Annotations


~ Rupi's Dance ~

.... as long as we are waiting for the art work...

 

An introduction to
"Rupi's dance
"

Well, we all have to wait for that, don't we? Have to listen to it carefully first, which won't be possible till late August or September this year....

In the meantime, please find Ian's tongue-in-cheek comments on each track below. Annotations will be added in due time.

Thanks to David Courtney, webmaster of The Official Jethro Tull website who allowed me to add Ian's comments to this site.


Annotations

Calliandra Shade (The Cappuccino Song)

Ian Anderson Vocals, bamboo flute, guitars, accordion, 
percussion, bass guitar
James Duncan Drums


Café society is as old as the hills. Starbucks and its imitators are the coffee face of the new man in a hurry. Throughout the Old World, the laid-back, knowing residents of towns and villages suspend time in the post-luncheon long moment. Oh, well – the coffee’s only ever as good as the water it is made with. And the froth on top is the frilly knicker on a cheap tart’s bum. 

Funny old cup o’ tea, coffee……

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Rupi’s Dance

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
David Goodier Stand-up bass


The sight of a dark-haired, sexy and alluring young female swaying and swishing to the sound of CNN quietly playing in the background never fails to captivate. 

Rupi was, at the time of writing this song, about 14 weeks old and a bit wobbly on her tiny feet and with not much of a tail yet to balance the bodily gyrations. 

Funny old girls, pussies cat… … …

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Lost In Crowds

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
Leslie Mandoki Drums and percussion
Laszlo Bencker Keyboards
Ossi Schaller Guitar
George Kopecsni Guitar
The Sturcz String Quartet


I am terrible at drinks parties. I do my best and try to chat happily and meaningfully to complete strangers but something in my conversation seems to bother them. Too intense, perhaps? Too fond of talking at people instead of listening? Too condescending and patently bored with the whole thing?

What the hell. I prefer the anonymity of being among the faceless crowds in airports, on downtown sidewalks and in the ubiquitous mall haven of tranquil and isolated suburbia. 

Funny old things, crowds………

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A Raft Of Penguins

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, piccolo, wooden flute, acoustic guitars
Leslie Mandoki Drums, and percussion
Laszlo Bencker Keyboards
The Sturcz String Quartet



Having worked, over these many years, with various orchestral forces from solo woodwind players through string quartets to the more-or-less symphony orchestra, I remain entranced at the differences and misconceptions present in the mutual understanding – or lack thereof – in such gatherings of minds and music. 

Who is the more terrified in such encounters? Me or them? I play a bit out of tune, out of time and read not a not a note of those Dead Sea Scrolls written so carefully upon the stave of life. But when the wind gets up and the music stand blows over, I can busk it with the best of them. It’s all in the head, you see. And in the heart. And that improvisational adventure is a mystery to many a first fiddler and his tribe. 

Here is an affectionate musing on the scary delights of fronting an orchestra in the face of a paying public. 

Funny old birds, penguins………

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A Week Of Moments

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
Leslie Mandoki Drums and percussion
Laszlo Bencker Piano, Hammond B3 organ, Keyboards


Vacations for me are a mercifully short excuse for getting away from the rat race to find only that the stress of yet more hotels, screaming pool children and fellow guests from Hades make for a mixed and dubious week’s pleasure.

So here is my imagined idyllic, romantic holiday for two. Don’t tell Shona – she might hold me to this. 

Funny old chap, holidays………

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A Hand Of Thumbs

Ian Anderson Vocals, piccolo, flute, acoustic guitars
David Goodier Bass guitar and stand-up bass
Leslie Mandoki Drums and percussion
Laszlo Bencker Keyboards, Mellotron, Moog
Ossi Schaller Electric guitar
George Kopecsni Electric guitar


An imagined meeting with seductive stranger, glimpsed across yet another crowded room. Must try to practise these social skills. Must try to do better. Must try to be more confident. 

Funny old business, fear of humiliating failure………

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Eurology (instrumental)

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
David Goodier Bass guitar
John O’Hara Accordion
Leslie Mandoki Percussion


Power-walking down London’s Baker Street in rush-hour some months ago, I found myself humming this tune, bestowed upon me by the Euro-Gods – or, at least, their angels-in-waiting.

Having popped in to the nearest Sony Centre to purchase a digital “dictaphone” of the cheapest variety, I repaired to the local Indian restaurant and furtively muttered into the new device the melodic bones of this eclectic and varied piece, between munches of poppadom and vindaloo. Well, you could forget it by the time you got home, couldn’t you? Bet you wish I had.

I was trying to explain this piece to a journalist as being a pun on the study of the urinary tract and its diseases when he asked me if it was difficult to play. “No, it’s a piece of piss, actually”, I offered. 

Funny old things, Euro-tunes………

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Old Black Cat

Ian Anderson Vocals, bamboo flute, acoustic guitars
David Goodier Stand-up bass 


For twelve years I enjoyed the good company of a pretty average, unexceptional old moggy by the name of Mauser. He was so-called after the German armament company of the same name but Deutsche-slang suggests his name might also liberally translate as “Shagger” – quite inappropriate since he was de-balled and disarrayed as a young sir. However, he may have long considered eunuch meanderings of the third kind. Who knows? 

