"Requiem" as written by and Ian Anderson....
Well, I saw a bird today
Flying from a bush
And the wind blew it away.
And the black-eyed mother sun
Scorched the butterfly at play
Velvet veined. I saw it burn.
With a wintry storm-blown sigh,
A silver cloud blew right on by.
And, taking in the morning, I sang
O Requiem.

Well, my lady told me, "Stay."
I looked aside and walked away
Along the strand.
But I didn't say a word,
As the train time-table blurred
Close behind the taxi stand.
Saw her face in the tear-drop black cab window.
Fading into the traffic; watched her go.
And taking in the morning,
Heard myself singing
O Requiem.
Here I go again.
It's the same old story.

Well, I saw a bird today
I looked aside and walked away
Along the Strand.


Lyrics submitted by knate15

"Requiem" as written by Ian Anderson

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Requiem song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about loss and pain.. both the bird and the butterfly, who are lost represent the loss he feels as he leaves his lady. Obviosly it is a theme in his life, as he says that it is "the same old story". When he sees a bird the second time, he looks away, not wanting to be hurt again....

    Beautiful song all in all, one of Tulls best.
    Ovichsanon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI have read Ian Anderson to say, years later, possibly in the first remaster of Minstrel, that the song concerns his own regrets of his maintenance of his first marriage, to the lady named Jennie, who is often credited for the song Aqualung. (That is not actually true, she had been taking pictures of London's homeless which provided Ian Anderson with the inspiration, though apparently she did provide the line about snot!) In any case his second marriage, to Shona, has lasted, now over a 40 year union. Probably first seen by Tull fans at the 75 show before marriage, when she served as the ringmistress I think she was called, bringing Ian various apparels and instruments during the show, in a kind of circus attire.
    RRRaymondon April 29, 2016   Link

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