A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 5 – Ears of Tin from Rock Island (1989)

E letter_scaled

Ears of Tin” is from Rock Island, their 17th studio album, released in 1989. The album continued the hard rock direction the band took on the previous effort, Crest of a Knave (1987). The line-up now included Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Dave Pegg and drummer Doane Perry in his first full recording with the band, although he was already a member of Jethro Tull since 1984. Without a permanent keyboard player, the role was shared by Fairport Convention’s Maartin Allcock and former Tull member Peter Vettese.
Source:  wikipedia

In the late hours of a sunset rendezvous —
Chill breeze against tide, that carries me from you.
Got a job in a southern city — got some lead-free in my tank.
Now I must whisper goodbye — I’m bound for the mainland.

Island in the city, Cut by a cold sea.
People moving on an ocean. Groundswell of humanity.

Now the sun breaks through rain as I climb Glen Shiel
On the trail of those old cattlemen who drove their bargain south again.
And in the eyes of those five sisters of Kintail
There’s a wink of seduction from the mainland.

Island in the city. Cut by a cold sea.
People moving on an ocean. Groundswell of humanity.
Storm-lashed on the high-rise — their words are spray to the wind.
Blown like silent laughter. Falling on ears of tin.

Take my heart and take my brawn.
Take by stealth or take by storm —
Set my brain to cruise.
I can see the glow of the suburb lights.
I’m fresh from the out-world —
Singing the mainland blues.

There was a girl where I came from.
Seems a long time, long time gone by.
Wears the west wind in her hair.
She calls from the hill — yeah, she calls
In my mainland blues.

There’s a coast road that winds to heaven’s door
Where a fat ferry floats on muted diesel roar.
And there’s a light on the hillside — and there’s a flame in her
Eyes, but how cold the lights burn on the mainland.

Island in the city. Cut by a cold sea.
People moving on an ocean. Groundswell of humanity.
Storm-lashed on the high-rise — their words are spray to the wind.
Blown like silent laughter. Falling on ears of tin
In my mainland blues.

Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen Dehner says:

    Ah, wonderful, wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like the song 🙂

      Like

  2. Not a song I’m familiar with but I really enjoyed listening to it while following the lyrics. Another hidden gem!

    Here’s my E!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Keith, you probably know some of the places he’s talking about don’t you. I love the pictures he paints and he does such a good job with this one.

      Like

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Nice laid back song…a good one for traveling….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I agree it would be a good traveling song!

      Like

  4. ahtdoucette says:

    Interesting song with some interesting sounds. I feel like there is more to this story, a road not taken but visited time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I get that same feel from the song, Anne. A place he likes to visit from time to time if only in his memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t heard that tune. Of course, the thing is I probably only know 6 to 10 Jethro Tull songs! 😆

    Your series is a nice way to expand my horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, I’m doing the same expansion for myself in the process of writing the posts. I know a few more than 6-10 songs but you get the gist.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. memadtwo says:

    The flute immediately made me think of the sea. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’ve noticed in a lot of their live performances he stands on one leg. I’m imagining a Sea Pirate with a Flute 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        That’s a great image.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There seems to be much sadness in this song, or maybe regret for the rapid pace of society. A relaxing melody, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It does have that feel to it, Gail. Thanks for listening and commenting.

      Like

  8. J. says:

    “Island in the city. Cut by a cold sea.
    People moving on an ocean. Groundswell of humanity.” Brilliant. Really digging these songs you’ve picked… this one is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      So glad you’re digging it, J.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Anne Nydam says:

    I like this one, and it’s new to me, so thanks!
    Black and White: F for Faerie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It was new to me until I looked for an “E” Tull song.

      Anne, when I clicked on your F for Faerie link it said no page existed. You might want to check that link.

      Like

  10. Lisa,

    WOW, I’m still amazed I haven’t heard even this late 80s song of Jethro Tull. I have no idea why they have gone unnoticed for so long. I like how they used a flute in Ears of Tin from Rock Island. Nice!

    If you haven’t already, I invite you to check out my Looney Tunes Art Sketch of Elmer Fudd! Happy A2Zing, my friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it and thanks for listening/reading!

      Like

  11. Like the sound and vibe on this. Plus Ian’s vocals.

    Liked by 1 person

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