~ Living In The Past ~



By Kind Permission Of
  • This instrumental piece of music, recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York in 1970, was inspired by a well known piece of classical music. "The piano part is Sonate nr. 8 in C-flat (C mol), Opus 13 by Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827). Sonate nr. 8 is better known as 'Pathétique'."
    * Jeroen Louis
  • Another part is inspired by Rachmaninov and taken from 'Prelude in G Sharp Minor, Opus 3 nr. 2.
    * Juha from Finland
  • The piece became known as "By Kind permission Of" because significant sections were borrowed from classical composers, all of whom were deceased and not in a position to give Evans permission to perform them. Apart from Beethoven and Rachmaninov parts were included from Claude Debussy's "Golliwog's Cakewalk".
    * Jan Voorbij; source: Greg Russo, "Flying Colours, The Jethro Tull Reference Manual" (1999), pp. 56, 73.

Dharma For One

  • An instrumental with a vaguely "Eastern" feel, which features a (Clive Bunker) drum solo. The title is something of a piss take on the hippy / eastern philosophy thing which was a fad at the time.  The whole  Maharishi / Beatles / higher level of consciousness (i.e. drugs) trip which followed the psychedelic culture of the mid '60's and which Anderson detested. He could have called it Instant Dharma, thinking about it. Dharma, in the Buddhist sense, means the journey to enlightenment (Nirvana). In England in the old Tea Rooms or Caffs you asked for tea for one, if you were on your own, or tea for two.  The joke is at the expense of those that thought enlightenment etc was as easy as ordering a cup of tea. Picture a Monty Pythonish old lady entering a tea room: looks at the blackboard menu, "Dharma, the path to enlightenment. Coo that sounds nice, think I'll 'ave some - Dharma for One, please luv. And an eccles cake". Its also a piss take at Clive Bunkers expense, really, Clive being in seventh heaven having had a song specifically written for him to take centre stage for once. A couple of years later, Anderson wrote some lyrics for the song which appear to be about the need for selflessness as opposed to selfishness if. The live performance of this song was recorded in 1970 in New York and released on this album.
    * Matthew Korn

    Return to song lyric Top of page

Wond'ring Again

  • This remarkable song, recorded in June 1970, just before the Aqualung sessions started, is the first one in which Ian criticizes the strive for continuous economic expansion that takes such a heavy toll from the environment (pollution, the waste of natural resources). This theme will be explored further, esp. on the 'Stormwatch' album (1979). Ian might have drawn his inspiration from the outcome of the research of a group of scientists led by Dennis Meadows, called The Club Of Rome. This group started their work in 1968 and got a lot of attention in the media. They pointed out that economic growth and over-population would within a few decades lead to an environmental disaster and the exhaustion of the natural resources. In 1972 they published the alarming results in a report called "The Limits To Growth", which had a huge impact. The book became a bestseller and was translated in 20 languages.
  • Then, after depicting this almost apocalyptical scenery, the song becomes acoustic and Ian skillfully changes the perspective by reducing the problem to proportions we can identify with: a caring young couple, wandering "through quiet lands", aware of the damage done to nature ("searched for the last pigeon, slate grey I've been told"). When one of them unfortunately "stumbled on a daffodil" (a symbol of spring and new life) it triggers their "remorse and (...) touched by the loss of our own" and they realize something irreversible has happened: the daffodil is crushed, like nature in the first verse. They wonder what will become of their future children: will their eyes be opened when they grow up? Will they become people who value nature care for it?
  • From this song, especcially from the acoustic part, 'Wond'ring Aloud', one of the Aqualung acoustic gems, originated.
    * Jan Voorbij

    Return to song lyric Top of page

Jethro Tull released this EP with five songs in the autumn of 1970. Ian Anderson stated that people who were buying singles did not get not enough music for the price they paid, so he had three more songs added for the same amount of money. These five songs were added to the "Living In The Past" album.(Courtesy: Dave Gerber)

Up The 'Pool

  • The song is about Blackpool, where Ian had been living since he was twelve years old until he moved to London. Apart from being a big industrial town, Blackpool is a classical, very touristic seaside resort, like Brighton and Newquay. Ian stated that he dislikes Blackpool, calling it e.g. a shit-hole during gigs. In the summertime, the beaches are crowded with seaside visitors, in spite of the fact that the water is polluted. In a very picturesque way he describes the beach scenery in any given summer's day.

Blackpool: the Golden Mile, the Iron Tower, the silver sea, and a tea-stand.

  • Most of the tourists came from London, 'the smoke' in the vernacular of north-west England and from the Midlands, one of Britain's biggest industrial areas: "I'm going up the 'Pool from down the smoke below". When Blackpool first took off as a resort, it was as result of increased mobility amongst the working class; for the workers of Liverpool and Manchester, Blackpool was THE place to go on vacation.

  • "..... to taste me mum's jam sarnies": sarnies is British slang for sandwiches. Note that Ian adopts the characteristic pronunciations of the area; 'me' rather than 'my'. This is even more apparent in the line which follows:"The candy floss salesman watches ladies in the sand...". Listen to the song again; you'll notice the hard 'a' of 'cAn dy... mAn... sAnd'. Someone from, say, London, would generally pronounce 'salesman' as 'sails-mn'. Ian hence stresses the distinct nature of the place and the Lancashire accent.

  • The dominant feature of the Blackpool skyline, visible for miles, is the Blackpool Tower, situated on the seafront: "The iron tower". It rises out of a building containing a zoo and a ballroom. The boulevard along the seafront is a mile of amusement arcades, cafes, fish & chip shops, tea stands and other tacky ways of separating visitors from their money (sorry, Blackpool Tourist Board!); this is "the Golden Mile", where one will also find all kind of attractions like a fair and casinoes to attract tourists. At either end of the Mile are a vast number of guest houses, another central feature of the town. The fierce Blackpool landlady is nationally, if not internationally, renowned. They generally offer bed, breakfast and evening meal, and no more; whatever the weather, one must vacate the premises during the day. So, if the line doesn't refer to guests drinking tea with their breakfasts, Ian probably means people huddled in bus shelters drinking tea from vacuum flasks! He should know, for his parents ran a boarding house and grocery store in Blackpool! The song 'Big Dipper' from the 'Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll' album is about Blackpool too. In the album sleeve's cartoon, the panel entitled 'Home' actually shows the Tower. There is a Big Dipper on the Golden Mile. More pictures at the site of The Blackpool Pleasure Beach:
    * Jan Voorbij & Neil Thomason

  • "The politicians there, who've come to take the air.....". Each year, the British political parties hold conferences to discuss policy (allegedly); for some reason, seaside resorts always host such events. The terrorist bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in the 1980s probably made the news internationally; that was one such conference. In this song, Blackpool is the host resort. By the way, I don't think the Labour Party always visits Blackpool, and it isn't only the Labour Party which visits. In this song, however, I'm pretty sure the Party in question is indeed Labour: "while posing for the daily press, will look around and blame the mess on Edward Bear", i.e. pretend the mess isn't the Party's fault! In 1971/2, when the album was recorded, the Prime Minister was Ted Heath. So the Labour Party, then in oposition, were blaming the mess on the Conservative administration. In 1971/2, when the album was recorded, the Prime Minister was Ted Heath (therefore Ted ® Teddy Bear ® Edward Bear; Edward Bear is also the real name of Winnie-the-Pooh). So the Labour Party, then in oposition, were blaming the mess on the Conservative administration.

  • Now the 'chorus'; snapshots of Blackpool: "There'll be buckets, spades and bingo, cockles, mussels, rainy days....". Amongst the rows of slot machines and video games, the Golden Mile has several bingo halls. In Lancashire, it rains a LOT. "... seaweed and sand castles, icy waves": Blackpool is on the west coast of Britain, dominated by Atlantic weather systems; the Irish Sea is seriously cold most of the time. "... Deck chairs, rubber dinghies, old vests, braces dangling down ...": The stereotypical picture of the British workman on holiday was of a middle-aged, balding man with a toothbrush moustache, wearing a string vest and fairly formal trousers rolled up to the knee to reveal socks and shoes. The trousers were held up by braces and his bald patch covered by a handkerchief knotted at each corner. Anyone recognise Monty Python's Mr. Gumby? I have to point out that this image is as accurate as the City gent wearing a Bowler hat and carrying an umbrella, or as accurate as the typical American wearing a Stetson....
    * Neil Thomason

  • Real Player video clip of "Up The 'Pool", performed live at NBC Night,
    November 15 1996. By kind permission of

    Return to song lyric Top of page

Dr. Bogenbroom

  • For me, this song is about the rat race we all run within the material driven, economic world we live, the resulting stress it places on people, and finally disenchantment.
    * Phil Vaughn

    Return to song lyric Top of page


  • Like the Aqualung-song "Cheap Day Return", Ian drew the insipration for this personal song from a visit to his father in a hospital in Blackpool. Both songs were written in the train back to London. This one deals with Ian's difficult feeling of leaving his father's life (or what's left of it) in the hands of nurses and doctors in the hope they will take good care of him, fearing that he will die in his absence so he might not see him alive again.
    * Jan Voorbij (Source: Jethro Tull Songbook, Karl Schramm (ed.), Heidelberg, Germany, 1993, p. 12)

  • Return to song lyric Top of page


Back to "Living In The Past" lyrics page

Back to "Living In The Past" annotations page 1


Introduction Site Map Site Search TullSongs TullAlbums TullScapes
TullBooks TullUnreleased TullClips TullLinks TullResources About & Awards

Last modified: September 28 , 2001

© Jan Voorbij (1998-2009)