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~ MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY ~

Lyrics

Minstrel cover

(1975)

 

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Minstrel In The Gallery

Cold Wind To Valhalla

Black Satin Dancer

Requiem

One White Duck / 0/10 = Nothing At All

Baker Street Muse

Grace

[David Palmer - spoken intro] :
'My lord and lady, we have fortuitously happended upon these, er, strolling players, who will provide you with, er, goodly tunes while you set about your prandial delights...albeit in the lamentable absence of your guests. So, my lord and lady, for your entertainment!.....'

Minstrel In The Gallery

The minstrel in the gallery
looked down upon the smiling faces.
He met the gazes observed the spaces
between the old men's cackle.
He brewed a song of love and hatred,
oblique suggestions and he waited.
He polarized the pumpkin-eaters,
static-humming panel-beaters,
freshly day-glow'd factory cheaters
(salaried and collar-scrubbing).
He titillated men-of-action
belly warming, hands still rubbing
on the parts they never mention.
He pacified the nappy-suffering, infant-bleating,
one-line jokers, T.V. documentary makers
(overfed and undertakers).
Sunday paper backgammon players
family-scarred and women-haters.
Then he called the band down to the stage
and he looked at all the friends he'd made.

The minstrel in the gallery
looked down on the rabbit-run.
And threw away his looking-glass -
saw his face in everyone.
Top of page

Cold Wind To Valhalla

And ride with us young bonny lass
with the angels of the night.
Crack wind clatter flesh rein bite
on an out-size unicorn.
Rough-shod winging sky blue flight
on a cold wind to Valhalla.
And join with us please
Valkyrie maidens cry
above the cold wind to Valhalla.
Breakfast with the gods. Night angels serve
with ice-bound majesty.

Frozen flaking fish raw nerve
in a cup of silver liquid fire.
Moon jet brave beam split ceiling swerve
and light the old Valhalla.
Come join with us please
Valkyrie maidens cry
above the cold wind to Valhalla.
The heroes rest upon the sighs
of Thor's trusty hand maidens.
Midnight lonely whisper cries,
"We're getting a bit short on heroes lately.''
Sword snap fright white pale goodbyes
in the desolation of Valhalla.
And join with us please
Valkyrie maidens ride
empty-handed on the cold wind to Valhalla.
Top of page

Black Satin Dancer

Come, let me play with you, black satin dancer.
In all your giving, given is the answer.
Tearing life from limb and looking sweeter
than the brightest flower in my garden.
Begging your pardon shedding right unreason.
Over sensation fly the fleeting seasons.
Thin wind whispering on broken mandolin.
Bending the minutes the hours ever turning
on that old gold story of mercy:
desperate breathing, tongue nipple-teasing.
Your fast river flowing your northern fire fed.
Come, black satin dancer, come softly to bed.
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Requiem

Well, I saw a bird today
flying from a bush
and the wind blew it away.
And the black-eyed mother sun
scorched the butterfly at play
velvet veined. I saw it burn.
With a wintry storm-blown sigh,
a silver cloud blew right on by.
And, taking in the morning, I sang
O Requiem.

Well, my lady told me, "Stay.''
I looked aside and walked away
along the strand.
But I didn't say a word,
as the train time-table blurred
close behind the taxi stand.
Saw her face in the tear-drop black cab window.
Fading into the traffic; watched her go.
And taking in the morning,
heard myself singing 
O Requiem.
Here I go again.
It's the same old story.

Well, I saw a bird today
I looked aside and walked away
along the Strand.
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One White Duck / 0/10 = Nothing At All

There's a haze on the skyline, to wish me on my way.
And there's a note on the telephone some roses on a tray.
And the motorway's stretching right out to us all,
as I pull on my old wings one white duck on your wall.
Isn't it just too damn real? One white duck on your wall.
One duck on your wall.
I'll catch a ride on your violin strung upon your bow.
And I'll float on your melody sing your chorus soft and low.
There's a picture-view postcard to say that I called.
You can see from the fireplace, one white duck on your wall.
Isn't it just too damn real? One white duck on your wall.
One duck on your wall. One duck on your wall.

So fly away Peter and fly away Paul
from the finger-tip ledge of contentment.
Well, the long restless rustle of high-heeled boots calls.
And I'm probably bound to deceive you after all.

Something must be wrong with me and my brain
if I'm so patently unrewarding.
But my dreams are for dreaming and best left that way
and my zero to your power of ten equals nothing at all.

There's no double-lock defense; there's no chain on my door.
I'm available for consultation,
But remember your way in is also my way out,
and love's four-letter word is no compensation.

