A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 23 (The) Witches Promise (single)

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The Witch’s Promise is a single, released in January 1970, on the Chrysalis label. It reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, and was promoted by an appearance on the British chart show Top of the Pops. The B-side was “Teacher.” Both songs later appeared on the 2001 US release of the album Benefit as a bonus track on the Reprise label.

The song was recorded at Morgan Studios, London on December 19, 1969. It was intended to be a follow-up to the group’s two previous singles, “Living in the Past” and “Sweet Dream”, which had been top ten hits. Musically, it developed from the style heard on the group’s previous album, Stand Up, discarding the blues influences that the band had started with, and steered towards folk.

The single was the first recording to feature keyboardist John Evan, who would be a key member of Jethro Tull throughout the 1970s. He was sharing a flat with frontman Ian Anderson at the time, and agreed to perform as a session musician. This led to an offer to join the band full-time. The track is one of the few recorded by Jethro Tull to feature the Mellotron, a tape replay keyboard that could emulate a string section, and the only single released by the band to feature the instrument.

“The Witch’s Promise” was intended to be the last standalone single from the group, that was not taken from an LP. Anderson said the group would issue singles from future albums in order to gain radio play, but he was not particularly interested in promoting them. In addition to being a bonus track on the 2001 reissure, it appeared on both the UK and US version of the compilation album Living in the Past (1972.)

Source: wikipedia

Lend me your ear while i call you a fool.
You were kissed by a witch one night in the wood,
And later insisted your feelings were true.
The witch’s promise was coming,
Believing he listened while laughing you flew.

Leaves falling red, yellow, brown, all are the same,
And the love you have found lay outside in the rain.
Washed clean by the water but nursing its pain.
The witch’s promise was coming, and you’re looking
Elsewhere for your own selfish gain.

Keep looking, keep looking for somewhere to be,
Well, you’re wasting your time, they’re not stupid like he is.
Meanwhile leaves are still falling, you’re too blind to see.

You won’t find it easy now, it’s only fair.
He was willing to give to you, you didn’t care.
You’re waiting for more but you’ve already had your share.
The witch’s promise is turning, so don’t you wait up
For him, he’s going to be late.

Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    First of all…you can’t go wrong with that title…sometimes the title just draws me in and this one does. It rolls well and the song matches it.

    Like

  2. I remember it, but I never realised it did so well in the charts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Introducing me to another one I don’t know. But what’s not to like about a witch’s promise?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      πŸ™‚ Indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ian Anderson’s animated facial expressions fairly stole the show on this one. A nice catchy tone though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I call those expressions his theatrical flair. Not to everyone’s taste πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Arlee Bird says:

    This song is not in my memory banks at all. But it has all the hallmarks of classic Tull.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Arlee, it could be because it wasn’t released on an album at first?

      Like

  6. I like that tune! Anderson’s facial expressions indeed are intense. I think I might be scared meeting a guy with such looks in the dark! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      LOL If you see him in interviews you realize it’s all a show.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ahtdoucette says:

    Yeah if you’re going to kiss a witch, better be prepared for some follow-through. Such a playful song!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, it’s a lovely song and I love the goofy faces he makes πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. memadtwo says:

    Great first line. He’s so theatrical. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes he is! When I start traveling with my time machine I plan on paying him a visit πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        I’m sure we all have many places we’d like to go…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Where is the first place you would like to go when you can?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. memadtwo says:

            The beach. We actually have a trip tentatively planned for August. Hopefully my nephew will drive us again.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. The lyrics speak of colors of autumn leaves. Summer is just beginning but it won’t be long before the seasons will change. Although, I’m living in the moment, I can honestly say I always look forward to fall time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Your comment sounds an awful lot like poetry.

      Like

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