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Last time we covered the first side of the 1972 album.  The link in that piece goes to the history of the record and has a link to the wonderful album cover and you should look at that if you have not already.

Since this is one long (21:06 minutes) song, we shall do like we did the last time and break it into chunks.  Just hit the pause button after each chunk and we shall discuss.  For your convenience I have also posted the entire lyrics before the embed.  Here we go!

LATER.
See there! A man born and we pronounce him fit for peace.
There's a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease.
We'll take the child from him
put it to the test
teach it to be a wise man
how to fool the rest.

QUOTE
We will be geared to the average rather than the exceptional
God is an overwhelming responsibility
we walked through the maternity ward and saw 218 babies wearing nylons
cats are on the upgrade
upgrade? Hipgrave. Oh, Mac.

LATER
In the clear white circles of morning wonder,
I take my place with the lord of the hills.
And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured
(in neat little rows) sporting canvas frills.
With their jock-straps pinching, they slouch to attention,
while queueing for sarnies at the office canteen.
Saying: "How's your granny?" and good old Ernie:
he coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win.
The legends (worded in
the ancient tribal hymn)
lie cradled in the seagull's call.
And all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist's fall.

The poet and the wise man stand behind the gun,
and signal for the crack of dawn.
Light the sun. Light the sun.
Do you believe in the day?
Do you? Believe in the day!
The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun.
Soft Venus (lonely maiden) brings the ageless one.
Do you believe in the day?
The fading hero has returned to the night
and fully pregnant with the day,
wise men endorse the poet's sight.
Do you believe in the day?
Do you? Believe in the day!

Let me tell you the tales of your life
of your love and the cut of the knife
the tireless oppression, the wisdom instilled
the desire to kill or be killed.
Let me sing of the losers who lie
in the street as the last bus goes by.
The pavements are empty: the gutters run red
while the fool toasts his god in the sky.

So come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year
and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
Let me help you pick up your dead
as the sins of the father are fed
with the blood of the fools
and the thoughts of the wise and
from the pan under your bed.
Let me make you a present of song
as the wise man breaks wind and is gone
while the fool with the hour-glass is cooking his goose
and the nursery rhyme winds along.

So! Come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year
and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
See! The summer lightning casts its bolts upon you
and the hour of judgement draweth near.
Would you be the fool stood in his suit of armour
or the wiser man who rushes clear.

So! Come on ye childhood heroes!
Won't your rise up from the pages of your comic-books
your super-crooks
and show us all the way.
Well! Make your will and testament.
Won't you? Join your local government.
We'll have Superman for president
let Robin save the day.

So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?
They're all resting down in Cornwall writing up their memoirs
for a paper-back edition of the Boy Scout Manual

OF COURSE
So you ride yourselves over the fields
and you make all your animal deals
and your wise men don't know how it feels
to be thick as a brick.

From the opening to 4 minutes is the opening number of the side.  The lyrics are:

LATER.
See there! A man born and we pronounce him fit for peace.
There's a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease.
We'll take the child from him
put it to the test
teach it to be a wise man
how to fool the rest.

QUOTE
We will be geared to the average rather than the exceptional
God is an overwhelming responsibility
we walked through the maternity ward and saw 218 babies wearing nylons
cats are on the upgrade
upgrade? Hipgrave. Oh, Mac.

The first paragraph goes back to the theme of society making people conventional as they pass through the socialization process that everyone has.  Anderson correctly observes that part of that process involves learning deception.  In addition, it seems to become easier to deceive as one gets older and learns to understand that deception often gets one some of their goals faster than honesty does.  As LeRoy Jethro Gibbs once said on NCIS, "You know why I get along so well with children?  Because they do not have the guile to lie to you effectively.".

The second paragraph is the hard to understand spoken part which I find fascinating.  Speaking from the point of society, Anderson also correctly indicates how the system is designed for the average and not special needs children, whether gifted or otherwise.  I guess all of us who have had children have played God to a lesser or greater extent, and society does it on a grand scale.  I have no idea what the reference to the nylons and the cats means.  Anyone have any ideas?

From 4:00 to 11 minutes or so is what I call "Believe in the Day".  This is a strange piece.

In the clear white circles of morning wonder,
I take my place with the lord of the hills.
And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured
(in neat little rows) sporting canvas frills.
With their jock-straps pinching, they slouch to attention,
while queueing for sarnies at the office canteen.
Saying: "How's your granny?" and good old Ernie:
he coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win.

The legends (worded in
the ancient tribal hymn)
lie cradled in the seagull's call.
And all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist's fall.

The poet and the wise man stand behind the gun,
and signal for the crack of dawn.
Light the sun. Light the sun.
Do you believe in the day?
Do you? Believe in the day!
The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun.
Soft Venus (lonely maiden) brings the ageless one.
Do you believe in the day?
The fading hero has returned to the night
and fully pregnant with the day,
wise men endorse the poet's sight.
Do you believe in the day?
Do you? Believe in the day!

This sounds like that the poet and the wise man are observing the conformists at an office setting, comparing them to military members in that they are regimented without being regimented ("...they slouch to attention.").  The part about queueing for sarnies would read in American English as "lining up for sandwiches at the cafeteria".  I think that there is also a reference to Tommy by The Who here, with Ernie and coughing up the tenner (a ten pound note).  Since this is the ultimate sendup of concept albums, that makes sense.  Adding to that is the guitar rift that sounds very much like that from "Pinball Wizard" that follows very shortly thereafter.

The rest of it I just can not fathom.  Perhaps I am thick, but it just does not make any sense to me.  Hopefully those of you more versed in Tull can help us out here.

There is a very nice transitional instrumental part that goes until 13:15.  Then what I call "Come all ye Young Men" starts and runs until 18:06.  This is a profound piece of thought, and the music is just outstanding as well.

Let me tell you the tales of your life
of your love and the cut of the knife
the tireless oppression, the wisdom instilled
the desire to kill or be killed.
Let me sing of the losers who lie
in the street as the last bus goes by.
The pavements are empty: the gutters run red
while the fool toasts his god in the sky.

So come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year
and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
Let me help you pick up your dead
as the sins of the father are fed
with the blood of the fools
and the thoughts of the wise and
from the pan under your bed.
Let me make you a present of song
as the wise man breaks wind and is gone
while the fool with the hour-glass is cooking his goose
and the nursery rhyme winds along.

So! Come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year
and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
See! The summer lightning casts its bolts upon you
and the hour of judgement draweth near.
Would you be the fool stood in his suit of armour
or the wiser man who rushes clear.

Anderson sort of makes his central point in the first paragraph.  I believe that is that because of social conditioning and the way society works, there is by necessity a need for winners and losers.  He also gets a jab at organized religion in at the same time, and it is a fact that organized religion does often seem to be in collusion with other societal institutions in making it easier to accept the status quo.

I believe the reference to building castles actually refers to the young people just starting out in professional or trade life, and the castle is the career.  It is very interesting imagery to say that the the sins of the father (society) are fed from the blood of fools and the thoughts of the wise, and then to say also from the contents of the pan under your bed, almost certainly referring to human excrement since historically the pan under the bed was the chamber pot, used in places that do not have proper sanitary facilities nearby.  Thus, the wise man farts in your general direction (remember the Monty Python connexion we mentioned time before last), the fool watches the clock as he digs himself more deeply into the hole that he had already dug, listening to nonsense for guidance.

I do not get the part about stating the time of year and the hellish chorus, but maybe some of you do and will share it with us.  I do like the metaphor about the lightning and the fool in armor and the wise man who just gets away from a dangerous situation.

At about 18:05 it transitions back to "Comic Book Heros" like on the first side from last time.

So! Come on ye childhood heroes!
Won't your rise up from the pages of your comic-books
your super-crooks
and show us all the way.
Well! Make your will and testament.
Won't you? Join your local government.
We'll have Superman for president
let Robin save the day.

So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?
They're all resting down in Cornwall writing up their memoirs
for a paper-back edition of the Boy Scout Manual.

Now I get the "Biggles" reference.  He was a fictional larger than life character in youth oriented books written by W. E. Johns from 1932 to 1968.  He is sort of like Indiana Jones in a way, or at least that is the gist of the character.  Biggles was the nickname of the fictional character James Bigglesworth.  Since he was not there, Robin has to do.

