Annotations


~ Stand Up ~

(1)

 

An introduction to "Stand Up"

In December 1968 after the release of 'This Was' and a visit to the BBC-studios, where Jethro Tull recorded a rendition of T-Bone Walker's 'Stormy Monday Blues', Mick Abrahams left the band. At this point Ian Anderson felt free to begin his songwriting in earnest, free of the blues tradition. 'A Christmas Song', 'Love Story' and 'Living In The Past' were the first examples of his song writing capabilities that show the emerging of his own style, using 'new' instruments like the mandolin. The popularity of the band increased, they had their first hits in the English Top 40 including the subsequent TV-appearances and continued touring extensively. Their first two gigs abroad took place in Stockholm, 9 & 10 January early 1969, where they opened for Jimi Hendrix. Three months of touring the US followed: the first one of many to follow. Tull opened for great bands like Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Blood, Sweat & Tears a.o. In this period Ian wrote the songs for what would become the new album 'Stand Up'. Recording sessions started in April 1969. The album was released on August 1 and is now by many fans considered to be the first real Tull-album. It became an immediate success in the Uk and the US and lateron in other countries as well.

'Stand Up' contains ten songs, all written in a different style, a feature that is present on most Tull-albums. But there are more: the use of unconvential instruments such as the balalaika, mandolin, hammond organ, strings and - of course - Ian's characteristic flute playing. Another feature is the sequence of the songs: rock songs alternate with acoustic pieces. (We will see on later albums how this alternation is applied within the songs as well).

The flute has become the main instrument on this album, playing both a solo and a supporting role as well. Martin Barre - the new lead guitarist - adds with his versatility an extra quality to the album. When we look at the lyrics, they still are quite plain, like on 'This Was' most of them being love songs, but the poetic element and the imagination of feelings in most of them are striking. Anderson nowadays considers the songs as naïeve and too self-centered, maybe because some of the songs on this album (and on 'Benefit' for that matter) reflect the difficult relationship he had with his parents as a teen.

Though the band on this album moves away from the straitjacket of the blues idiom, it still has a very bluesy atmosphere in songs like 'A New Day Yesterday', 'Back To The Family', 'Nothing Is Easy' and 'For A Thousand Mothers'. 'Stand Up' and the next album 'Benefit' show the transition from Jethro Tull as a blues band to a band that is about to set it's own standards when it comes to form of music and contents/subjects of lyrics.

A photograph taken by Paul S. Smith during one of the two
Jethro Tull gigs at Filmore East, New York, December 6, 1969.

 

Annotations

A New Day Yesterday

Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square

  • The second song on the album refers, like 'A Song For Jeffrey' to Jeffrey Hammond, who joined Jethro Tull in late 1970 as bass player. This Jeffrey will turn up once more on the Benefit-album in the song 'For Michael Collins, Jeffrey And Me'.

  • Jeffrey was a very close friend of Ian. They had known each other since their school days and Jeffrey played several "pre-Tull" bands from 1963 to 1967.
    * Jan Voorbij

  • "Leicester Square" is one of the cultural places in London with many theaters, cinema's and artist-pubs.

Leicester Square

  • Leicester Square is a major place for entertainers of any sort to "strut their stuff"; you will find mimes, jugglers, musicians, and many more "street artists" of all sorts at work there. Musicians and other performers  commonly set up, put out a hat or an open guitar case for donations, and go for it, both as solo artists and as groups. Active participation from the crowd of onlookers is often encouraged (providing they have something to offer; it's not amateur nite) and it is certainly a must-visit place for first-time (and any-time) visitors to London. The best time to go is week nights, esp. between 5:00pm and midnight. Most of the best performers have gigs on weekends.
    * Patrick Marks

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Bourée

  • Ask people "Do you know Jethro Tull?" and they will very likely answer: "Yes, they had a hit with Bourée." This piece of music was inspired by a lute piece composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. 'Bourée' does not only show Ian's improvisational talents on flute, but also brings Glenn Cornick's firm bass playing to the fore. It consists of three parts: the classic Bach theme, an improvisational part featuring flute and bass, and a reprise of the theme now played by two flutes.

