Songs from the Wood is their tenth studio album, released February 1977. Inspired by English pagan folklore and countryside living, it signaled a stylistic change. Performing in a wide-ranging folk rock style which combined traditional instruments and melodies with hard rock drums and electric guitars, it is rooted in the band’s complex progressive rock style. It’s the first album to include David Palmer (now Dee Palmer) as an official member of the band, who after eight years of serving as the band’s orchestral arranger had joined as a second keyboardist in early 1976.
Compared to previous Jethro Tull albums, Songs From the Wood saw greater writing contributions from other members of the band besides Anderson, particularly from new keyboardist Palmer and guitarist Martin Barre. Palmer wrote significant portions of several songs, including the title track, “Hunting Girl”, “Velvet Green”, “Ring Out, Solstice Bells” and “Pibroch (Cap in Hand)” and also introduced the portative pipe organ to the rest of the band, an instrument which became a major element of the album’s classical folk sound. The band made use of a variety of other instruments and recording techniques to contribute to the album’s folk theme, including medieval-era percussion played by Barlow such as nakers and a tabor as well as a reverse echo guitar effect played by Barre on “Pibroch (Cap in Hand)” to imitate the sound of bagpipes.
There’s a light in the house in the wood in the valley.
There’s a thought in the head of the man.
Who carries his dreams like the coat slung on his shoulder,
Bringing you love in the cap in his hand.
And each step he takes is one half of a lifetime:
no word he would say could you understand.
So he bundles his regrets into a gesture of sorrow,
Bringing you love cap in hand.
Catching breath as he looks through the dining-room window:
candle lit table for two has been laid.
Strange slippers by the fire.
Strange boots in the hallway.
Put my cap on my head.
I turn and walk away.
Songwriter: Ian Anderson
This is the remastered version of it: