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Rupi's dance

(Ian Anderson - 2003)

Список песен:

1. Calliandra Shade (The Cappuccino Song)
2. Rupi’s Dance
3. Lost In Crowds
4. A Raft Of Penguins
5. A Week Of Moments
6. A Hand Of Thumbs
7. Eurology (instrumental)
8. Old Black Cat
9. Photo Shop
10.Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo
11.Griminelli’s Lament (instrumental)
12.Not Ralitsa Vassileva
13.Two Short Planks

Plus bonus track from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album:

14.Birthday Card At Christmas

Тексты песен:

Calliandra Shade (The Cappuccino Song)

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

Cafe 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……

I sit in judgement on the market square.
I have my favourite table and I have my chair.
Natives are friendly and the sun flies high.
All kinds of crazy waiters – they go drifting by.

Come, sit with me and take decaf designer coffee.
Come, laugh and listen as the ragamuffin children play.
Lame dog and a black cat, now, they shuffle in the shadows.
You got cappuccino lip on a short skirt day.

Hours last forever in the Calliandra shade.
Conversation going nowhere and yet, everywhere.
Kick off those sad shoes and let the bare toes tingle.
Slip off the shoulder strap: loosen the thick black hair.

Electric afternoon and shrill cellphones are mating.
Lame dog is dreaming, dreaming of a better life
where bed is fluffy pillows, table scraps are filet mignon
flicked indiscretely by the lazy waiter’s knife.

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… … …

She dances through the flower-filled room –
Sea-green eyes a-sparking.
Or are they blue? The message clear:
Seduce the master, winking.

Dainty feet circles inscribe
Upon the frozen parquet.
Arabesque in compound time:
Stately Pavane or Bouree.

Sultry smile, come hither gaze –
Black hair softly shining.
Calls me up to half-lit bed.
Sweet cloud with golden lining.

Oh, so young with ageless smile –
Born of ungodly maker
Draws me: moth to candle bright –
Fiery pleasure-seeker.

She dances through the flower-filled room –
Sea-green eyes a-sparking.
It’s Rupi’s dance: the message clear.
Her movement does the talking.

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………

I get lost in crowds: if I can, I remain invisible
to the hungry mouths. I stay unapproachable.
I wear the landscape of the urban chameleon.
Scarred by attention. And quietly addicted to innocence.

So, who am I? Come on: ask me, I dare you.
So, who am I? Come on: question me, if you care to.
And why not try to interrogate this apparition?
I melt away to get lost in this quaint condition.

At starry parties where, amongst the rich and the famous
I’m stuck for words: or worse, I blether with the best of them.
I see their eyes glaze and they look for the drinks tray.
Something in the drift of my conversation bothers them.

So, who am I? Come on: ask me, etc.

In scary airports, in concourses over-filled,
I am detached in serious observation.
As a passenger, I become un-tethered when
I get lost in clouds: at home with my own quiet company.

Herald Tribune or USA Today. Sauvignon Blanc or oaky Chardonnay.
Asleep for the movie. Awake for the dawn
dancing on England and hedgerows –
embossed on a carpet of green. I descend and –
forgive me – I mean to get lost in crowds.

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………

A raft of penguins on a frozen sea.
Expectant faces look down on me.
Shuffle uneasy. The whistler plays.
Counting eleven, they begin to pray.

Tenuous but clinging, the missing link
Joins us, closer than we might think.
Some half remembered coarse jungle drum –
A naked heart-beat, trill and hum.

This world’s no stage for the faint at heart.
Each symphony, a sum of parts.
Each overture, a sweet foreplay.
Let’s crash and burn some other day.

Bonded in terror or suspicion deep
Tentative tiptoe or giant leap
Call down the angels to guide them in
A raft of penguins take to the wing.

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………

A week of moments – a clutch of days –
Ten thousand minutes of a Passion Play.
Medley of quavers informs the tune.
It’s all too much: over all too soon.

Sweet condensation on chilling wine
Traveler’s palm, flamboyant tree
Fast photos ripped and lost consign
A week of moments to faint memory.

A week of moments plucked from the page
Found far horizons, a sunset stage.
Suitcases bulge, in silence packed
A chapter closed: no looking back.

The lightest touch upon my arm
No fierce restraint, no call to stay.
Hushed room maids glide like pawns to king
With pool attendants in chess piece array.

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………

My hand of thumbs is shaking
I am so glad to meet you
All tongue-tied and twisted
My lips stuck like glue

More than a lifetime to say, “How are you?”
More than an ocean to cross becalmed.
Less than a second to sink in silence.
Yours truly, I remain disarmed.

Saw you peeping from the corner.
Your eyes seemed to call hello.
I’m all too easily mistaken,
My feet unsteady as they go.

Was I a suave and confident trickster
I would sweep you up and carry you down
To raspberry meadows under diamond skies
and just mess around. Just mess around.