He died of liver cancer quickly and painlessly just before Christmas and I wrote the song in the hours after the go-to-sleep-now needle went in. 

Funny old thing, sentimentality………


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Photo Shop

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, piccolo, mandolin, percussion, accordion, acoustic bass guitar

Just across the street from London’s Paddington Station, is a small photo shop where I have occasionally taken in some film for developing. The voyeuristic delights (and horrors) of processing the customers’ holiday snaps must be a poor substitute for the chance to leave cold and rainy old Paddington for the balmier climes of foreign parts. 

And some of those foreign parts, in all their gynaecological detail, doubtless show up in the work load from time to time. Oh, well: brightens up a drab day doesn’t it? And most of the snaps get stuck in a bottom drawer and forgotten; better remembered, perhaps, by the photo processor than the picture-taker. Think about it when next you drop off the roll of film with the bared buttocks of Auntie Maude by the swimming pool. 

Funny old waste of trees, most holiday photos…… 

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Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitar
David Goodier Bass guitar
James Duncan Drums
Leslie Mandoki Udu 
Laszlo Bencker Piano, Hammond Organ
Andrew Giddings keyboards
The Sturcz String Quartet


While I was going morning walk-about during a few hours off mid-German tour, I dropped in, as I usually do, to the calm and orderly Berlin Zoo to check out my little pals in the Cat Kingdom for the medium to small.

On my way to the cat enclosure, I noticed a pigeon flying lazily over the other animals locked behind wires in their enclosures and thought, “Oh, to be free like that pigeon…..”

But then, would the antelope, the elephant and the flamingo really want the get-out-of-jail card after all? I wrote the song in my head – words and music, top to tail and went for a curry. Put in on mini-disc back at the hotel. 

Funny old things, zoos………

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Griminelli’s Lament (instrumental)

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
David Goodier Bass guitar
John O’Hara Keyboard

Andrea Griminelli is a famous Italian flautist who possesses good looks, Latin charm, worldliness, exceptional musicality and, temporarily, no girlfriend following a parting of ways. 

That is why I wrote for him this piece of music which we played together on some concerts with orchestras in Italy in 2002. It combines Celtic and Baroque influences to symbolise our separate musical and cultural backgrounds. Didn’t do a lot to cheer him up, really. I play both flute parts on this recording, as Andrea and James Galway both would have liked to perform the second flute part on the piece and I didn’t want to upset either of them. Now, I’ve probably upset both. 

Funny old lip-smackers, flute-players… … …

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Not Ralitsa Vassileva

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
John O’Hara Accordion
James Duncan Drums
Leslie Mandoki Percussion
Laszlo Bencker Piano
Andrew Giddings Bass, keyboard

As an inveterate watcher of CNN after each Tull show, I clamber, naked as a baby, on to the hotel bed to be with the young, and not-so-young ladies and gentlemen of Cable News Network as they fill me in on the daily events of this wicked world. Of course, Ralitsa (Bulgarian-born and educated journalist of the most professional and responsible sort) is a CNN International gal and therefore not viewable in the United States, but we see her over here in the UK in the rest of the world.

The chattering classes love to pontificate on the ways and wiles of the world and I am no exception. This song is based on the memory of a temporary and slightly tipsy female dinner table companion who regaled me with the day’s news stories as if she was the author of all-that-was-great-and-happened-today. As if she could be the slick, tutored and elegant Ralitsa! Oh, Ralitsa of the careless dimple. 

Funny old things, CNN gals………

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Two Short Planks

Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars, percussion
David Goodier Bass guitar


When I was a short-trousered pre-teen schoolboy, I had an easy ride at primary school in Scotland. But, aged twelve, and having relocated to a more competitive environment at the North of England’s Blackpool Grammar School, the full horror of the regular examination process had me in a tizzy. Some subjects caused me great anguish and difficulty: Algebra, Trigonometry, Chemistry and some aspects of Physics brought on the jitters due to fear of loosened sphincter, hot flushes and migraine attacks.

I decided that I was not academically blessed and took refuge in the strangely comforting notion that I must be naturally a bit stupid (as thick as two short planks). Of course, sufficiently relaxed and resigned to a distant and soon-to-be-forgotten acquaintance with academia, I quickly went on to rise to the top of the lead class and take all my exams successfully a year early! 

Funny old thing, school……… 

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Birthday Card At Christmas

(Bonus track from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album)


Ian Anderson Vocals, flute, acoustic guitars
Martin Barre Electric guitar
Andrew Giddings Keyboards and bass
Doane Perry Drums


My daughter Gael, like millions of other unfortunates, celebrates her birthday within a gnat’s whisker of Christmas. Overshadowed by the Great Occasion, such birthdays can be flat, perfunctory and fleetingly token in their uneventful passing. 

The daunting party and festive celebration of the Christian calendar overshadows too, some might argue, the humble birthday of one Mr. J. Christ. 

Funny old 25ths, Decembers… … …

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June 22 2003

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