Finally, at 20:33 it resolves back to where we started.

So you ride yourselves over the fields
and you make all your animal deals
and your wise men don't know how it feels
to be thick as a brick.
Whilst I do not understand the meaning of all of the lyrics, I think that I got a fair handle on them.  Even though the words may be a bit obscure, the music is just wonderful.  It can be powerful, gentle, dissonant, and beautiful depending on the movement.  I find this album to be extremely enigmatic but a masterpiece nonetheless.  I am not the biggest Tull fan who draws breath, but this album is way up on my list of favorites (everything by The Who and the canonical Moody Blues belong in a separate place).

Dear readers, with this I must depart.  It is almost time to publish, and I have a date to visit The Woman as soon as The Little Girl goes down to bake cupcakes with her and enjoy each others' company for the rest of the evening.  I will be around for only a little while for comments, but I shall come back later when she conks out for the night.  It will be nice tonight, because her dad is gone to work and her mum is fading fast from fatigue.  It will just be the two of us.  Please do not get the wrong idea, but it is nice when we are able to share our time together alone because we can laugh, joke, and have tender moments that are not possible with an audience.  Her words earlier were, "I would LOVE to spend the evening with you tonight, as soon as Dad goes and The Little Girl is down."  Life is good!

Please keep on commenting whilst I am gone, and I promise that I will read all of them and respond later!

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

Originally posted to Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Protest Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (19+ / 0-)

    a masterful piece of music?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:00:45 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the rec list, all! (4+ / 0-)

      Time to visit.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:24:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am thanking everyone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      who read and commented here.  I am typing this thank you note from The Woman's computer, and she finished it.

      Warmest regards,

      The Woman  

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 08:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, my! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins

        She really finished up my final thoughts from her computer and signed as The Woman.  She is authorized to use my userid by me as long as she signs off as The Woman.

        She and I had a WONDERFUL time tonight!

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:25:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ian Anderson needs induction into the Rock Hall (11+ / 0-)

    Jethro Tull isn't there.  This came to me as a total shock to me when I visited the Rock Hall in Cleveland a few months ago.

    Locomotive Breath?  Aqualung?  Cross-eyed Mary?  That body of work fails to earn induction into the Rock Hall?  I beg to differ . . . .

    •  I completely agree! (4+ / 0-)

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:20:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seems that R&R Hall of fame is more (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator, thenekkidtruth, mookins

      geared to induction dinner ticket sales over quality of contribution.  Many '80's metal and hair bands were inducted before the Do-wop and some of the British invasion bands were recognized.  Did they need to wait til 1988 to recognize the Beatles or the Beach Boys?  Is Paul McCartney such a dud that they had to wait til 1999 to recognize his work outside of the Beatles?

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stand Up was always my favorite (6+ / 0-)

    for sentimental reasons.

  •  I Just Went A Did A Little Jig (5+ / 0-)

    around my house. This is a song I just love, but honestly kind of forgot about. I am pretty sure I took some really good acid and listened to this song once or twice :).

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:27:48 PM PDT

    •  I am happy that I was the catalyst (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      for you to have some happiness.  That is my job here.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:27:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ooo Thanks!!...haven't thought about Tull for ages (4+ / 0-)

    my fav was always Benefit...

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:47:55 PM PDT

  •  T&R just for Tull (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you for keeping Tull alive and in the forefront!  While I found Crest of a Knave a little hard to understand, most of their work has always struck some chord of understanding within me, must like Moody Blues.  Thank you again!

    ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

    by geekydee on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 06:53:28 PM PDT

    •  THANK YOU for the kind words, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      and taking the time to read my pieces.  I try to entertain and educate simultaneously.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:28:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good God ... I'm sitting here in a strange city .. (4+ / 0-)

    (Louisville) alone in a hotel room, surrounded by paperwork and homesick as hell ... and I get transported back to age 17 in a flash ... waiting for something to happen ... wishing I could just make the insanity of my home life stop ... and immersing myself in this album, perhaps like no other in my life.
    I'm not sure if I should thank you or curse you.
    I guess thanks is where I'm at.
    God ... now I have a craving to do a hit of mescaline.

