"Slow Marching Band" as written by and Ian Anderson....
Would you join a slow marching band?
And take pleasure in your leaving
as the ferry sails and tears are dried
and cows come home at evening.

Could you get behind a slow marching band?
And join together in the passing
of all we shared through yesterdays
in sorrows neverlasting.

Take a hand and take a bow.
You played for me; that's all for now,
oh, and never mind the words:
just hum along and keep on going.

Walk on slowly don't look behind you.
Don't say goodbye, love. I won't remind you.

Dream of me as the nights draw cold
still marking time through Winter.
You paid the piper and called the tune
and you marched the band away.

Take a hand and take a bow.
You played for me; that's all for now,
oh, and never mind the words:
just hum along and keep on going.

Walk on slowly don't look behind you.
Don't say goodbye, love. I won't remind you.
Walk on slowly don't look behind you.
Don't say goodbye, love. I won't remind you.


Lyrics submitted by CHAKA

"Slow Marching Band" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Slow Marching Band song meanings
Add your thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentThis is such a sad song, but beautiful nontheless. It's one of my favorite songs to listen to.
    Tmo2199on January 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationthis is one of my favorite songs by far
    the lyrics definitely make it seem like it's about a someone dying (maybe of Alzheimer's? cuz he says "never mind the words" which implies that whoever the song was for had trouble remembering lyrics), as "slow marching band" conjures images of a funeral procession (well, all of the lyrics seem to imply something about death), or maybe it's about moving on in some other sad way, like losing all memories and abilities to Alzheimer's. It seems like it's for a former band member (the whole stanza starting with "take a hand"). and ian anderson (or the whole band) is just letting whoever go as they must instead of trying to stop/reverse the inevitable
    but his tone of voice sound almost like paternal love, especially for a daughter. maybe because of the way he puts the word "love" after "don't say goodbye" cuz i know saying "love" like that is a British* thing that usually men say to girls or younger women as a term of endearment

    *yah i know they're Irish, but the point I'm making is a distinction between American English and the rest of the English-speaking world, which uses British spellings and colloquialisms
    HiOnMusicon March 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe slow marching band concept makes me think of the slow march of time. Maybe the speaker is thanking someone for a long life spent together which has now come to an end, with either the speaker or the subject dying.

    At any rate it is a very beautiful song. The best way I could describe it is 'sweet sorrow'
    Manetherinon July 25, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain