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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Aqualung


I've been haunted by this for the past three years.  

Three years ago, I was cycling Chicago's Lakefront Trail.  The trail loop is a fairly long ride.  Back then, it was a challenge for me to ride for over 30 miles at a stretch.  That day, I had cycled north for fifteen miles or so, and I was feeling a bit peaked.  I came to a stretch where, on my right, was a soccer field.  There was a game on, contested by young girls.  On my left was a park bench.  I wanted to stop.  I wanted to rest.  But then it came to me: the song "Aqualung".

The song may not mean much to some/most.  But it meant a lot to me.  I was a fan of the band Jethro Tull in the 70's (there was no Jethro in the band, the front man was Ian Anderson).  The band released an album in 1971 entitled "Aqualung".  The album fascinated me way back then.  The title song intrigued me most.  I found it disturbing.

The park bench across from the soccer field enticed.  But I thought it best to ride on.  Right about then, the opening lyrics of Aqualung exploded in my head:

Sitting on a park bench
 Eyeing little girls
 With bad intent

And ever since this song has bounced around inside my head.  I didn't want to be perceived as another Aqualung.  And yet, and yet, there are aspects of the song that touch and trouble me.

The lyrics intrigue.  My personal interpretation is that two distinct views are expressed.  The first is a public perception: a dirty derelict...eyeing little girls with bad intent.  The second is the viewpoint of
a sympathetic friend who sees Aqualung for who he is: a sad old man, hobbled and forlorn...yet somehow still aware that "flowers bloom like madness in the spring".

I've come to understand the truth of that.  

* * * 

7 Comments:

Blogger June Calender said...

I don't see anything dirty, perverse, evil about realizing that we are moved by the beauty and vitality of young people, girls or boys. That there's a sexual component is our physiological make up. Those who do not respect the young enough or have some deep hollow within themselves may act perversely in such a situation. I know you are sensitive enough to be trusted (well I think I know, since I've only read your thoughts but they are deep and feeling). "With bad intent" is another matter. Desires can be recognized and accepted and even enjoyed. And even "intent" is not yet action and may be resisted. To accept ourselves we have to accept our darker feelings.

Thanks for an honest and meaningful post. I'm sorry you don't feel moved to write more ofte

Wed May 04, 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Such a pleasure to have you visit again, June! Yes, I've been remiss in posting thoughts. I've grown quieter of late. I'm also aware that my inner musings have grown darker: thoughts of decrepitude and death. The subject matter is such that most simply shy away.

I'm thinking you may have misinterpreted my post. I'll simply reiterate: the song reflects two perspectives. The first impression may be that of strangers eyeing Aqualung and assuming he's a derelict up to no good. The second perspective is of a friend who recognizes Aqualung for who he is. I'm mortified that folks may assume I'm the nefarious Aqualung. I am not. I'm the soul recognized by the friend. The song resonates and haunts because, to some, I appear to be a derelict. My hair is long, my visage weather-beaten and somewhat dolorous. But I revel in the notion that "flowers bloom like madness in the spring." I hope this clarifies.

Thu May 05, 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger PattiKen said...

It's been a long time, Jonas. I can't say much about that. I've been on a bit of a hiatus myself. Aqualung... I heard it a lot 30 years ago. Jethro Tull was/is my son's favorite. (He informed me back then that Jethro Tull was an eighteenth century agronomist.) I never saw Aqualung as a song about a derelict up to no good. To me, it was about a man who has seen youth and any chance for happiness pass him by, and mourns the loss.

Fri May 06, 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

PattiKen!!! How wonderful you dropped by! The comments (all two of them) fascinate. Everyone seems to have a different takeaway about the song. I rather like that.

Fri May 06, 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bella said...

I was a Tull fan too! I'm not sure at the time I listened that I understood the lyrics or where his head was, but interpretation is always left up to individual discretion. :) Good to see you.

Mon Jul 11, 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Seabreath said...

I read with interest your introspection. I loved the song very much and still do, but i never thought about that song the way you did. Interesting... As a matter of fact, i gotta admit that as time passes by, I'm becaming a sort of Aqualung too. So sad.

Wed Mar 15, 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thanks for dropping by, Seabreath.

Wed Mar 15, 05:46:00 PM  

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