Actual video on YouTube
Madison Square Garden performance of "Thick as a Brick."
Written as the lyrics appear in the original album cover.
"Thick as a Brick" Album Cover & Original Lyrics - "St. Cleve Chronicle"
Really don't mind if you sit this one out.
My words but a whisper—your deafness
a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think. Your sperm's in the gutter—your
love's in the sink. So you ride yourselves over the fields and/you make all your animal deals
and/your wise men don't know how it feels to be thick as a brick. And the sand-castle virtues
are all swept away in/the tidal destruction/the moral melee. The elastic retreat rings the
close of play as the last wave uncovers the newfangled way. But your new shoes are worn at
the heels and/your suntan does rapidly peel and/your wise men don't know how it feels to be
thick as a brick.
And the love that I feel is so far away: I'm a bad dream that I just had today—and you/shake your head and say it's a shame.
Spin me back down the years and the days of my youth. Draw the lace and black curtains and shut out the whole truth. Spin me down the long ages: let them sing the song.
See there! A son is born—and we pronounce him fit to fight. There are black-heads on his shoulders, and he pees himself in the night. We'll/make a man of him / put him to trade/ teach him/to play Monopoly and/how to sing in the rain.
The Poet and the Painter casting shadows on the water—as the sun plays on the infantry returning from the sea. The do-er and the thinker: no allowance for the other—as the failing light illuminates the mercenary's creed. The home fire burning: the kettle almost boiling—but the master of the house is far away.
The horses stamping—their warm breath clouding in the sharp and frosty morning of the day. And the poet lifts his pen while the soldier sheaths his sword.
And the youngest of the family is moving with authority. Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside.
The cattle quietly grazing at the grass down by the river where the swelling mountain water moves onward to the sea: the builder of the castles renews the age-old purpose and contemplates the milking girl whose offer is his need. The young men of the household have/all gone into service and/are not to be expected for a year. The innocent young master—thoughts moving ever faster—has formed the plan to change the man he seems. And the poet sheaths his pen while the soldier lifts his sword.
And the oldest of the family is moving with authority. Coming from across the sea, he challenges the son who puts him to the run.
What do you do when/the old man's gone—do you want to be him ? and/your real self sings the song. Do you want to free him ? No one to help you get up steam—and the whirlpool turns you `way off-beam.
I've come down from the upper class to mend your rotten ways. My father was a man-of-power whom everyone obeyed. So come on all you criminals! I've got to put you straight just like I did with my old man—twenty years too late. Your bread and water's going cold. Your hair is too short and neat. I'll judge you all and make damn sure that no-one judges me.
You curl your toes in fun as you smile at everyone—you meet the stares. You're unaware that your doings aren't done. And you laugh most ruthlessly as you tell us what not to be. But how are we supposed to see where we should run ? I see you shuffle in the courtroom with/your rings upon your fingers and/your downy little sidies and your silver-buckle shoes. Playing at the hard-case, you follow the example of the comic-paper idol who lets you bend the rules.
Come on ye childhood heroes! Won't you rise up from the pages of your comic-books ?/your super crooks/and show us all the way. Well! Make your will and testament. Won't you? Join your local government. We'll have Superman for president/let Robin save the day.
You put your bet on number one and it comes up every time. The other kids have all backed down and they put you first in line. And so you finally ask yourself just how big you are—and take your place in a wiser world of bigger motor cars. And you wonder who to call on.
So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday ? And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though ? They're all resting down in Cornwall—writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition of the Boy Scout Manual.
See there! A man is born—and we pronounce him fit for peace. There's a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease. We'll take the child from him/ put it to the test/teach it to be a wise man/how to fool the rest.
We will be geared to the average rather than the exceptional/ God is an overwhelming responsibility/ we walked through the maternity ward and saw 218 babies wearing nylons/ cats are on the upgrade/ upgrade ?
In the clear white circles of morning wonder, I take my place with the lord of the hills. And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured (in neat little rows) sporting canvas frills. With their jock-straps pinching, they slouch to attention, while queueing for sarnies at the office canteen. Saying—How's your granny? and/ good old Ernie: he coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win.
The legends (worded in the ancient tribal hymn) lie cradled in the seagull's call. And all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist's fall. The poet and the wise man stand behind the gun, and signal for the crack of dawn. Light the sun.
Do you believe in the day ? Do you ? Believe in the day! The Dawn Creation of the Kings has begun. Soft Venus (lonely maiden) brings the ageless one.
Do you believe in the day ? The fading hero has returned to the night—and fully pregnant with the day, wise men endorse the poet's sight.
Do you believe in the day ? Do you ? Believe in the day!
Let me tell you the tales of your life of/ the cut and the thrust of the knife/ the tireless oppression/ the wisdom instilled/ the desire to kill or be killed. Let me sing of the losers who lie in the street as the last bus goes by. The pavements are empty : the gutters run red—while the fool toasts his god in the sky. So come all ye young men who are building castles! Kindly state the time of the year and join your voices in a hellish chorus. Mark the precise nature of your fear. Let me help you pick up your dead as the sins of the father are fed with/ the blood of the fools and/ the thoughts of the wise and/ from the pan under your bed. Let me make you a present of song as/ the wise man breaks wind and is gone while/ the fool with the hour-glass is cooking his goose and/ the nursery rhyme winds along.
So! Come all ye young men who are building castles! Kindly state the time of the year and join your voices in a hellish chorus. Mark the precise nature of your fear. See! The summer lightning casts its bolts upon you and the hour of judgement draweth near. Would you be/ the fool stood in his suit of armour or/ the wiser man who rushes clear.
So! Come on ye childhood heroes! Won't your rise up from the pages of your comic-books ?/ your super-crooks/and show us all the way. Well! Make your will and testament. Won't you ? Join your local government. We'll have Superman for president/ let Robin save the day.
So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed Him last Saturday ? And where were all the Sportsmen who always pulled you through ? They're all resting down in Cornwall—writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition of the Boy Scout Manual
So you ride yourselves over the fields and/ you make all your animal deals and/ your wise men don't know how it feels to be thick as a brick.