A Jethro Tull album that, like its immediate predecessor, Thick As A Brick, consists of a single, continuous forty minute musical piece, at least in theory. (Actually, APP consists of two complimentary works of music, seperated by a short whimsical spoken word interlude entitled, "The Story of The Hare That Lost His Spectacles".) The actual musical part of the album is about Ian Anderson's Dante-esque voyage through heaven, hell, new-age heaven, pagan earth, and finally earth during the apocalypse before his reincarnation. Despite being full of Anderson's trademark puns and whimsy, the music is probably the closest Tull ever got to progressive rock, and Tull fans tend to either love the album or hate it.

The name of an album by the British rock group Jethro Tull, and also the name of the only song on that album. Released in 1973, A Passion Play was (according to j-tull.com) the last of Tull's albums to reach #1 in US charts. The song itself is approximately 45 minutes long, and contains a wide variety of very odd music. The lyrics (as you shall see) are chock full of Christian references. This makes sense, because a Passion Play is a play depicting the Crucifixion of Christ, the name of which is in turn taken from the Passion of Christ, a which refers to the time between Christ's Last Supper and his Crucifixion (See Webster 1913's definition of Passion). The lyrics describe the death of a man, his travel to the afterlife, and his eventual rebirth. Most outside sources seem to agree that the man is named Billy Pilgrim, although I am rather unclear as to why. It is a possible reference to the main character of Slaughterhouse Five, a book by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., which was published only a few years before A Passion Play.

You will also notice that the word 'ever' is used to modify an adjective many many times in the lyrics. There's 'Ever-passion Play', 'ever-smile', 'ever-dying sign', 'ever-burning fire', 'ever-door', 'ever-life', 'ever-day' and 'Ever-passion Play' once more. I don't know why they do it. I just think it's pretty neat.

(Lyrics removed for copyright reasons. -Ed.)

If you want an annotated version of the lyrics (as opposed to this Everytingated version), head over to http://www.elfhill.com/leighann/pplay.html

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