A Song For Jeffrey

Songfacts®:

  • Ian Anderson first met Jeffrey Hammond at grammar school in Blackpool. They became good friends and Hammond was the inspiration for several of Jethro Tull's early songs, including "Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square (Stand Up)," "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me" and this track. Having been the band's unofficial mascot for several years, Hammond eventually joined Jethro Tull on bass in January 1971.
  • Ian Anderson explained the story behind the song to Uncut magazine; "It's not clever lyrically, but it's really about Jeffrey being a slightly wayward lad who wasn't quite sure where he was headed in life. He knew that he loved painting, but he seemed sometimes without direction and rather lonely. So I thought, 'Well, I shall write a song with his name in it.'"
  • "A Song for Jeffrey" was the first single from Jethro Tull's debut album, This Was, in the UK. The psychedelic blues cut was the B-side to "Love Story" in the US.
  • Hammond left Jethro Tull in 1975 and later dedicated himself to painting. He mused to Uncut in 2018: "Of course the key word in the title is 'for.' I've always thought that the song was meant as a rather lovely gift or dedication, more than it having anything lyrically to do with me."

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