Well, I'm the Black Ace dog-handler: I'm a waiter on skates
so don't you jump to your foreskin conclusion.
Because I'm up to my deaf ears in cold breakfast trays
to be cleared before I can dine on your sweet Sunday lunch confusion.
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Baker Street Muse

Windy bus-stop. Click. Shop-window. Heel.
Shady gentleman. Fly-button. Feel.
In the underpass, the blind man stands.
With cold flute hands.
Symphony match-seller, breath out of time.
You can call me on another line.

Indian restaurants that curry my brain.
Newspaper warriors changing the names,
they advertise from the station stand.
With cold print hands.
Symphony word-player, I'll be your headline.
If you catch me another time.

Didn't make her with my Baker Street Ruse.
Couldn't shake her with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her but I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

Ale-spew, puddle-brew boys, throw it up clean.
Coke and Bacardi colours them green.
From the typing pool goes the mini-skirted princess
with great finesse.
Fertile earth-mother, your burial mound is fifty feet
down in the Baker Street underground. (What the hell!)

Didn't make her with my Baker Street Ruse.
Couldn't shake her with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her but I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

Walking down the gutter thinking, "How the hell am I today?''
Well, I didn't really ask you but thanks all the same.

a) Pig-Me And The Whore

"Big bottled Fraulein, put your weight on me,''
said the pig-me to the whore,
desperate for more in his assault upon the mountain.
Little man, his youth a fountain.
Overdrafted and still counting.
Vernacular, verbose; an attempt at getting close 
to where he came from.
In the doorway of the stars,
between Blandford Street and Mars;
Proposition, deal. Flying button feel. Testicle testing.
Wallet ever-bulging. Dressed to the left, divulging
the wrinkles of his years.
Wedding-bell induced fears.
Shedding bell-end tears in the pocket of her resistance.
International assistance flowing generous and full
to his never-ready tool.
Pulls his eyes over her wool.
And he shudders as he comes.
And my rudder slowly turns me into the Marylebone Road.

b) Crash-Barrier Waltzer

And here slip I dragging one foot in the gutter
in the midnight echo of the shop that sells cheap radios.
And there sits she no bed, no bread, no butter
on a double yellow line where she can park anytime.
Old Lady Grey; crash-barrier waltzer
some only son's mother.
Baker Street casualty.
Oh, Mr. Policeman
blue shirt ballet master.
Feet in sticking plaster 
move the old lady on.
Strange pas-de-deux 
his Romeo to her Juliet.
Her sleeping draught, his poisoned regret.
No drunken bums allowed
to sleep here in the crowded emptiness.
Oh officer, let me send her to a cheap hotel.
I'll pay the bill and make her well
like hell you bloody will!
No do-good over kill.
We must teach them to be still
more independent.

c) Mother England Reverie

I have no time for Time Magazine or Rolling Stone.
I have no wish for wishing wells or wishing bones.
I have no house in the country I have no motor car.
And if you think I'm joking, then I'm just a one-line joker in a public bar.
And it seems there's no-body left for tennis; and I'm a one-band-man.
And I want no Top Twenty funeral or a hundred grand.
There was a little boy stood on a burning log,
rubbing his hands with glee. He said, "Oh Mother England,
did you light my smile;
or did you light this fire under me?
One day I'll be a minstrel in the gallery.
And paint you a picture of the queen.
And if sometimes I sing to a cynical degree
it's just the nonsense that it seems.''

So I drift down through the Baker Street valley,
in my steep-sided un-reality.
And when all is said and all is done
I couldn't wish for a better one.
It's a real-life ripe dead certainty
that I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

Talking to the gutter-stinking, winking in the same old way.
I tried to catch my eye but I looked the other way.
Indian restaurants that curry my brain
newspaper warriors changing the names
they advertise from the station stand.
Circumcised with cold print hands.

Windy bus-stop. Click. Shop-window. Heel.
Shady gentleman. Fly-button. Feel.
In the underpass, the blind man stands.
With cold flute hands.
Symphony match-seller, breath out of time
you can call me on another line.

Didn't make her with my Baker Street Ruse.
Couldn't shake her with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her but I'm just a Baker Street Muse.
(I can't get out!)
Top of page

Grace

Hello sun.
Hello bird.
Hello my lady.
Hello breakfast.
May I buy you again tomorrow?
Top of page
Note:
In October 2002 a digitally remastered version of this album was released,
containing the following bonus tracks:
- Summerday Sands
- March The Mad Scientist
- Pan Dance
- Minstrel In The Gallery (live)
- Cold Wind To Valhalla (live)
In most cases these tracks were recorded during the sessions for this album,
but didn't make it to the final release for a variety of reasons.
Please check the Tull Songs section to access the lyrics to these songs.
 

 

Available online at:
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All Lyrics: Chrysalis Records Ltd., London, UK, 1975 - All Rights Reserved.

APP ballerina

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