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.

Lyrics submitted by knate15

"The Witch's Promise" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Witch's Promise song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentProbably wrong, but the way I interpret the song is this. The singer is warning/laughing at his ex-girlfriend who has found a new boyfriend. Attractive and charming, but really devilish and manipulative beneath the facade. I find it easier to believe that the band behind Hunting Girl, The whistler, and Living in the Past is singing to a woman. If it was Pink Floyd or Rush we were talking about, I suppose the opposite could be true.
    Juniper Prismon January 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHe loved her once, did every thing to show her but she threw it back in his face, didn't care..... now that she does he can't give her is heart because he cannot forget....she's greedy and and selfish expecting him to give her a second chance, why should he make it easy when she made it so hard.
    ShariAllynon June 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis is a song about Ian Anderson's religious beliefs, like much of his music similar to "My God." He speaks to everyone listening to the song. 'Call you a fool..." "Professing themselves to be wise they became as fools" ...Kissed by a witch (Satan, Ishtar, Asherah... every false god is related to this figure, whether it declares itself to be male or female) one night in the wood (wilderness of life.). Later insisted your feelings were true... Ian claims all Abrahamic religions are false, so anyone who becomes a Jew, Christian or Muslim later insists their feelings of love for their deity are real... believing he listened (but he doesn't because he's not a real god) while laughing you flew (because you believed you had found the truth and were headed to heaven.)... love lay outside in the rain... (not entirely clear) washed clean by the water (baptism present in all Abrahamic religions) the witch's promise was coming (hell...) and instead of seeing you look for your personal pleasure and gain, against even the tenets of your religion you follow. Keep looking for somewhere to be... but you're wasting your time, because we (the audience) are all blind but Ian has secret knowledge of the truth about God...they're not stupid like he is (stupid can mean silent or inert as well as foolish, as one possibility...all idols and false gods cannot walk or talk, they have to be carried). Leaves are still falling (people are referred to as trees in scripture...you're getting older and dying) you're too blind to see (a common rebuke in scripture, that men are blind to the truth, though it's in front of them, and if the blind follow the blind, both will fall into a pit). You won't find it easy now (that you've rejected the truth, in fact you'll find it impossible) it's only faith (you should have known better) ..He (Ian Anderson's secret, true god) was willing to give to you (salvation) you didn't care (about that because you liked your selfish life with an easy believism in a lie) you're waiting for more (as Ian says in My God, Jews, Christians and Muslims are "waiting to be free" in paradise) but you've already had your share (as in the parable of Lazarus and the begger in the Bible, the rich man (Lazarus) asks for comfort, but Abraham tells him that in his life he had good things, while the begger had nothing...now the begger is comforted and the rich man is in torment). The witch's promise is turning (coming to its fulfillment soon, as judgment day is actually upon us) so don't you wait up for him (The "another Jesus" that Paul spike of, most likely... Ian is saying that people waiting for Jesus to come and rapture them out are going to be disappointed, but it could apply to Yahweh, Jesus and Allah in his interpretation) he's going to be late... (as in, not arrive)

    Similar to Life's a long Sony, which starts would with in the year 1 (around the time Jesus was born, approximately) you belonged to no one... pants undone (to commit spiritual adultery) ..looking for a sign that the universal mind (Ian's secret god) has written you into the passion play (in other words, saved you...the passion play is life, salvation or hellfire... in revelation it says the great harlot corrupted the whole earth with the wine of the passion of her immorality (meaning spiritual adultery, since she is a harlot and the another of harlots. I suspect this is the "witch" Ian speaks of... the great harlot of Revelation.
    jamescuqon February 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe more of the pagan / earth godess / witch theme in many Tull songs. BUT - forget the meaning and listen! This song is one of the most beautiful Tull tunes. Representative of the guitar / flute signature of Tull.
    Brad_Son January 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about betrayal in love. The protagonist is warning his unfaithful, selfish-in-matters-of-love girlfriend that her infidelity will catch up with her, and he'll look elsewhere, just as she did: when she comes to her senses it will be too late. "You're waiting for more but you've already had your share. The witch's promise was turning, so don't you wait up for him, he's going to be late..."
    mbrachmanon August 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI also feel a bit of Cindellera story here. The girl may be under charm, while young but it is time-limited. When she is near to the end of her charm, she must realize that someone who is true to here is only her ex-boyfriend. And she may lose chance to be with him, if she is late.
    mzwtjpon March 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Witch's Promise" struck home with me when I was 17. Already heard the song many, many times when, in my naivete, I finally discovered my girlfriend was a whore; who cleverly kept several boyfriends--most of whom (like me) thought they were the only one.

    Every Poignant word in the poem--personally and profoundly struck home!
    Cause I was the fool who kissed (and more) the witch in a car in the woods.
    In so being she was the first, of course, I felt my feelings were true; while she must have had a good laugh! Tull creates a terrific triple entendre; this is in the 2nd stanza. For I believe the leaves represent: the different boyfriends, time, and the romantic feeling one experiences while walking with one’s love in the autumn.
    Thus, as she approaches the Fall of the springtime in her youth; all of her toys (i.e. boyfriends) (toyfriends) she takes for granted—finally wizen up. She looks for fresh victims but high school is at its end; there are no more FRESH MEN. Even though she is still extremely young and able to find love, she just can’t seem to let herself settle for a mature romance.
    paul112771on May 30, 2015   Link

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