"Roots To Branches"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995), The Very Best of Jethro Tull (2001), Living With The Past (2002)

Words get written, words get twisted
Old meanings move in the drift of time
Lift the flickering torches.
See gentle shadows change the features
Of the faces cut in unmoving stone
Bad mouth on a prayer day
Hope no one's listening
Roots down in the wet clay
Branches glistening
True disciples carrying that message
To colour just a little
With their personal touch
Home-spun fancy weavers
And naked half-believers
Crusades and creeds descend
Like fiery flakes of snow
Bad mouth on a prayer day
Hope no one's listening
Roots down in the wet clay
Branches glistening
In wet and windy priest-holes
Grand in vast cathedrals
High on lofty minarets
Or in the temples of doom
I hope the old man's got his face on
He'd better be some quick change artist
Suffer little children
To make their minds up soon
Bad mouth on a prayer day
Hope no one's listening
Roots down in the wet clay
Branches glistening

"Rare and Precious Chain"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995), Through The Years (1997)

Rare and precious chain
Do I have to tell you, tell you once again?
Under red lights, on soft nights
It all comes back to you
Rare and precious chain
Binds me to your soul
Round gently pulsing veins.
Shackled tight
Feel love's bite coming back to you
No gold of fools, no hostage taking
No engagement rules to leave you forsaken
Tiny beads of sweat, thin diamond glistening
Glistening around your neck
Forgotten rooms, dark catacombs
They all come back to you
No crock of glittering prizes
No sharply worded telegram
No excuses for the word-weary
No excuses for who I am
It's a rare and precious chain
Around your neck I place it, place it once again
Drawn finger tight
Feel love's bite coming back to you
Under red lights, on soft nights
It all comes back to you
Rare and precious chain

"Out Of The Noise"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Glued to the kerbstone, staring
Frozen at the stop-sign too
See that crazy suicide mongrel
He's going to try to cross that avenue
Old dog (mutt) of experience
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys
He's got his mind on someone else's dinner
Over the road, round the corner
Out of the noise
Lives down in some cool, cool basement
Sharing with a family of bouncy, ratty little guys
Works to a discipline of ritual undertakings
Sleep, eat, and gentle exercise
Old dog (mutt) of experience
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys
He's got his mind on someone else's dinner
Over the road, round the corner
Out of the noise
Some towns I know
He could end up in a restaurant
Wrong side of a table for two
It's enough to send him running
Running for cover
Back into traffic, what's a poor dog to do?
Old dog (mutt) of experience
Ripping through the black and yellow cabs
Dodging rickshaws and the bicycle boys
He's got his mind on someone else's dinner
Over the road, round the corner
Out of the noise

"This Free Will"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

She peeled from a stretch black snake
Which slipped up to the hotel door
Darting looks from piercing eyes
The stir of memory and then no more
Well, you know how I have to believe
She can almost remember my name
It's been a long time coming, babe
Long time loose amongst foreign hills
Shaking my faith in this free will
Years ago in a coastal town
Mosquitoes buzzed in her hair
Schooldress torn and bare feet brown
Then the rains came and she wasn't there
You're closing your doors on me
When you had almost remembered my name
It's been a long time coming, babe
Long time loose amongst foreign hills
Shaking my faith in this free will
Sharp points in an ink black sky
Faint words collide, then are lost
I'll follow you beneath this dome
Win you back at any cost
I know we were children then
But you can almost remember my name
It's been a long time coming, babe
Long time loose amongst foreign hills
Well, let's be children still
Don't shake my faith in this free will
Don't shake my faith in this free will

"Valley"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Wake hard in the morning
See the young girl milking
Stream rushing by on a bed of stone
Old goats and sandstone cracking
All containing
Squeezing that river like it squeeze your bones
In the long red, red valley
People live here too long
In the long red, red valley
They only sing the valley song
Some bad people living further down the valley
Not easy for us to do good trade
We got snowmelt, snowmelt sweet water
They got that valley road that they made
In the long red, red valley
People dying here too long
In the long red, red valley
They only sing the valley song
Holding hands on the hillside
Showing love to your brother
Your sister and your mother
But we hate those people down the valley
Has anybody seen Moses?
Get him off that mountain
Bring back the tablets of stone
It's a wise, wise prophet
Who keeps his own council
Yeah, leave the other man's wife alone
In the long red, red valley people
Living here too long
In the long red, red valley
They only live the valley song
In the long red, red valley
People dying here too long
In the long red, red valley
They only know the valley song

