“Moths” by Jethro Tull

Song of the Day

September 22, 2017

Written by Ian Anderson
Produced by Ian Anderson
Recorded at Maison Rouge Studio, Fulham, England, January 1978
Released on the album Heavy Horses in April 1978

Jethro Tull’s eleventh studio LP, Heavy Horses was the middle album in a trilogy of releases focused on folk rock, although the sound here is a bit harder than the previous album. With its title, the album is dedicated to the “indigenous working ponies and horses of Great Britain”.

Jethro Tull in 1978

“Moths” is a perfect representation of the sound on this album and its delicate sound and melodic sensibilities in deep contrast to the trends in music during the late 1970s. The song’s lyrics is about love and the fleeting moments of life, using the allegory of moths drawn to a flame.

Listen to “Moths”:

Song Lyrics

Oh, the leaded window opens to move the dancing candle flame
And the first moths of summer suicidal came, oh, suicidal came
And a new breeze chattered in its May bud tenderness
Sending water lilies sailing as she turned to get undressed

And the long night awakened and we soared on powdered wings
Circling our tomorrows in the wary month of spring
Chasing shadows slipping in the magic lantern slide
Creatures of the candle on a night light ride

Dipping and weaving flutter through the golden needle’s eye
In our haystack madness butterfly stroking
On a spring-tide high, oh, on a spring-tide high

Life’s too long as the lemming said
As the candle burned and the moths were wed
And we’ll all burn together as the wick grows higher
Before the candle’s dead

The leaded window opened to move the dancing candle flame
And the first moths of summer suicidal came, oh, suicidal came
To join in the worship of the light that never dies, dies
In a moment’s reflection of two moths spinning in her eyes

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