    •  Kentucky was always (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      a strange place for me as well, until I met The Woman.  Now it is home.  I used to do paperwork (I am one a hell of a good manager, leader, and coach, not to mention writing well), but have been out of work for way too long.  I need gainful employment so that I can take care of those two.

      You always have a friend here, if you need to talk.  You speak sort of cryptically of your home life.  If talking would help, just send me a private Kos message and we can.

      Hey, about the thank or curse thing, you made my point.  At least I get some attention, love me or hate me.  LOL!

      Please be well, my new friend!

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:33:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love how these non-specific lyrics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherwoodB, Jennifer Clare, Translator

    stimulate a free-form understanding in the listener. Good on ya, Tull!

    OK here goes: there are two alternating modes here, lines describing the greatest banality alternating with ones whose  content and delivery are of the greatest importance and urgency.

    They speak of the King, the hero, and Venus who brings them, who is alone in this world, right?

    We have the Lord of the hills, of banality; and the fading hero returning to the night, OK?

    I'm hearing in this that there's a profound validity, an ideal, at the basis of our human endeavor, though you'd doubt it from appearances (Do you? Believe in the day!).  But it becomes shackled to the egos of those who feel they carry it to actuality, feel they embody it.

    So it's a circle: the dawn of the king, the fading hero, as the ideal is betrayed, put in the service of the ego.

    Personally, I think we all reach, dream, whatever, of something larger, even if that larger thing is noticeable only by its absence- it's like the line From Camus' book The Stranger, where he describes a banal "city without intimations'; and some-  many-  conceive or experience this larger thing as a super-validation of their separate ego, an extrapolation of themselves.

    These are the young men building castles, and they are profoundly isolated. And headed for a fall, stood in their suit of armor, because the ego is provisional, temporary; it will not sustain. Reminds me of the Traffic line, 'the only thing that will sustain is the Roll Right Stone'.

    (I'll say it's the mind of Patriarchy, that arose from a profound isolation, separation.)

    And one is profoundly isolated in the world they have made- 'your wise men don't know how it feels'; and Venus so alone in this world. It is heartbreaking.

    That's the album to me- poor Milton, alone against the world; how's he supposed to tell the world what it's forgotten? He's just a celebrity to them.

    Anyway, the part about 'state the precise nature of your fear' to me, is like the Who line 'I know that the hypnotized never lie- do you?'. They're acting out the truth of the situation, though unaware; unconsciously.

  •  Hello Doc, really enjoyed the whole series (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, Jennifer Clare, kurt, Translator

    and especially the insights into the lyrical side of this LP, but for me, TAAB is all about the music which is incredible from start to finish.

    I'd like to make an analogy that I think applies to TAAB as relates to the rest of their output.

    I have read that Tchaikovsky really didn't care much for the Nutcracker, preferring the other ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, both of which were less popular successes than critical. All three have stood the test of time, but the Nutcracker is by far the most popular, mainly because there are absolutely no melodic dead spots. It is tuneful and memorable from beginning to end. The other two have many great and unforgettable themes, but Nutcracker is a hit in the truest sense.

    My point is that TAAB is melodically packed. The music is exuberant and totally thrilling all the way through and when you finish listening to it you keep right on hearing it in your head. See truthhurtsaz' comment above!

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 07:18:48 PM PDT

    •  I so agree- I hadn't heard this in a long time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SherwoodB, Translator

      and I'd forgotten how ambitious it is musically- they really, really bring it! Exciting, gripping, I think it's stood the test of time completely.

    •  It was part of Anderson's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins, SherwoodB

      genius.  He wanted to make a concept album without a real concept, and fill it with excellent instrumental parts, or at least that is my take.  He did well!

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:38:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Doc (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, mookins

    Enjoyed it as always.  I remember listening to this over and over again in college, it was great redneck repellant.  But I must say it takes me back to trying to wade thru engineering homework.  I dimly recall trying to interpret the lyrics while trying to master calculus, some times they were equally indecipherable.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 10:32:52 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Doc (0+ / 0-)

    for reminding me of one of my favorite albums of the day.

    I have to admit that I was always more into the music than the lyrics.

    "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."~ Christopher Reeve~

    by Texnance on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 06:40:44 AM PDT

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