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………

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………

My old black cat passed away this morning
He never knew what a hard day was.
Woke up late and danced on tin roofs.
If questioned “Why?” – answered, “Just because.”

He never spoke much, preferring silence:
eight lost lives was all he had.
Occasionally sneaked some Sunday dinner.
He wasn’t good and he wasn’t bad.

My old black cat wasn’t much of a looker.
You could pass him by – just a quiet shadow.
Got pushed around by all the other little guys.
Didn’t seem to mind much – just the way life goes.

Padded about in furry slippers.
Didn’t make any special friends.
He played it cool with wide-eyed innocence,
Receiving gladly what the good Lord sends.

Forgot to give his Christmas present.
Black cat collar, nice and new.
Thought he’d make it through to New Year.
I guess this song will have to do.

My old black cat……….
Old black cat…………

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……

A Morris Minor, a cafe noir –
Banana smoothie, snails in a jar.
Three dodgy sailors, a girl on skates –
A little too muscled from doing weights.

A family wedding, a sushi bar –
Sand in the Seychelles, karaoke star.
Lads on the razzle get lost in love.
Paddington station, rain clouds above.

The crumpled sheets of a long hot summer.
Stored images like an acorn, drop.
Squirreled away, but still remembered
by the man in the photo shop.

Rush hour on Praed Street: behind the glass –
a picture process, in one hour fast.
Intimate portraits of topless wives –
flashed indiscretions: snap-happy lives.

Pigeon Flying Over Berlin Zoo

Ian Anderson V - ocals, 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………

I’m thinking free - like the bird
flying over, over the animals
in the zoo. How do you do?
What’s it like to be in there? Think about it.

You’re locked behind wires.
Safe and warm - under house arrest protection
from the wild, wild storm and tempest
raging here on the outside. Think about it.

Pigeon I. Pigeon toed.
I’m pigeon-friendly as pigeons go.
Pigeon lonely. Pigeon English.
What’s it like to be in there? Think about it.

Harsh spaces. Empty freedom.
Scary concept. Wrong side of the window.
Which one of us will wake imprisoned
come tomorrow? Think about it.

Give it due consideration.
Weigh it up. Kiss me quickly.
Pigeon friendly. Let me in there
to be with you. Mull it over. (Think about it.)

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… … …

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………

Dinner table chattering classes –
tell all we need to know.
Like it. Lump it. Dig it. Dump it –
on your late, late show.

And do you think you’re Ralitsa Vassileva?
You’re just hand-me-down news in a cookie jar.
It’s a long way from here to CNN in America
and a red-eyed opinion too far.

Dish the dirt or dish the gravy.
Spill the beans to me.
Sinking fast in terminal boredom –
Feigned interest flying free.

And do you think you’re Ralitsa Vassileva etc.

Talking monkey, breaking news junkie, tragedies to reveal.
Light and breezy, up-beat squeezy, close in to touchy-feel.

Pass the Merlot, dance the three-step
Cut to a better chase.
Align yourself with no proposition
and simpler thoughts embrace.

Let’s talk about me. Let’s talk about you.
In a world of private rooms.
Hide awhile from dark stormbringers –
sad messengers of doom.

Sadly, you can’t be Ralitsa Vassileva etc.

And do you think you’re Ralitsa Vassileva etc.

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………

Find some way to square the circle.
Feet slipping, sliding on the level.
Connect to reason, is there anybody there?
Drum it in to me now if you dare.

Triangles by Isosceles.
Principles by Archimedes.
Amo, amas; even amat
make for one less way to skin the cat.

Two short planks –
Try my luck on another day
Must be thick as
two short planks –
That’s about all that I have to say.

Two short planks –
Pop the question: I sit the test
Must be thick as
two short planks –
Spin me round till I come to rest.

They say truth comes flooding if you let it.
But what happens if I just don’t get it?
I’m blissful in my sweet ignorance
and delight in my incompetence.
Two short planks – Try my luck on another day Must be thick as two short planks – That’s about all that I have to say. Two short planks – Pop the question: I sit the test Must be thick as two short planks – Spin me round till I come to rest.

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… … …

Got a birthday card at Christmas: it made me think of Jesus Christ.
It said, “I love you” in small letters. I simply had to read it twice.
Wood smoke curled from blackened chimneys. The smell of frost was in the air.
Pole star hovered in the blackness. I looked again: it wasn’t there.

People have showered me with presents. While their minds were fixed on other things.
Sleigh bells, bearded red suit uncles. Pointy trees and angel wings.
I am the shadow in your Christmas. I am the corner of your smile.
Perfunctory in celebration. You offer content but no style.

That little baby Jesus. He got a birthday card or three.
Gold trinkets and cheap frankincense. Some penny baubles for his tree.
Have some time off for good behaviour. Forty days, give or take a few.
Hey there, sweet baby Jesus: Let’s share a birthday card with you.


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