Jethro Tull Delivers 100% Performance In “Aqualung” 1977
via BigDaddyAEL1964 / Youtube
“Aqualung” is perhaps synonymous with Jethro Tull. Many people consider the titular album to be Tull’s finest work, and they weren’t wrong about that.
Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s bandleader, explained in an interview the real meaning behind the song “Aqualung.” “It’s really more about our reaction to the homeless, the embarrassment, the sense of – in some cases – hopelessness of tragedy, of sadness… But also a degree of fear, a degree of discomfort. We have very mixed emotions in regard to a lot of things about which we could be charitable,” he said.
“And I think the song is, for me, more about our reaction to the homeless rather than specifically going into the detail of the homeless themselves. This should be presumptuous on my part perhaps because I’ve never been in that situation.”
He also explained that even when writing in a first-person perspective, he wasn’t entirely basing the whole character he created on himself.
“I do write songs in the first person but they’re not me. They are about a character that I’ve invented. I’m inventing that persona and inhabiting that as a screenwriter would write lines to be acted out by an actor. So sometimes that’s part of the way I write songs. Therefore, we shouldn’t always assume that just because I say ‘I’ and ‘me ‘in a song. What is being said is actually my own personal true inner belief or sentiment.”
The song “Aqualung” was featured on Jethro Tull’s fourth studio album, also titled Aqualung, which was released in 1971. It has been said that the album’s main topic is “the distinction between religion and God.”
You can watch a bootlegged performance of “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull in London, back in 1977 below.