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Jethro Tull lyrics

Album: Roots to Branches [1995]

Tracks11
 01  Roots To Branches
 02  Rare And Precious Chain
 03  Out Of The Noise
 04  This Free Will
 05  Valley
 06  Dangerous Veils
 07  Beside Myself
 08  Wounded, Old And Treacherous
 09  At Last, Forever
 10  Stuck In The August Rain
 11  Another Harry's Bar
all Jethro Tull lyrics



Roots To Branches
Words get written. Words get twisted.
Old meanings move in the drift of time.
Lift the flickering torches. See gentle shadows change
The features of the faces cut in unmoving stone.
Bad mouth on a prayer day, hope no-ones listening.
Roots down in the wet clay, branches glistening.

True disciples carrying that message
To colour just a little with their personal touch.
Home-spun fancy weavers and naked half-believers -
Crusades and creeds descend like fiery flakes of snow.
Bad mouth on the prayer day, hope no-ones listening.
Roots down in the wet clay, branches glistening.

In the wet and windy priest-holes. Grand in vast cathedrals.
High on lofty minarets or in the temples of doom.

I hope the old man's got his face on.
He'd better be some quick change artist.
Suffer little children to make their minds up soon.
Bad mouth on a player day, hope no-ones listening.
Roots down in the wet clay, branches glistening.back to top
Rare And Precious Chain
Rare and precious chain -
Do I have to tell you, tell you once again ?
Under red lights, on soft nights, it all comes back to you.
Rare and precious chain -
Binds me to your soul round gently pulsing veins.
Shackled tight, feel love's bite coming back to you.

No gold of fools.
No hostage taking.
No engagement rules
To leave you forsaken.

Tiny beads of sweat -
Thin diamond glistening, glistening around your neck.
Forgotten rooms, black catacombs,
They all come back to you.

No crock of glittering prizes.
No sharply worded telegram.
No excuses of the word-weary.
No excuses for who I am.

It's rare and precious chain.
Around your neck I place it, place it once again.
Drawn finger tight, feel loves bite coming back to you.
Under red lights, on soft nights, it all coming back to you.
Rare and precious chain.back to top
Out Of The Noise
Glued to the kerbstone, staring.
Frozen at the stop-sign too.
See that crazy suicide mongrel.
He's going to try to cross that avenue.
Old dog of experience,
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs,
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys.
He's got his mind on someone else's dinner -
Over the road, round the corner, out of the noise.

Lives down in some cool, cool basement -
Sharing with a family of bounce, ratty little guys.
Work to a discipline of ritual undertakings -
Sleep, eat and gentle exercise.
Old dog of experience,
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs,
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys.
He's got his mind round someone else's dinner -
Over the road, round the corner, out of the noise.

Some towns I know, he could end up in a restaurant -
Wrong side of a table for two.
It's enough to send him running, running for cover.
Back in the traffic, what's a poor dog to do ?
Old mutt of experience,
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs,
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys.
Now he's got his mind round someone else's dinner -
Over the road, round the corner, out of the noise.back to top
This Free Will
She peeled from a stretch black snake
Which slipped up to the hotel door.
Darting looks from piercing eyes -
The stir of memory and then no more.
Well, you know how I have to believe -
She can almost remember my name.

Chorus :
It's been a long time coming, babe -
Long time loose amongst foreign hills -
Shaking my faith in this free will.

Years ago in a coastal town,
Mosquitoes buzzed in her hair.
Schooldress torn and bare feet brown -
Then the rains came and she wasn't there.
You're closing your doors on me
When you had almost remembered my name.

Chorus.

Sharp points in an ink-black sky -
Faint words collide, then are lost.
I'll follow you beneath this dome -
Win you back at any cost.
I know we were children then,
But you can almost remember my name.

It's been a long time coming, babe -
Long time loose amongst foreign hills -
Well, let's be children, still -
Don't shake my faith in this free will.
Don't shake my faith in this free will.back to top
Valley
Wake hard in the morning.
See the young girl milking.
Stream rushing by on a bed of stone.
Old goats and sandstone cracking -
All-containing -
Squeezing that river like it squeeze your bones.
It the long red, red valley people live here too long.
It the long red, red valley they only sing the valley song.

Some bad people living further down the valley.
Not easy for us to do good trade,
We got snowmelt, showmelt sweet water:
They got that valley road that they made.
In the long red, red valley people dying here too long.
In the long red, red valley they only sing the valley song.

Chorus:
Holding hands on the hillside.
Showing love to your brother -
Your sister and your mother -
But we hate those people down the valley.

Has anybody seen Moses ?
Get him off that mountain.
Bring back the tablets of stone.
It's a wise, wise prophet who keeps his own council.
Yeah, leave the other man's wife alone.
In the long red, red valley people living here too long.
In the long red, red valley only sing the valley sing.

Chorus.

Wake hard in the morning.
See the young girl milking.
Stream rushing by on the bed of stone.
Old goats and sandstone cracking -
All-containing -
Squeezing that river like it squeeze your bones.
In the long red, red valley people living here too long.
In the long red, red valley they only live the valley song.
In the long red, red valley people dying here too long.
In the long red, red valley only know the valley song.back to top
Dangerous Veils
Desert candle in a tented space
Throwing softer shadows on a covered face.
Sister, silent to the likes of me -
Pay my respects to her propriety.

Is this some crazy woman here,
Dancing behind her thin black veil ?
Am I misreading those mysterious eyes ?
Duet impossible to harmonize.

