Song of the Day #3,707: ‘Aqualung’ – Jethro Tull

Aqualung was the fourth, and most successful, album by British prog rock band Jethro Tull. A loose concept album about faith, religion and the downtrodden, featuring plenty of lead flute, it’s one of the unlikeliest hit rock albums ever.

I remember listening to this album fairly often during high school, when 70s bands were the musical bread and butter for me and my fellow classmates.

The title track and deeper cut ‘Locomotive Breath’ are the standouts, two epics packed with creative flourishes but still successful as good old-fashioned songs. The rest of the album gets a little lost in the clouds.

Sitting on a park bench
Eyeing little girls with bad intent
Snot running down his nose
Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes
Hey Aqualung
Drying in the cold sun
Watching as the frilly panties run
Hey Aqualung
Feeling like a dead duck
Spitting out pieces of his broken luck
Whoa Aqualung

Sun streaking cold
An old man wandering lonely
Taking time
The only way he knows
Leg hurting bad
As he bends to pick a dog-end
He goes down to the bog
And warms his feet

Feeling alone
The army’s up the road
Salvation a la mode and
A cup of tea
Aqualung my friend
Don’t start away uneasy
You poor old sod, you see, it’s only me

Do you still remember
December’s foggy freeze?
When the ice that
Clings on to your beard was
Screaming agony (Hey!)
And you snatch your rattling last breaths
With deep-sea-diver sounds
And the flowers bloom like
Madness in the spring

Sun streaking cold
An old man wandering lonely
Taking time the only way he knows
Leg hurting bad
As he bends to pick a dog-end
He goes down to the bog and warms his feet

Oh oh oh oh oh

Feeling alone
The army’s up the road
Salvation a la mode and
A cup of tea
Aqualung my friend
Don’t you start away uneasy
You poor old sod, you see, it’s only me
Oh oh oh oh oh

[Guitar solo]

Dee dee dee dee
Dee dee dee dee dee dee dee
Dee dee dee dee dee dee
Dee dee dee dee

Aqualung, my friend
Don’t you start away uneasy
You poor old sod
You see it’s only me

Sitting on a park bench
Eyeing little girls with bad intent
Snot running down his nose
Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes
Hey Aqualung
Drying in the cold sun
Watching as the frilly panties run
Hey Aqualung
Feeling like a dead duck
Spitting out pieces of his broken luck
Whoa Aqualung

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,707: ‘Aqualung’ – Jethro Tull

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Whenever this song would come on the radio, I would always change the station. Just didn’t care for it. This is the first time I played it through to hear the whole middle part, which has a completely different vibe.

    That same reflexive action of changing the station held true for other Jethro Tull songs as well, as I was never a big enough fan of flute dominated songs to stick with them.

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