"A Passion Play"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

A Passion Play (1973), 'M.U.': The Best of Jethro Tull (1976), Repeat: The Best of Jethro Tull Vol. II (1977), 25th Anniversary Boxed Set: Potpourri - Live Across The World and Through The Years (1993), The Best of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection (1993), 36 Greatest Hits (1998), A Passion Play (Remster) (2003), The Essential Jethro Tull (2003), A Passion Play: An Extended Performance (Steven Wilson Stereo Mix) (2014)

'Do you still see me even here?'
(The silver cord lies on the ground)
'And so I'm dead', the young man said
Over the hill (not a wish away)
My friends (as one) all stand aligned
Although their taxis came too late
There was a rush along the Fulham Road
There was a hush in the Passion Play
Such a sense of glowing in the aftermath
Ripe with rich attainments
All imagined, sad misdeeds in disarray
The sore thumb screams aloud
Echoing out of the Passion Play
All the old familiar choruses
Come crowding in a different key
Melodies decaying in sweet dissonance
There was a rush along the Fulham Road
Into the Ever-Passion Play
And who comes here to wish me well?
A sweetly-scented angel fell
She laid her head upon my disbelief
And bathed me with her ever-smile
And with a howl across the sand
I go escorted by a band of gentlemen
In leather bound
No-one (but someone to be found)
All along the icy wastes
There are faces smiling in the gloom
Roll up roll down, feeling unwound?
Step into the viewing room
The cameras were all around
We've got you taped, you're in the play
Here's your I.D.
(Ideal for identifying one and all)
Invest your life in the memory bank
Ours the interest and we thank you
The ice-cream lady wet her drawers
To see you in the Passion Play
Take the prize for instant pleasure
Captain of the cricket team
Public speaking in all weathers
A knighthood from a queen
All your best friends' telephones
Never cooled from the heat of your hand
There's a line in a front-page story
13 horses that also-ran
Climb in your old umbrella
Does it have a nasty tear in the dome?
But the rain only gets in sometimes
And the sun never leaves you alone
Lover of the black and white, it's your first night
The Passion Play goes all the way
Spoils your insight
Tell me how the baby's made
How the lady's laid
Why the old dog howls in sadness
And your little sister's immaculate virginity
Wings away on the bony shoulders
Of a young horse named George
Who stole surreptitiously
Into her geography revision
(The examining body examined her body)
Actor of the low-high Q, let's hear your view
Peek at the lines upon your sleeves
Since your memory won't do
Tell me how the baby's graded
How the lady's faded
Why the old dogs howl with madness
All of this and some of that's
The only way to skin the cat
And now you've lost a skin or two
You're for us and we for you
The dressing room is right behind
We've got you taped, you're in the play
How does it feel to be in the play?
How does it feel to play the play?
How does it feel to be the play?
Man of passion rise again
We won't cross you out
For we do love you like a son
Of that there's no doubt
Tell us is it you who are here
For our good cheer?
Or are we here for the glory, for the story
For the gory satisfaction of telling you
How absolutely awful you really are?
There was a rush along the Fulham Road
There was a hush in the Passion Play

(The Story of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles)

We sleep by the ever-bright hole in the door
Eat in the corner talk to the floor
Cheating the spiders who come to say 'Please'
(Politely) they bend at the knees
Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs
Old gentlemen talk of when they were young
Of ladies lost and erring sons
Lace-covered dandies revel (with friends)
Pure as the truth, tied at both ends
Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs
Scented cathedral, spire pointed down
We pray for souls in Kentish Town
A delicate hush, the gods floating by
Wishing us well, pie in the sky
God of ages, Lord of Time
Mine is the right to be wrong
Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs
Jack rabbit mister spawn a new breed
Of love-hungry pilgrims (no bodies to feed)
Show me a good man, I'll show you the door
The last hymn is sung and the devil cries 'More'

Stereo mix additional lyrics
Show me the gypsy, the chain's weakest link
And I'll throw in a [fiver], tomorrow he can drink
Til he's down on his knees, his luck, and his [years/heels]
Let me pass you the bottle, let's see how it feels
Frolicking hero, as one on his horse
Left only with memories, that ooze from his pores
Let him join in the party, and share in the fun
While the barman, [his pocket] snuffs out the sun

