This thread took shape after a conversation about one of Ian's songs - This Is Not Love which explains life in a 'gloomy' Blackpool (or any seaside town in the winter) He also mentions his move down to London -'sad south,smoky plumes'
Winds howled. Rains spit down. All these nights playing precious games. Cheap hotel in some seaboard town Closed down for the winter and whispered names.
Puppy-dog waves on a big moon sea Snap our heels half-heartedly And how come you know better than me,
That this is not love. No, this is not love.
Empty drugstore postcards freeze Sunburst images of summers gone. Think I see us in these promenade days Before we learned October's song. Out on the headland, one gale-whipped tree; Curious, head bent to see.
And how come you know better than me That this is not love. How come you know better than me How come you know better than me Howcome you know better than me That this is not love.
Down to the sad south, smokey plumes Mark that real world city home. Broken spells and silent gloom Ooze from that concrete honeycomb.
Puppy-dog waves on a big moon sea Snapped our heels half-heartedly And how come you know better than me That this is not love. No this is not love.
Maybe expressing sympathy with a mouse in its cage, with the toys to keep him happy, and the pressures of being always in the spotlight and having to follow the rules laid down by the record company and the music business in general.
"Which one of us exercises on the old treadmill, who hides his head, pretending to sleep?"
Smile your little smile take some tea with me awhile. Brush away that black cloud from your shoulder. Twitch your whiskers. Feel that you're really real. Another tea-time another day older.
Puff warm breath on your tiny hands. You wish you were a man who every day can turn another page. Behind your glass you sit and look at my ever-open book: One brown mouse sitting in a cage.
Do you wonder if I really care for you, Am I just the company you keep? Which one of us exercises on the old treadmill, Who hides his head, pretending to sleep?
Smile your little smile take some tea with me awhile. And every day we'll turn another page. Behind our glass we'll sit and look at our ever-open book: One brown mouse sitting in a cage.
Thank you Patti here goes. This may be in a couple of sections because I will have little children zooming around here any time soon.
Lyrics explained. Personal opinion only.
I have noticed that there are whole websites dedicated to interpreting song lyrics, so I thought it might be interesting to put forward the perspective of someone with a little inside knowledge.
Sometime over the Christmas holidays, my son-in-law got me 'thinking' when he mentioned that one of his band members suggested they perform a J/T cover. I got quite excited about the thought of it. However subsequently they took off to Nashville on a predominately song writing expedition, so I imagine that if they do get that cover together it won't be any time soon. Thoughts of 'what song?' had me musing over some J/T lyrics and I found myself getting caught up in compiling a list of songs, that I thought were based on shared experiences that I believe I recognise.
On that note, just for the record, I/A once embarked on a conversation regarding the press, that I have always remembered. It took place in the early hours in the Baker Street Mews in late 74. He told me that the press often asked him, who or what might have inspired his lyrics. He seemed keen to emphasise that no one inspired his lyrics. Against my better judgement I took that on board to some degree. Despite this, though it has taken me years to fully accept, I believe that I have undoubtedly heard my younger self referred to in a good number of those earlier lyrics. The latest investigation tentatively led me to think, rightly or wrongly that there may be a dozen songs or so. Of course there is no definite proof, except for 'Blues For The 18th'.
Sadly the majority of the lyrics are not flattering, in fact rather life shattering in parts. Some seem regrettably sad. Almost all are justified.
As song writers go, I believe that Ian cleverly reflected situations, feelings and dilemmas that were quite unique. So many years down the line, I still don't believe that he could have duplicated these recognisable experiences, with others or indeed plucked them out of nowhere.
So, This Is Not Love ? This song is not included on my list. It was in fact brought to my attention by a Chrysalis publisher. This was just before, or at the time, the album the song was listed on was released. Interestingly the publisher told me that Ian has said it wasn't a love song, though the publisher was adamant that it was.
I will be looking at this song like an actor looking at two characters in a play. Hope that interests you. I will continue later when the crazy children have gone. Meanwhile thanks for listening xx '
'I will be looking at this song like an actor looking at two characters in a play'
And I as well as many others will look forward to that.
My ex is a singer/songwriter. He was on local radio the other week talking about and performing some of his songs. And there was me listening intently to the lyrics for any throwback to our days (married young - divorced for about 27 years) I remember him saying years ago that sometimes there's no meaning to the lyrics, it can be as simple as the words just fitting the line.
You have the insight to the days that Ian speaks about in his lyrics, the helter skelter of Blackpool and being a teenager at that time.
