Jack in the Green

Jack, do you never sleep
does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
motorways, powerlines,
keep us apart?
Well, I don’t think so
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

—Ian Anderson


  1. Bit of explication, mostly for my own benefit.

    In the album recording, Anderson inflects the words “green still” such that it’s ambiguous whether “green” is the subject of the verb “run” or an adjective modifying “still”—in other words, it can mean either that Jack’s heart always longs for the woods and streams or that Jack’s heart is itself a still–a man-made implement for extracting the essence of the green, its life-force.

    This only occurred to me recently, but I really like that second interpretation.

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