Well, I'm all for leaving and that being done
I've put in a request to take up my turn
In that forsaken paradise that calls itself 'Hell'
Where no-one has nothing and nothing is well
Meaning fool, pick up thy bed
And rise up from your gloom smiling
Give me your hate
And do as the loving heathen do
Colors I've none, dark or light
Red, white or blue
Cold is my touch (freezing)
Summoned by name
I am the overseer over you
Given this command to watch o'er our miserable sphere
Fallen from grace
Called on to bring sun or rain
Occasional corn from my oversight grew
Fell with mine angels from a far better place
Offering services for the saving of face
Now you're here, you may as well admire
All whom living has retired
From the benign reconciliation
Legends were born
Surrounding mysterious lights
Seen in the sky (flashing)
I just lit a fag then took my leave
In the blink of an eye
Passionate play
Join round the maypole in dance
(Primitive rite) (wrongly), summoned by name
I am the overseer over you
Flee the icy Lucifer, oh he's an awful fellow!
What a mistake!
I didn't take a feather from his pillow
Here's the everlasting rub
Neither am I good or bad
I'd give up my halo for a horn
And the horn for the hat I once had
I'm only breathing, there's life on my ceiling
The flies there are sleeping quietly
Twist my right arm in the dark
I would give two or three for one of those days
That never made impressions on the old score
I would gladly be a dog
Barking up the wrong tree
Everyone's saved, we're in the grave
See you there for afternoon tea
Time for awaking, the tea lady's making
A brew-up and baking new bread
Pick me up at half past none
There's not a moment to lose
There is the train on which I came
On the platform are my old shoes
Station master rings his bell
Whistles blow and flags wave
A little of what you fancy does you good
(Or so it should)
I thank everybody for making me welcome
I'd stay but my wings have just dropped off
Hail! Son of kings, make the ever-dying sign
Cross your fingers in the sky
For those about to Be
There am I waiting along the sand
Cast your sweet spell upon the land and sea
Magus Perde
Take your hand from off the chain
Loose a wish to still the rain
The storm about to Be
Here am I (voyager into life)
Tough are the soles that tread the knife's edge
Break the circle
Stretch the line, call upon the devil
Bring the gods
The gods' own fire in the conflict revel
The passengers upon the ferry crossing
Waiting to be born
Renew the pledge of life's long song
Rise to the reveille horn
Animals queueing at the gate
That stands upon the shore
Breathe the ever-burning fire
That guards the ever-door
Man, son of man, buy the flame of ever-life
(Yours to breathe
And breath the pain of living, living Be!
Here am I!
Roll the stone away from the dark into ever-day
There was a rush along the Fulham Road
Into the Ever-Passion Play

"The Story of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles"
music by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, John Evan, and Ian Anderson; lyrics by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond

A Passion Play (1973), A Passion Play (Remster) (2003), A Passion Play: An Extended Performance (Steven Wilson Stereo Mix) (2014)

This is the story of the hare
Who lost his spectacles
Owl loved to rest quietly
Whilst no one was watching
Sitting on a fence one day
He was surprised when suddenly
A kangaroo ran close by
Now this may not seem strange
But when Owl overheard Kangaroo whisper
To no one in particular
'The hare has lost his spectacles,'
Well, he began to wonder
Presently, the moon appeared
From behind a cloud
And there, lying on the grass was hare
In the stream that flowed by the grass a newt
And sitting astride a twig of a bush, a bee
Ostensibly motionless
The hare was trembling with excitement
For without his spectacles
He was completely helpless
Where were his spectacles?
Could someone have stolen them?
Had he mislaid them? What was he to do?
Bee wanted to help
And thinking he had the answer began
'You probably ate them
Thinking they were a carrot'
'No!' interrupted Owl, who was wise
'I have good eye-sight, insight, and foresight
How could an intelligent hare
Make such a silly mistake?'
But all this time
Owl had been sitting on the fence, scowling!
Kangaroo were hopping mad at this sort of talk
She thought herself far superior
In intelligence to the others
She was their leader, their guru
She had the answer
'Hare, you must go in search of the optician'
But then she realized that Hare
Was completely helpless
Without his spectacles
And so, Kangaroo loudly proclaimed
'I can't send Hare in search of anything!'
'You can guru, you can!' shouted Newt
'You can send him with Owl'
But Owl had gone to sleep
Newt knew too much to be stopped
By so small a problem
'You can take him in your pouch'
But alas, Hare was much too big
To fit into Kangaroo's pouch
All this time, it had been quite plain to hare
That the others knew nothing about spectacles
As for all their tempting ideas
Well Hare didn't care
The lost spectacles were his own affair
And after all
Hare did have a spare a-pair, a-pair

"The Big Top"
music by Ian Anderson

A Passion Play: An Extended Performance (Steven Wilson Stereo Mix) (2014)

"Sailor"
music by Ian Anderson; lyrics by Ian Anderson

A Passion Play: An Extended Performance (Steven Wilson Stereo Mix) (2014)

When the holy film director decides to take a look
Refers to the pages of his holy book
Sends the warm rain falling from the sky
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor better try
If you've never been a sailor you'd better try