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Jethro Tull – Aqualung Lyrics 8 years ago
In my opinion, he first and last verses are the harsh, loud view of the casual passerby or society. Note the very different volume and style used to play verses 1 and 4, as opposed to the intimate, acoustic sound of 2 and 3. Only verses 2 and 3 tell the truth. It is the unsympathetic among us that assume he is a pervert (eying little girls with bad intent, watching as the frilly panties run), simply by his presence in a public park where kids play. If we assume he is a child molester, we don't have to feel sorry for not helping him. But in verses 2 and 3, we understand the truth- he is just an old man wandering lonely, sick, in pain, and about to die. Since the singer calls him "my friend" and is sympathetic in verses 2 and 3, it is clear that the songwriter does not view him as a pervert or child molester. Once you get up close to the homeless man, you realize his humanity. I have read that Ian Anderson's wife was taking pictures of the homeless at the time she inspired the song. Her subjects might start away uneasy, but it's doubtful she would feel sympathetic if somehow she truly knew her subject was a molester. This is a song about the unfortunate and misunderstood, it does not celebrate a real molester. Ironic, because without the shock value of the child molester "eying little girls with bad intent," this song would never have been so popular. This is absolutely one of the best rock and roll songs of all time, even though it has been misunderstood forever. Jethro Tull was my first rock concert back in 1973. Thanks, Ian Anderson.

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