We'll all be interested in some of your thoughts.....when you get the opportunity !
'There was me listening intently to the lyrics for a throw back of our days'
I appreciate your words and experience. I am drifting towards the Ouspensky theory. 'The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin'. If you are familiar with the work you will know it's about going back in the past so you don't have to do the whole thing again. We took Ideas relating to the theme quite seriously in the Blackpool days.
'I remember him saying years back that sometimes there is no meaning to the lyrics, it can be as simple as the word fitting the line'
I remember I/A saying something similar about some lyrics he wrote early days. They sounded great to me so he wrote them in a letter. It was about a snake slithering under a door. Pure nonsense he said.
I am drifting towards the Ouspensky theory. 'The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin'. If you are familiar with the work you will know it's about going back in the past so you don't have to do the whole thing again. We took Ideas relating to the theme quite seriously in the Blackpool days.
I wasn't familiar with it however I googled.
I'm going to check out some early lyrics for clues!
I don't know if you will find any evidence in songs. I just remember one to one conversations about the future, the past and beyond and knowing what the future had in store 'before' the scary fame thing happened. The only creative parallels that I am aware of is the unpublished 'War Child' script that I/A gave me in late 74 and which I have mentioned here before. About two young characters set in the after-life who, because of their actions end up being regrettably forced to spend another life together. Ouspensky came to my notice years later but there are parallels which are similar. I think I said also that that the theme may have been in Ian's head when he arranged the photos to be taken on Blackpool beach, some of which I posted on this forum. Interestingly a J/T fan managed to get Ian to send him a few pages of 'War Child' which after presumingly reading it again, was said to regard this work of his as naive. I hope he's right. I will get to 'This Is Not Love' eventually
No amount of fanciful thinking could lay claim to any connection with this song from the last meetings I had with I/A, in the late 80's, early 90's. Neither by timing nor inspiration. However the song does unearth recognisable shadows of our home town Blackpool and the years we spent together there. In my opinion, this song is like any good, many layered script or sonnet that actors analyse, dissect and attach their own meanings to. More often than not the characters they are playing, will furnish the actor with a biased view point, according to their own personal experience. Actors may be in conflict with each other over the truth of the matter. The conflict sometimes helps to create the drama.
If my tentative assumptions are correct, I think this is a clever and beguiling song. I do find parts unnecessarily misleading, particularly the americanisms such as 'drug store' and 'sea-board-town'. In my opinion, these references, are an odd and thinly veiled disguise. I am left asking myself why I should feel a sense of betrayal in the use of them. Of course many would know that this song refers to Blackpool, or further up the prom, a stones throw from the writers former home, the lesser known St Annes on Sea. I still visit relatives in this part of the world from where my grandfather used to call 'The Smoke' in the South. The landscape hasn't changed much. I miss the old, recently departed, double decker green and cream trams that carried many generations of our family, on all sides, back and forth along the promenade. In the North of England, this place is called a 'Sea Side Town'. Desolate and boarded up in the winter, it might be regarded as 'romantic' and 'evocative' by some quirky folk. The english equivalent of a drug store is a chemist, which admittedly doesn't sound so gritty.
'He 'thinks' he sees them in those promenade days'. I have to ask why he only 'thinks' he 'sees' them? Does this mean that the character has possibly forgotten those promenade days or are they now just a vague memory? Perhaps life has moved on so much for him, that where he came from is now irrelevant and unimportant. Or simply a painful hidden reminder of October's song? A time when nothing seemed to work for him.
There are lines that I love in this song like 'We snapped our heels half-heartedly' because again, I think the sentiment seems misleading. I think these two are deeply and forever mad at each other and there is nothing half-hearted about their snapping of heels. It describes the internal anger of loss perfectly, only to be made incongruous by some touching, half-hearted self deception.
'How come you know better than me that this is not love?'. That puts my head in a spin. How come he knows, that she knows, better than him, that this is not love, if he wasn't looking at the possibility that it was love in the first place? and how was he thinking of love so late in the day?. On the face of it, this is a wildly flattering thing to say to her, because all indications would point to the fact that no one would know better than he. He is giving her this amazing credibility that she actually knows better than him, which in my opinion, is very much in keeping with the nature of the character I read within the lyrics of this song and at a guess, his past relationship with this girl. His seemingly accumulated arrogance (in her opinion) is merely a facade, a defensive cover, shielding a highly sensitive and insecure nature. For that she battles with some (possibly) misplaced responsibility. She feels guilty and regretful about Octobers song. He is thinking of all this with a great deal of passion.
