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Minstrel In The Gallery

© Ian Anderson 1975


Minstrel In The Gallery

The Minstrel in the Gallery looked down upon the smiling faces.
He met the gazes - observed the spaces between the old men's cackle.
He brewed a song of love and hatred - oblique suggestions - and he waited.
He polarized the pumpkin-eaters - static-humming panel-beaters - freshly
day-glo'd factory cheaters (salaried and collar-scrubbing).
He titillated men-of-action - belly warming, hands still rubbing on the
parts they never mention.
He pacified the nappy-suffering, infant-bleating one-line jokers - T.V.
documentary makers (over-fed and undertakers).
Sunday paper backgammon players - family-scarred and women-haters.
Then he called the band down to the stage and he looked at all the friends
he'd made.

[Instrumental]

The Minstrel in the Gallery looked down upon the smiling faces.
He met the gazes - observed the spaces in between the old men's cackle.
And he brewed a song of love and hatred - oblique suggestions - and he
waited.
He polarized the pumpkin-eaters - static-humming panel-beaters.

The Minstrel in the Gallery looked down on the rabbit-run.
And threw away his looking-glass - saw his face in everyone.
Hey!

He titillated men-of-action - belly warming, hands still rubbing on the
parts they never mention (salaried and collar-scrubbing).

He pacified the nappy-suffering, infant-bleating one-line jokers - T.V.
documentary makers (over-fed and undertakers).
Sunday paper backgammon players - family-scarred and women-haters.
Then he called the band down to the stage and he looked at all the friends
he'd made.

The Minstrel in the Gallery looked down on the rabbit-run.
And he threw away his looking-glass and saw his face in everyone.
Hey!
The Minstrel in the Gallery. Yes!
Looked down upon the smiling faces.
He met the gazes. Yeah!
Mm. The Minstrel in the Gallery.



Cold Wind to Valhalla

And ride with us young bonny lass - with the angels of the night.
Crack wind clatter - flesh rein bite on an out-size unicorn.
Rough-shod winging sky blue flight on a Cold Wind to Valhalla.
And join with us please - Valkyrie maidens cry above the Cold Wind to
Valhalla.

Break fast with the Gods. Night angels serve with ice-bound majesty.
Frozen flaking fish raw nerve - in a cup of silver liquid fire.
Moon jet brave beam split ceiling swerve and light the old Valhalla.
Come join with us please - Valkyrie maidens cry above the Cold Wind to
Valhalla.

[Instrumental]

The heroes rest upon the sighs of Thor's trusty hand-maidens.
Midnight lonely whisper cries, "We're getting a bit short on heroes
lately."
Sword snap fright white pale good-byes in the desolation of Valhalla.
And join with us please - Valkyrie maidens ride empty-handed on the Cold
Wind to Valhalla.



Black Satin Dancer

Come, let me play with you, Black Satin Dancer.
In all your giving, given is the answer.
Tearing life from limb and looking sweeter than the brightest flower in my
garden.
Begging your pardon - shedding right unreason.
Over sensation fly the fleeting seasons.
Thin wind whispering on broken mandolin.
Bending the minutes - the hours ever turning on that old gold story of
mercy.
Desperate breathing. Tongue nipple-teasing.
Your fast river flowing - your Northern fire fed.
Come, Black Satin Dancer, come softly to bed.

[Instrumental]

Black Satin Dancer, given is the answer.
Tearing life from limb and looking sweeter than the brightest flower in my
garden.

[Instrumental]

Come, let me play with you; Come, Black Satin Dancer.
In all your giving, given is the answer.
Your fast river flowing - your Northern fire fed.
Come, Black Satin Dancer, come softly to bed.



Requiem

Well I saw a bird today - flying from a bush and the wind blew it away.
And the black-eyed mother sun scorched the butterfly at play - velvet
veined I saw it burn.
With a wintry storm-blown sigh, a silver cloud blew right on by
And, taking in the morning, I sang - O Requiem.
Well, my lady told me, "Stay."
I looked aside and walked away along the Strand.

But I didn't say a word, as the train time-table blurred close behind the
taxi stand.
Saw her face in the tear-drop black cab window.
Fading in the traffic; watched her go.
And taking in the morning, heard myself singing - O Requiem.
Here I go again. It's the same old story.

[Instrumental]

Well, I saw a bird today - I looked aside and walked away along the Strand.



One White Duck / 010 = Nothing At All

A one, two, three.
There's a haze on the skyline, to wish me on my way -
And there's a note on the telephone - some roses on a tray.
And the motorway's stretching right out to us all, as I pull on my old
wings - One White Duck on your wall.
Isn't it just too damn real? One White Duck on your wall.
One Duck on your wall.

I'll catch a ride on your violin - strung upon your bow.
And I'll float on your melody - sing your chorus soft and low.
There's a picture-view postcard to say that I called.
You can see from the fireplace, One White Duck on your wall.
Isn't it just too damn real? One White Duck on your wall.
One Duck on your wall.