I'm not inviting any stiff reaction.
I'm not one for naming holy names
And I won't peek behind those dangerous veils
'Though you might hate me just the same.

Name of the Father ringing in her head -
Thinking over what the Prophet said,
Words and tradition bind her in their spell.
Don't drink the water from this holy well.

I'm not inviting any fierce reaction
And I'm not one for naming holy names,
I won't peek behind those dangerous veils
'Though you might hate me just the same.

Desert candle in a tented space -
Softer shadows on a covered face.
Sister, silent to the likes of me -
I tip my hat to her propriety.

I'm not inviting any fierce reaction.
I'm not one for naming holy names
And I won't peek behind those dangerous veils
'Though you might hate me just the same.back to top
Beside Myself
Small child messing down, messing down
In the streets of Bombay.
Cities like this have no shame, no shame:
Indeed, why should they ?
Out in the middle distance, several tragedies are playing.
I'm beside myself.

Big sister, can you heat him, can you hear him ?
I'm beside myself.
Big sister, can you see him cry, see him cry ?
I'm beside myself.

I saw you taking money on the shadows -
In the shadows by the station there.

I'll wish you up a silver train
To carry you to school. Bring you home again.
Strip off that work paint and put a cleaner face on.
I'm beside myself.

Hollow-faced mother with her babe in arms,
Babe in arms - looks through me.
Behind forgotten charms,
Forgotten charms to soothe me.
Between the guilt and charity -
I feel the wimp inside of me.

I'm beside myself.
Out in the middle distance, still more tragedies are playing.
I'm beside myself.

I'm so proud of you -
Swimming up from the deep blue.
Which one of me do you run to ?
I'm beside myself.

Verse 1.back to top
Wounded, Old And Treacherous
A walk on the quiet side, late in the day -
Don't mean to get in anybody's way.
The Gods seem willing: sun's in the sky.
Old crows cawing as the straight crows fly.
There was a time when love was the law.
There was a time for the tooth and the claw.
Last rites given, no holds barred.
Heaven Express on my credit card.

Now let me draw the jungle line -
I won't cross yours if you don't cross mine.
Won't make trouble, I don't need no fuss
But I wounded, old and I'm treacherous.

Allow me to draw the jungle line -
You cross it once, you cross some friends of mine.
They won't make trouble, they don't need no fuss
But they're wounded, old and they're treacherous.

In the crisp of evening, on sacred ground -
Ghosts of fathers pushing moonbeams round.
Big cats prowling inside your head -
They left for China: better left for dead.

Let me draw the jungle line -
I won't cross yours if you don't cross mine.
I won't make wounded, I don't need no fuss
But I'm wounded, old and I'm treacherous.

Verse 1.

Living mountains going to shake that town -
Big mother calling you from underground.
She don't want trouble, she don't need no fuss
But she's wounded, old and she's treacherous.back to top
At Last, Forever
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.

Verse 1.back to top
Stuck In The August Rain
Bring Jasmine tea on a painted tray
And bends to kiss my frown away.
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain:
Stuck our in the cloudburst once again.

The cover's on, the coast is clear.
We're all battened down only us here.
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain:
Stuck out in the cloudburst once again.
She walks between the lines
And she can read my signs.

Stuck our in the August rain:
Out in the cloudburst once again.

Single-minded in my gloom,
I appear to revel in this darkened room.
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain:
Stuck out in the cloudburst once again.
She walks between the lines
And she can read my sighs.

Stuck our in the August rain:
Out in the cloudburst once again.back to top
Another Harry's Bar
Wet wind on the sidewalk: I'm staring at the rain.
Walking up the street, yeah, and walking down again.
And my feet are tired and my brain is numb.
See that broken neon sign saying, hey, in you come.

Got the scent of stale beer hanging, hanging round my head.
Old dog in the corner sleeping like he could be dead.
A book of matches and a full ashtray.
Cigarette left smoking its life away.
Another Harry's Bar - or that's the tale they tell.
But Harry's long gone now, and the customers as well.
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry will make this world turn right.
It'll all turn right.

God's tears on the sidewalk: it's the mother of all rain.
But in the thick blue haze of Harry's, you will feel no pain.
And you will feel no soft hand slipping on your knee.
You don't have to pay for memories, they will all come free.
Another Harry's bar - or that's the tale they tell.
But Harry's long gone now, and the customers as well.
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry will make this world turn right.
It'll all turn right.

Now, when Harry was a young man, Harry was so debonair.
He walked a bouncy step in his shiny shoes.
And when Harry was a young man, well, Harry could walk on air.
He mixed a mean cocktail and he talked you through the late news.
You want to hear some great news ?
Harry's still here.

Wet wind on the sidewalk: I'm still staring at the rain.
Walking up the street, and I walking down again.
And my feet are tired and my brain is numb.
See that broken neon sign saying, hey, in you come.

Another Harry's bar - or that's the tale they tell.
But Harry's long gone now, and the customers as well.
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry will make this world turn right.
It'll all turn right.

Another Harry's bar.
And another Harry's bar.
And another, and another Harry's bar.





Ian Anderson - vocals, concert flute, bamboo flute,
ac. guitar
Martin Barre - electric guitars
Dave Pegg - bass ( 3, 5, 11 )
Doane Perry - drums
Andrew Giddings - keyboards
Steve Bailey - bass ( 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 )


All titles written, engineered & produced
by Ian Anderson









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