A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 10 – (A Song for) Jeffrey, from This Was (debut) (1968)

J letter_scaled

 

“A Song for Jeffrey” was released as their second single in the U.K. However, in the U.S., it was the B-side to “Love Story”. It is written in honor of Ian Anderson’s friend and future Jethro Tull bassist Jeffrey Hammond. Another version of the song was recorded for play on BBC radio.

The song starts off with a bass riff by Glenn Cornick before Ian Anderson’s flute comes in. It then becomes a psychedelic blues tune, with guitarist Mick Abrahams playing slide guitar. Despite being similar in style to “My Sunday Feeling” and “Beggar’s Farm”, the instrumental section shows a greater influence of jazz rather than blues.

The song was largely praised by music critics. AllMusic’s Bruce Eder called it “a superb example of commercial psychedelic blues” but did not consider it one of the album highlights. George Starostin called it one of the “catchiest ditties the band ever did: the interplay between the bloozy guitar and the poppy harmonica is amazing and promptly digs itself into your memory“. Despite the single not reaching the charts, New Musical Express wrote that it was “good enough to have made the Chart”.

The song was performed on the Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus in December 1968, although only Ian Anderson’s vocals and flute were actually amplified from the live performance; the rest of the band mimed their parts, but the sound was pre-recorded. This was the only Tull performance with guitarist Tony Iommi during his two-week tenure with the band, and it has been suggested that he had not had time to learn his part and thus relied on Abrahams’ recording. The film and the companion album to the film were not released commercially until 1996.

Dan at Song Meanings said this about it:

A great early Tull song with a sound that you have never heard before. The lyrics mean “I’m going to give up my day job and see where this music thing goes” and anybody who has ever done this will recognize this as an anthem of focused determination and blind optimism. It obviously paid off.

sources:
wikipedia
song meanings.com

Gonna lose my way tomorrow
Gonna give away my car
I’d take you along with me
But you would not go so far

Don’t see what I do not want to see
You don’t hear what I don’t say
Won’t be what I don’t want to be
I continue in my way

Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’
Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’
Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’ to
I don’t want to

Everyday I see the mornin’
Come on in the same old way
I tell myself tomorrow brings me
Things I would not dream today

Gonna lose my way tomorrow
Gonna give away my car
I’d take you along with me
But you would not go so far

Don’t see what I do not want to see
You don’t hear what I don’t say
Won’t be what I don’t want to be
I continue in my way

Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’
Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’
Don’t see, see, see where I’m goin’ to
I don’t want to

Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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37 Comments Add yours

  1. This one passed me by back then, probably because it wasn’t a chart contender. Good though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I don’t think they made their breakthrough until the 2nd album… Yes it is!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really like this one! Definitely getting a Tull education with your series – thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          You’re very welcome, Deborah!

          Like

  2. Liam says:

    I like the bluesy guitar with the flute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frédérique says:

    I love the “psychedelic blues” sound, love the flute.
    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ahtdoucette says:

    I agree with the reviewer who said it was a catchy ditty. It’s very toe-tappy. And the way he meaningfully sort-of scats through the chorus feels like a forerunner to some great pop lines where vocalists do similar. I like knowing he wrote this for a friend who joined the band. It adds to the feel of it, I think. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Very much appreciate the feedback, Anne!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paula Light says:

    Beautiful. ❤️ Love the owl too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Paula!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tune! Did you know there’s another Jethro Tull with Jeffrey? It’s called “Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square” and was included on their second album “Stand Up” – not bad either. I wonder whether it’s about the same Jeffrey! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, I can answer that question: yes. When presented with more than one song with a letter for the day I chose the song I liked best (even if this song title doesn’t begin with “J” 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makes sense, Lisa. Plus, with my impressive knowledge of a handful of Jethro Tull, who am I anyway to make suggestions? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I’m no expert it’s like a battle of the bands but the battle is between the songs.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. The accompanying harmonica is most noticeable to me for giving the song an extra kick..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I have to agree with you, Gail. Sounds so danged bluesy and sassy with that harmonica.

      Like

  8. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I knew I had heard it before…and I heard it on the Rolling Stones Circus. It was weird seeing Tony Iommi with them…Black Sabbath + Jethro Tull just doesn’t compute to me lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      So you’ve seen the whole Rolling Stones Circus? I bet it was a hoot. What does Tony Iommi play? I agree, Sabbath and Tull don’t compute at all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        I have it…yes I do and I LOVE the Dirty Mac Band (Lennon, Richards, Clapton, and Mitchell)…The Who though were awesome…they were on break from a tour and tight as you could be.

        Tommy plays guitar

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Sounds like one to see. Is that Mitchell as in Joni?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

            Oh no sorry…Mitch Mitchell drummer for Jimi Hendrix. They all did Yer Blues by the Beatles with Keith playing bass.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. memadtwo says:

    It does have a Rolling Stones feel to it. Interesting. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Jethro Tull has created so many songs in so many genres. I can hear the Stones in there also.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. J. says:

    Excellent. This was the first Jethro Tull song that I heard (via that very Circus) and it was the one that led to me picking up Aqualung when I saw it (it didn’t matter that the song isn’t from that album, I just wanted to hear more Tull. Crackin’ tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad to hear about your connection to the tune. Hey, wanted to let you know I have a copy of the Iggy – Homme CD now and am really really loving it. Thanks for the recommend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. J. says:

        Tremendous! Really glad that you’re digging it! Such a great album.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Lisa,

    As I said before the thing I like about Jethro Tull’s music is the frequent use of a flute incorporated into the arrangements. Thanks for sharing “Jeffrey” with me. If you haven’t already, please stop by when you can to take a peek at my newest Looney Tunes Art Sketch. Foghorn’s Joke Advice. Happy A2Zing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for your visits, Cathy. Glad you’re enjoying the tunes and the magical flute of Ian Anderson 🙂

      Like

  12. Mrs Fever says:

    Those are interesting reviews — I don’t think I expected to see the word ‘commercial’ in concordance with ‘psychedelic blues’. *smile*

    I really like the letter J artwork you used. Did you create that yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      LOL on the commercial aspect of psychedelic blues. I colored the artwork which is from a Dover Books Celtic Alphabet coloring book created by Cari Buziak:
      https://store.doverpublications.com/0486833054.html

      Like

      1. Mrs Fever says:

        Oh, thank you! I will check out that link. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          If you’re into coloring books you’ll be like a kid in the candy store.

          Like

  13. There’s that early blues thing we mentioned. I really like this stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. RestlessHarry says:

    Not one of their most inspired efforts in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for reading, listening, and commenting. I tend to agree with you…

      Like

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