just lust.
And if we live the lie, let's lie in trust.
On golden daffodils, to catch the silver stream
that washes out the wild oat seed on velvet green.
We'll dream as lovers under the stars
of civilizations raging afar.
And the ragged dawn breaks on your battle scars.
As you walk home cold and alone upon velvet green.

Walking on velvet green. Scots pine growing.
Isn't it rare to be taking the air, singing.
Walking on velvet green.
Walking on velvet green. Distant cows lowing.
Never a care: with your legs in the air, loving.
Walking on velvet green.

Pibroch (Cap in Hand) (Songs from the Wood)

There's a light in the house in the wood in the valley.
There's a thought in the head of the man.
Who carries his dreams like the coat slung on his shoulder,
Bringing you love in the cap in his hand.

And each step he takes is one half of a lifetime:
no word he would say could you understand.
So he bundles his regrets into a gesture of sorrow,
Bringing you love cap in hand.

Catching breath as he looks through the dining-room window:
candle lit table for two has been laid.
Strange slippers by the fire.
Strange boots in the hallway.

Put my cap on my head.
I turn and walk away.

Acres Wild (Heavy Horses)

I'll make love to you
in all good places
under black mountains
in open spaces.
By deep brown rivers
that slither darkly
through far marches
where the blue hare races.

Come with me to the Winged Isle
northern father's western child.
Where the dance of ages is playing still
through far marches of acres wild.
...

No Lullaby (Heavy Horses)

Keep your eyes open and prick up your ears
rehearse your loudest cry.
There's folk out there who would do you harm
so I'll sing you no lullaby.
There's a lock on the window; there's a chain on the door:
a big dog in the hall.
But there's dragons and beasties out there in the night
to snatch you if you fall.

So come out fighting with your rattle in hand.
Thrust and parry. Light
a match to catch the devil's eye.
Bring a cross of fire to the fight.

And let no sleep bring false relief
from the tension of the fray.
Come wake the dead with the scream of life.
Do battle with ghosts at play.

Gather your toys at the call-to-arms
and swing your big bear down.
Upon our necks when we come to set
you sleeping safe and sound.

It's as well we tell no lie
to chase the face that cries.
And little birds can't fly
so keep an open eye.
It's as well we tell no lie
so I'll sing you no lullaby.

Heavy Horses (Heavy Horses)

...
Bring me a wheel of oaken wood
A rein of polished leather
A Heavy Horse and a tumbling sky
Brewing heavy weather.
...

Wond'ring Aloud (Aqualung)

Wond'ring aloud
how we feel today.
Last night sipped the sunset
my hands in her hair.
We are our own saviours
as we start both our hearts beating life
into each other.

Wond'ring aloud
will the years treat us well.
As she floats in the kitchen,
I'm tasting the smell
of toast as the butter runs.
Then she comes, spilling crumbs on the bed
and I shake my head.

And it's only the giving
that makes you what you are.

Wind Up (Aqualung)

When I was young and they packed me off to school
and taught me how not to play the game,
I didn't mind if they groomed me for success,
or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
with their God tucked underneath my arm
their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.
So I asked this God a question
and by way of firm reply,
He said: "I'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays".
So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares):
before I'm through I'd like to say my prayers
I don't believe you:
you had the whole damn thing all wrong
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school
and have all the bishops harmonize these lines
how do you dare tell me that I'm my Father's son
when that was just an accident of Birth.
I'd rather look around me compose a better song
'cause that's the honest measure of my worth.
In your pomp and all your glory you're a poorer man than me,
as you lick the boots of death born out of fear.
I don't believe you:
you had the whole damn thing all wrong
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

Broadsword (The Broadsword and the Beast)

I see a dark sail on the horizon
set under a black cloud that hides the sun.
Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.
Get up to the roundhouse on the cliff-top standing.
Take women and children and bed them down.

Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.
Bless with a hard heart those who surround me.
Bless the women and children who firm our hands.
Put our backs to the north wind. Hold fast by the river.
Sweet memories to drive us on for the motherland.

I see a dark sail on the horizon
set under a black cloud that hides the sun.
So, bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.
So bring me my broadsword
And a cross of gold as a talisman.

Links

Cup of Wonder Beautiful site with lyrics, pictures and some "interpretations"

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