Jethro Tull – “Teacher”

One of my many favorite songs by Jethro Tull.  This is such a great song, with strong guitar chords, and Ian Anderson is quite the lyricist. 

“Teacher,” tells the story of a socially awkward fellow who buys a plane ticket for a more jovial chap (the “teacher”) so they can go on vacation together. On the trip, the freeloader ends up having all the fun while the narrator remains as neurotic as ever.

Released in 1972 on the album titled “Living In the Past,” according to Wikipedia, the album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 charts and went gold not long after its release. The title track from the album became Tull’s first top-40 hit in the United States, reaching # 11, a full three years after it performed well in Britain. In the UK, the album reached # 13, in Norwegian charts, the album hit # 5.

It’s an odd storyline for a Jethro Tull song, but it’s also one of just a few songs that Ian Anderson wrote strictly for mass appeal. When we asked Anderson if there was a specific inspiration for the song, he replied: “Only in as much as it was the need to come up with a pop song format that might get us some radio play or be in the singles charts. It was a deliberate attempt to write a piece of more generic pop/rock music. Which is probably why I don’t really like it very much. It just seemed a bit forced, a bit too structured in that kind of vein. So, it’s not one that I’m comfortable with at all, no.”

Song Lyrics – 

Well the dawn was coming
Heard him ringing on my bell
He said, my name’s the teacher
Oh that is what I call myself
And I have a lesson
That I must impart to you
It’s an old expression
But I must insist it’s true

Jump up, look around
Find yourself some fun
No sense in sitting there hating everyone
No man’s an island and his castle isn’t home
The nest is for nothing when the bird has flown

So I took a journey
Threw my world into the sea
With me went the teacher
Who found fun instead of me

Hey man, what’s the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed
I try to socialize but I can’t seem to find
What I was looking for, got something on my mind

Then the teacher told me
It had been a lot of fun
Thanked me for his ticket
And all that I had done

Hey man, what’s the plan, what was that you said?
Sun-tanned, drink in hand, lying there in bed
I try to socialize but I can’t seem to find
What I was looking for, got something on my mind

Written by: IAN ANDERSON

Credit: Songfacts, YouTube, Wikipedia & Yahoo.com/images