Friday, December 2, 2011

Heavy Horses

Straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.  All this talk about Jethro Tull made me look up his famous essay on Horse-hoeing Husbandry on Google Books.  The link keys you into page 136, but you can scroll back to the beginning.  Here are the opening lyrics to the rock group's 1978 song,

Iron-clad feather-feet pounding the dust,
An October's day, towards evening,
Sweat embossed veins standing proud to the plough,
Salt on a deep chest seasoning.
Last of the line at an honest day's toil,
Turning the deep sod under,
Flint at the fetlock, chasing the bone,
Flies at the nostrils plunder.
The Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron vie
With the Shire on his feathers floating.
Hauling soft timber into the dusk
To bed on a warm straw coating.


  1. Trippler, as you may know Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a big influence on Ian Anderson, but apparently Anderson forgot to credit Rahsaan for one of the songs he borrowed. When they met at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1969 (I believe), someone told Rahsaan about the incident, gave him a lighter gun and pointed him in the direction of Anderson. An unsuspecting Anderson was stunned to see Rahsaan pointing a gun at home and asking him about that song he stole. Anderson apparently profusely apologized not knowing that Rahsaan was blind as a bat. Apparently, they had a good hug afterward. I don't know if Ian ever paid him royalties for the song.

  2. Wow - am a long time fan of Rahsaan Roland Kirk but never heard that story before. Considering his great sense of humor (often called a bizarre sense of humor in his time) it does not surprise me that he agreed to pull that stunt on Ian Anderson.

  3. Listened to the album on grooveshark today. What a treasure.

  4. Ian Anderson praised pastoral life so much in his songs that he later became an agribusinessman. He is doing quite well for himself financially.

  5. That's great. Ali Farka Toure, the "African John Lee Hooker," wasn't so successful when he returned to farming in Mali, hoping to use his proceeds to boost agriculture in his region. But, as I understand, the music school he inspired is bearing fruit.

  6. Thanks for mentioning grooveshark. I've been listening to the six-CD set of Keith Jarrett live at the Blue Note. It feels like stealing!

  7. I had such a crush on Keith Jarrett and Charles Lloyd when I was 16 or 17. I heard them play several times back then. They both went a little too far afield for me later in their careers but the latest Charles Lloyd cd (Mirror) is beautiful.

  8. Well, I don't know what you mean about going too far afield. However, the live sets that Jarrett recorded at the Blue Note in the mid-nineties are very easy on the ears. The trio of Jarrett, DeJohnette and Peacock were on. Highly recommended.

  9. I did not know that the Blue note is still alive & kickin ~ evidently it is still a Mecca for jazz buffs & good food!

  10. Funny, Rick, I was listening to that set as well. Priced at $90 on amazon, it is easy to think of it as a steal on grooveshark, but I guess as long as one isn't downloading, one isn't stealing, but I'm sure the record companies will eventually clamp down on GS as well.

    Jarrett played with Lloyd in his famous concert in Tallinn in the late 60s. I believe it was the first for American jazz musicians in the Soviet Union. I saw Charles Lloyd not so long ago in Vilnius. He looked and sounded great! He has a new album out with Greek singer, Maria Farantouri, simply entitled The Anthens Concert.

  11. Maybe those Jarrett Blue Note sessions just showed up at grooveshark.