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"Life's a Long Song" is a song composed by Ian Anderson and first recorded by Jethro Tull. It was released as the lead track on an EP in July 1971, reaching No. 18 in the UK charts.[1] It later appeared on the 1972 compilation album Living in the Past.[2]

The song is centred around Anderson's acoustic guitar playing,[3] and the lyrics talking about everyday life, concluding that "the tune ends too soon for us all".[4] It is the first Jethro Tull recording to feature drummer Barriemore Barlow, who had joined the group shortly before.[1]

Fairport Convention covered the song on their 1997 album Who Knows Where the Time Goes.[5]



  1. ^ a b Rees 1998, p. 44.
  2. ^ Rees 1998, p. 187.
  3. ^ "Jethro Tull's 10 Greatest Guitar Moments". Guitar World. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Jethro Tull songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Who Knows Where The Time Goes". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 April 2019.


  • Rees, David (1998). Minstrels in the Gallery – A History of Jethro Tull. Firefly. p. 187. ISBN 978-0946-719228.