Perhaps he had already decided before this final meeting, that it was to be the last. He may want to believe, that this girl has been left with 'nothing' after he had offered her 'everything', so promises a higher knowledge of her own self-worth. Again this is in keeping with the unique and admirable qualities that I perceive this character to have. He convinces her, by deferring to the idea repetitively, that maybe she 'always' knew better than he that this was not love. Love or not had been their eternal battle cry. My guess would be that what he doesn't know is the uncertainty she had always known better than he that this, with all it's painful twists and turns is exactly what he thinks it is not.
chester: I know that I am late to the idea, but I have started wearing a mask while out in public. My Canadian officials have changed their stance from: not recommended to mildly suggested to strongly advised.
May 22, 2020 9:42:52 GMT
steelmonkey: Not only am I doing a zoom meeting in nice shirt and boxer shorts...I am ignoring boss and reading Tull news.
May 27, 2020 21:58:08 GMT
chester: It looks like- with people going back to their jobs- the number of daily guests on the JT Forum has gone back down to the 500s range, instead of the 600s and even 700s.
May 31, 2020 17:57:59 GMT
maddogfagin: Still a more than healthy number of visitors although it's difficult to know what percentage of google "bots" trawl forums doing whatever they do - anyone know what "bots" actually do ?
Jun 1, 2020 13:57:36 GMT
rredmond: I thought they gathered information for search engines?
Jun 2, 2020 13:07:30 GMT
maddogfagin: Would that be general info or searches into users details, passwords etc ?
Jun 3, 2020 7:06:57 GMT
rredmond: I think they just troll around the boards gathering public information. If you shut them down, then things like google searches will find the forums less. The more info you have out there the easier it is to be found... whether for good or for bad.
Jun 5, 2020 0:19:08 GMT
rredmond: So the Google will find any searches for Jethro Tull forums or proboards. But if someone searched to figure out what Barriemore Barlow's favorite Tull song is, it wouldn't have that information. So they wouldn't know it was Mouse Police.
Jun 5, 2020 0:22:38 GMT
rredmond: I help run a couple D&D forums, and when one of them stopped allowing the bots, his forum went from like page 1 of the searches, to way down in the pack.
Jun 5, 2020 0:23:17 GMT
maddogfagin: I wonder how many of the so called bots are actually the tull trolls instead
Jun 7, 2020 7:04:47 GMT
futureshock: Here's wishing everyone persistent health! Times are getting more optimistic! Activism is UP, and fear of getting involved in important issues, is dropping faster than the Vegas odds on Trump being elected again. Cheers!
Jun 7, 2020 23:10:01 GMT
maddogfagin: Thanks futureshock - hope you're ok likewise
Jun 8, 2020 15:01:16 GMT
stormsongs: Hi. Newbie, first time here as I have a question I can't get an answer to......I have a vivid memory of buying Lifes a Long Song in 71 and it had a gatefold sleeve....but I can't find any evidence of that or a copy with that sleeve...
Jun 12, 2020 14:25:44 GMT
maddogfagin: Welcome to the JT Forum stormsongs. Not seen a UK Life is a long song gatefold sleeve but there's no doubting they may have been some overseas releases issued this way.
Jun 13, 2020 6:14:41 GMT
futureshock: So, IF you are musical yourself, what are you doing with the CoronaCoda lockdown experience and maybe extra personal time available to find or create more music, or explore instrument playing? How has dealing with musicians changed? Gigs? Spinoff ideas?
Jun 14, 2020 23:01:49 GMT
maddogfagin: Listening to a lot of concert recordings via CD and finding some great music on youtube which I've never heard before. My days of playing guitar are behind me these days due to my damn fingers not wanting to work properly.
Jun 15, 2020 6:37:05 GMT
steelmonkey: Would you like to hear a perfectly constructed, note,rhythm,lyrical and atmosphere piece of Tull perfection? Yes? Try 'Saboteur' on 'Under Wraps'. Flawless.
Jun 22, 2020 21:05:43 GMT
maddogfagin: Under Wraps is an often maligned album by a minority but to the majority it stands amongst the finest of their eighties output. A great album.
Jun 28, 2020 6:43:28 GMT
steelmonkey: Under Wraps is sui generis. Strong everything. Something(s) about it amaze and astound with each listen.
Jun 28, 2020 19:30:42 GMT