"Dangerous Veils"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Desert candle in a tented space
Throwing softer shadows on a covered face
Sister, silent to the likes of me
Pay my respects (I tip my hat) to her propriety
Is this some crazy woman here
Dancing behind her thin black veil?
Am I misreading those mysterious eyes?
Duet impossible to harmonize
I'm not inviting any stiff (fierce) reaction
I'm not one for naming holy names
And I won't peek behind those dangerous veils
Though you might hate me just the same
Name of the Father ringing in her head
Thinking over what the prophet said
Words and tradition bind her in their spell
Don't drink the water from this holy well

"Beside Myself"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Small child messing down
Messing down in the street of Bombay
Cities like this have no shame, no shame
Indeed why should they?
Out in the middle distance
Several tragedies are playing
I'm beside myself
Big sister, can you hear him
Can you hear him? I'm beside myself
Big sister can you see him cry, see him cry?
I'm beside myself
I saw you taking money in the shadows
In the shadows by the station there
I'll wish you up a silver train
To carry you to school
Bring you back home again
Strip off that work paint
And put a cleaner face on, I'm beside myself
Hollow-faced mother with her babe in arms
Babe in arms, looks through me
Behind forgotten charms
Forgotten charms to soothe me
Between the guilt and charity
I feel the wimp inside of me, I'm beside my self
Out in the middle distance
Still more tragedies are playing
I'm beside myself

"Wounded, Old and Treacherous"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

A walk on the quiet side, late in the day
Don't mean to get in anybody's way
The Gods seem willing, sun's in the sky
Old crows cawing as the straight crows fly
There was a time when love was the law
There was a time for the tooth and the claw
Last rites given, no holds barred
Heaven Express on my credit card
(Now) let me draw the jungle line
I won't cross yours if you don't cross mine
Won't make trouble, I don't need no fuss
But I'm wounded, old and I'm treacherous
Allow me to draw the jungle line
You cross it once
you cross some friends of mine
They won't make trouble
They don't need no fuss
But they're wounded, old
And they're treacherous
In the crisp of evening, on sacred ground
Ghosts of fathers pushing moonbeams round
Big cats prowling inside your head
They left for China, better left for dead
(Now) let me draw the jungle line
I won't cross yours if you don't cross mine
Won't make trouble, I don't need no fuss
But I'm wounded, old and I'm treacherous
Living mountains going to shake that town
Big mother calling you from underground
She don't want trouble, she don't need no fuss
But she's wounded, old and treacherous

"At Last, Forever"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

So why are you holding my hand tonight?
I'm not intending to go far away
I'm just slipping through to the back room
I'll leave you messages almost every day
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace
Not in this lifetime, babe
But we'll cling together
Some kind of heaven written in your face
So why are you holding my hand tonight?
Well, am I feeling so cold to the touch?
Do my eyes seem to focus
On some distant point?
Why do I find it hard to talk too much?
And who was I to last forever?
I didn't promise to stay the pace
Not in this lifetime, babe
But we'll cling together
Some kind of heaven written in your face

"Stuck In The August Rain"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Brings jasmine tea on a painted tray
And bends to kiss my frown away
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain
Stuck out in the cloudburst once again
The cover's on, the coast is clear
We're all battened down, only us here
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain
Stuck out in the cloudburst once again
She walks between the lines
And she can read my signs
Stuck out in the August rain
Out in the cloudburst once again
Single-minded in my gloom
I appear to revel in this darkened room
But I'm still still stuck in the August rain
Stuck out in the cloudburst once again
She walks between the lines
And she can read my signs
Stuck out in the August rain
Out in the cloudburst once again

"Another Harry's Bar"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson

Roots To Branches (1995)

Wet wind on the sidewalk
I'm staring at the rain
Walking up the street
Yeah, and walking down again
And my feet are tired and my brain is numb
See that broken neon sign saying
Hey, in you come
Got the scent of stale beer hanging
Hanging round my head
Old dog in the corner sleeping
Like he could be dead
A book of matches and a full ashtray
Cigarette left smoking its life away
Another Harry's bar or that's the tale they tell
But Harry's long gone now
And the customers as well
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry
Will make this world turn right
It'll all turn right
God's tears on the sidewalk
It's the mother of all rain
But in the thick blue haze of Harry's
You will feel no pain
And you will feel no soft hand
Slipping on your knee
You don't have to pay for memories
They will all come free
Another Harry's bar or that's the tale they tell
But Harry's long gone now
And the customers as well
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry
Will make this world turn right
It'll all turn right
Now when Harry was a young man
Harry was so debonair
He walked a bouncy step in his shiny shoes
And when Harry was a young man
Well, Harry could walk on air
He mixed a mean cocktail
And he talked you through the late news
You want to hear some great news?
Harry's still here
Another Harry's bar or that's the tale they tell
But Harry's long gone now
And the customers as well
Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry
Will make this world turn right
It'll all turn right
Another Harry's bar
And another Harry's bar and another
And another Harry's bar