"Willie" is British slang for the penis, and this song is about oral sex. There are other sexual references throughout the song, something that is not typical of Jethro Tull.
Suggestion credit: Joshua - Twin Cities, MN
In spite of the apparent baudy nature of the lyrics here, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson is no lecher! As he told us: "I'm usually rather put off by naked ladies unless the time is right. Well, indeed, unless the money's right." In fact, he turned down performing at Woodstock based on the likelihood of it being a scene involving naked women and hippies! (Check out the full Ian Anderson interview)
Larry from Dc AreaIt's true that many Tull lyrics have sexual references but they're usually veiled in a "suggestive" way...take for example the Songs From the Wood album. Two songs in particular: Velvet Green and Hunting Girl. Go back and read those lyrics...there aren't really any "dirty words" but Ian sure can paint a vivid picture ...From Hunting Girl: She took this simple man's downfall in hand; I raised the flag that she unfurled. (I mean C'mon!)
Larry from Dc AreaReminds me of the lyric from Hunting Girl: She took this simple man's downfall in hand; I raised the flag that she unfurled.
Thomas from Canton, CtI believe this song was Tull's answer to the "political correctness" that was ramping up at the time. Ian doesn't have much use for PC as a songwriting limitation. The Rock Island tour used phallic symbols during the song to hilarious effect, proving that Jethro Tull has a sense of humor not seen in most music acts.
Steve from Ottawa, OnSexual references are not typical of Jethro Tull? Are you sure that you're talking about the right band? There are many songs in Tull's catalogue that are rife with sexual innuendo. It's not the foremost element in their lyrics, but it is certainly not uncommon.
Jim from Columbus, OhI remember seeing Tull perform this live, and the slides behind them were of phallic symbols - carrots, sausages, etc. Pretty funny.
Stephens Stills played timbales on the Bee Gees hit, "You Should Be Dancing." He was in the next door studio laying down a Crosby, Stills and Nash album and could hear Saturday Night Fever being recorded. Stills recognized its potential to be a monster hit and he wanted to contribute.