So fly away Peter and fly away Paul - from the finger-tip ledge of
contentment.
The long restless rustle of high heel boots calls.
And I'm probably bound to deceive you after all.
Something must be wrong with me and my brain - if I'm so patently
unrewarding.
But my dreams are for dreaming and best left that way - and my zero to your
power of ten equals nothing at all.

There's no double-lock defense; there's no chain on my door.
And I'm available for consultation,
But remember your way in is also my way out, and love's four-letter word is
no compensation.

Well, I'm the Black Ace dog handler: I'm a waiter on skates - so don't you
jump to your foreskin conclusion -
Because I'm up to my deaf ears in cold breakfast trays -
To be cleared before I can dine on your sweet Sunday lunch confusion.


Baker Street Muse (Baker Street Muse)

Windy bus-stop. Click. Shop-window. Heel.
Shady gentleman. Fly-button. Feel.
In the underpass, the blind man stands. With cold flute hands.
Symphony match-seller, breath out of time -
You can call me on another line.

Indian restaurants that curry my brain.
Newspaper warriors changing the names they advertise from the station
stand. With cold print hands.
Symphony word-player, I'll be your headline.
If you catch me another time.

Didn't make her - with my Baker Street Ruse.
Couldn't shake her - with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her - I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

Ale-spew, puddle-brew - boys, throw it up clean.
Coke and Bacardi colours them green.
From the typing pool goes the mini-skirted princess with great finesse.
Fertile earth-mother, your burial mound is fifty feet down in the Baker
Street underground.

What the Hell?
I didn't make her - with my Baker Street Ruse.
Couldn't shake her - with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her - I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

[Instrumental]

Walking down the gutter thinking, "How the Hell am I today?"
Well, I didn't really ask you but thanks all the same.



Baker Street Muse (Pig-Me And The Whore)

"Big bottled Fraulein, put your weight on me," said the pig-me to the
whore, desperate for more in his assault upon the mountain.
Little man, his youth a fountain. Overdrafted and still counting.
Vernacular, verbose; an attempt at getting close to where he came from.
In the doorway of the stars, between Blandford Street and Mars;
Proposition, deal. Flying button feel. Testicle testing.
Wallet ever-bulging. Dressed to the left, divulging the wrinkles of his
years.
Wedding-bell induced fears.
Shedding bell-end tears in the pocket of her resistance.
International assistance flowing generous and full to his never-ready tool.
Pulls his eyes over her wool. And he shudders as he comes -
And my rudder slowly turns me into the Marylebone Road.

[Instrumental]



Baker Street Muse (Crash-Barrier Waltzer)

And here slip I - dragging one foot in the gutter -
In the midnight echo of the shop that sells cheap radios.
And there sits she - no bed, no bread nor butter -
On a double yellow line where she can park anytime.
Old Lady Grey; Crash-barrier Waltzer -
Some only son's mother. Baker Street casualty.
Oh, Mr. Policeman - blue shirt ballet master.
Feet in sticking plaster - Move the old lady on.
Strange pas-de-deux - His Romeo to her Juliet.
Her sleeping draught his poisoned regret.
No drunken bums allowed to sleep here in the crowded emptiness.
Oh officer, oh let me send her to a cheap hotel -
I'll pay the bill and make her well - like hell you bloody will!
No do-good over kill. We must teach them to be still more independent.



Baker Street Muse (Mother England Reverie)

I have no time for Time Magazine or Rolling Stone.
I have no wish for wishing-wells or wishing bones.
I have no house in the country I have no motor-car.
And if you think I'm joking, then I'm just a one-line joker in a public
bar.
And it seems there's no-body left for tennis; and I'm a one-band-man.
And I want no Top Twenty funeral or a hundred grand.

There was a little boy stood on a burning log, rubbing his hands with glee.
He said, "Oh Mother England, did you light my smile; or did you light
this fire under me?
One day I'll be a minstrel in the gallery.
And paint you a picture of the queen.
And if sometimes I sing to a cynical degree -
It's just the nonsense that it seems.
So I drift down through the Baker Street valley, in my steep-sided
un-reality.
And when all's said and all's done - couldn't wish for a better one.
It's a real-life ripe dead-certainty - that I'm just a Baker Street Muse.

Talking to the gutter-stinking, winking in the same old way.
I tried to catch my eye but I looked the other way.

Indian restaurants that curry my brain -
Newspaper warriors changing the names they advertise from the station
stand. Circumcised with cold print hands.

Windy bus-stop. Click. Shop-window. Heel.
Shady gentleman. Fly-button. Feel.
In the underpass, the blind man stands. With cold flute hands.
Symphony match-seller, breath out of time -
You can call me on another line.

Didn't make her - with my Baker Street Ruse.

Couldn't shake her - with my Baker Street Bruise.
Like to take her - I'm just a Baker Street Muse.
I'm just a Baker Street Muse. Just a Baker Street Muse.
Just a Baker Street Muse.



Grace

Hello sun.
Hello bird.
Hello my lady.
Hello breakfast. May I buy you again tomorrow?




1996 - 2017 Willerup Brothers