  • What is the origin of the well-known and very successful Tull-hit 'Bouree'?  After some research I came up with the following.
    Ian Anderson's Bourée is indeed an adaptation of a Johann Sebastian Bach Bourrée. The original version by Bach can be found as the fifth movement of the Suite in E minor for Lute (BWV 996). A suite is a popular 17th and 18th century musical form consisting of a series of dances. Most of the time a suite consists of four dance-forms: the Allemande (originated in Germany), the Courante (originated in France), the Sarabande (originated in Spain) and the Gigue (jig) (originated in England). Other dance forms were the Minuet, the Gavotte, the Polonaise, the Bourrée, and many others.

    The Suite in E minor, where Jethro Tull's Bourée can be found, is the earliest work that Bach composed for the lute. It is nick-named "Aufs Lautenwercke" (From works for the Lute). It dates from the middle of Bach's Weimar period (1708-1717). Bach did not compose many works for the lute and occasionally, in Bach's own time, those works were performed on the lute/harpsichord, a hybrid instrument in whose construction Bach had assisted. Now something more about the bourrée. The correct spelling is 'Bourrée' with an 'accent aigu' on the first e.

    Here is an exceprt from 'The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians' (London, MacMillan, 1980, ISBN 0-333-23111-2.'; Vol. 3; pages 116-117). Article by Meredith Ellis Little.
    "Bourrée (Fr.; It. borea; Eng. boree, borry).
    A French folkdance, court dance and instrumental form, which flourished form the mid-17th century until the mid-18th.  As a folkdance it had many varieties, and dances called bourree are still known in various parts of France; in Berry, Languedoc, Bourbonnais and Cantal the bourree is a duple-metre dance, while in Limousin and the Auvergne it is commonly in triple metre.  Many historians, including Rousseau (1768), believed that the bourree originated in the Auvergne as the characteristic BRANLE of that region, but others have suggested that Italian and Spanish influences played a part in its development.  It is not certain if there is a specific relationship between the duple French folkdance and the court bourree.
    Specific information on the bourrée as a court dance is available only for the 18th century, whence at least 24 choreographies entitled bourree are extant, both for social dancing and for theatrical use. The bourrée was a fast duple-metre courtship dance, with a mood described variously as 'gay' (Rousseau 1768) and 'content and self-composed' (Matheson, 1739). The step pattern common to all bourrees, which also occurred in other French court dances, was the 'pas de bourree' (Bourree step). It consists of a 'demi-coupe' (half-cut), a 'plie' (bend) followed by an 'eleve' (rise on to the foot making the next step), a plain step, and a small gentle leap.  These three steps occurred with the first three crotchets of a bar, whether in the duple metre of a bourrée or the triple metre of a sarabande, where the 'pas de bourrée' was also used.
    If the small leap were replaced by a plain step, the pattern resulting was called a 'fleuret'.  The 'pas de bourree' preceded the 'fleuret' historically, and is somewhat more difficult to execute; by the early 18th century, however the two steps seem to have been used interchangeably, according to the dancer's ability.  The bourrée as a social dance was a mixture of 'fleurets', 'pas de bourrées', leaps, hops, and the 'tems de courante' (gesture consisting of a bend, rise and slide at places of repose. The stylized bourree flourished as an instrumental form from the early 17th century.  Praetorius' "Terpsichore" (1612) included a few examples, all with quite simple phrasing and a homophonic texture. The Kassel Manuscript (ed. J. Ecorcheville, "Vingt suites d'orchestre", 1906/R1970) also contains a number of bourrées, often placed as the second dance in a suite.  As the order of dances in a suite became more conventionalized in the familiar allemande-courante-sarabande group, the bourrée continued to be included fairly often, coming after the sarabande with other less serious dances like the minuet and the gavotte.  In that position it was included in orchestral suites by J.F.C. Fisher, Johann Krieger, Georg Muffat and Bach."
    * Erik Arfeuille


  • Real Player video clip of
    "Bourée", performed live at the Pistoia Blues Festival, Italy, July 18, 1999. By kind permission of Laufi.

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Back To The Family

  • Ian Anderson ran away from home at 16. I believe this song is about that specific period, before the fame, when he bounced back and forth between St. Annes and Blackpool. This was a mysterious, transitional time for him and remains a big part of the untold story. I believe that master in The Counting House is clearly his father, and it is no coincidence that there is a building called The Counting House on the Blackpool shore.
    * Michael Megerian

     

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Continuation


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Last modified: January 29 - 2004