"Thick As A Brick"
music and lyrics by Ian Anderson and Gerald Bostock

Also appearing on: 'M.U.': The Best of Jethro Tull (1976), Repeat: The Best of Jethro Tull Vol. II (1977), Live: Bursting Out (1978), Original Masters (1985), A Classic Case (1985), 20 Years of Jethro Tull: III. The Essential Tull (1988), 25th Anniversary Boxed Set: The Beacons Bottom Tapes (1993), The Best of Jethro Tull: The Anniversary Collection (1993), Live At The BBC (1998), 36 Greatest Hits (1998), The Secret Language of Birds (2000), The Very Best of Jethro Tull (2001), The Essential Jethro Tull (2003), Live: Bursting Out (remaster) (2004), The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull (2007)

Really don't mind if you sit this one out
My words but a whisper, your deafness a shout
I may make you feel but I can't make you think
Your sperm's in the gutter
Your love's in the sink
So you ride yourselves over the fields
And you make all your animal deals
And your wise men don't know how it feels
To be thick as a brick
And the sand-castle virtues are all swept away
In the tidal destruction, the moral melee
The elastic retreat rings the close of play
As the last wave uncovers the newfangled way
But your new shoes are worn at the heels
And your suntan does rapidly peel
And your wise men don't know how it feels
To be thick as a brick
And the love that I feel is so far away
I'm a bad dream that I just had today
And you shake your head and say it's a shame
Spin me back down the years
And the days of my youth
Draw the lace and black curtains
And shut out the whole truth
Spin me down the long ages
Let them sing the song
See there, a son is born
And we pronounce him fit to fight
There are black-heads on his shoulders
And he pees himself in the night
We'll make a man of him, put him to trade
Teach him to play Monopoly
And to sing in the rain
The Poet and the painter
Casting shadows on the water
As the sun plays on the infantry
Returning from the sea
The do-er and the thinker:
No allowance for the other
As the failing light illuminates
The mercenary's creed
The home fire burning, the kettle almost boiling
But the master of the house is far away
The horses stamping
Their warm breath clouding
In the sharp and frosty morning of the day
And the poet lifts his pen
While the soldier sheaths his sword
And the youngest of the family
Is moving with authority
Building castles by the sea
He dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside
The cattle quietly grazing
At the grass down by the river
Where the swelling mountain water
Moves onward to the sea
The builder of the castles
Renews the age-old purpose
And contemplates the milking girl
Whose offer is his need
The young men of the household
Have all gone into service
And are not to be expected for a year
The innocent young master
Thoughts moving ever faster
Has formed the plan to change the man
He seems
And the poet sheaths his pen
While the soldier lifts his sword
And the oldest of the family
Is moving with authority
Coming from across the sea
He challenges the son who puts him to the run
What do you do when the old man's gone?
Do you want to be him?
And your real self sings the song
Do you want to free him?
No one to help you get up steam
And the whirlpool turns you `way off-beam
I've come down from the upper class
To mend your rotten ways
My father was a man-of-power
Whom everyone obeyed
So come on all you criminals
I've got to put you straight
Just like I did with my old man
Twenty years too late
Your bread and water's going cold
Your hair is too short and neat
I'll judge you all
And make damn sure that no-one judges me
You curl your toes in fun
As you smile at everyone
You meet the stares
You're unaware that your doings aren't done
And you laugh most ruthlessly
As you tell us what not to be
But how are we supposed to see
Where we should run?
I see you shuffle in the courtroom
With your rings upon your fingers
And your downy little sidies
And your silver-buckle shoes
Playing at the hard case
You follow the example of the comic-paper idol
Who lets you bend the rules
So, come on ye childhood heroes
Won't you rise up from the pages
Of your comic-books, your super crooks
And show us all the way
Well, make your will and testament
Won't you join your local government?
We'll have Superman for president
Let Robin save the day
You put your bet on number one
And it comes up every time
The other kids have all backed down
And they put you first in line
And so you finally ask yourself
Just how big you are
And take your place in a wiser world
Of bigger motor cars
And you wonder who to call on
So, where the hell was Biggles
When you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen
Who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall
Writing up their memoirs
For a paper-back edition
Of the Boy Scout Manual
See there, a man born
And we pronounce him fit for peace
There's a load lifted from his shoulders
With the discovery of his disease
We'll take the child from him, put it to the test
Teach it to be a wise man, how to fool the rest
We will be geared to the average
Rather than the exceptional God
Is an overwhelming responsibility
We walked through the maternity ward
And saw 218 babies wearing nylons
Cats are on the upgrade.
Upgrade? Hipgrave, oh, Mac
In the clear white circles of morning wonder
I take my place with the lord of the hills
And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured
(In neat little rows) sporting canvas frills
With their jock-straps pinching
They slouch to attention
While queueing for sarnies
At the office canteen
Saying, how's your granny and good old Ernie
He coughed up a tenner
On a premium bond win
The legends (worded in the ancient tribal hymn)
Lie cradled in the seagull's call
And all the promises they made
Are ground beneath the sadist's fall
The poet and the wise man
Stand behind the gun
And signal for the crack of dawn, light the sun
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day?
The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun
Soft Venus (lonely maiden)
Brings the ageless one
Do you believe in the day?
The fading hero has returned to the night
And fully pregnant with the day
Wise men endorse the poet's sight
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day?
Let me tell you the tales of your life
Of your love and the cut of the knife
The tireless oppression, the wisdom instilled
The desire to kill or be killed
Let me sing of the losers who lie in the street
As the last bus goes by
The pavements ar empty, the gutters run red
While the fool toasts his god in the sky
So come all ye young men
Who are building castles
Kindly state the time of the year
And join your voices in a hellish chorus
Mark the precise nature of your fear
Let me help you pick up your dead
As the sins of the father are fed
With the blood of the fools
And the thoughts of the wise
And from the pan under your bed
Let me make you a present of song
As the wise man breaks wind
And is gone while
The fool with the hour-glass
Is cooking his goose
And the nursery rhyme winds along
So come all ye young men
Who are building castles
Kindly state the time of the year
And join your voices in a hellish chorus
Mark the precise nature of your fear
See, the summer lightning
Casts its bolts upon you
And the hour of judgement draweth near
Would you be the fool
Stood in his suit of armour
Or the wiser man who rushes clear
Playing at the hard case
You follow the example of the comic-paper idol
Who lets you bend the rules
So, come on ye childhood heroes
Won't you rise up from the pages
Of your comic-books, your super crooks
And show us all the way
Well, make your will and testament
Won't you join your local government?
We'll have Superman for president
Let Robin save the day
So, where the hell was Biggles
When you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen
Who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall
Writing up their memoirs
For a paper-back edition
Of the Boy Scout Manual
So you ride yourselves over the fields
And you make all your animal deals
And your wise men don't know how it feels
To be thick as a brick