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This was written by Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who has described the character Mary a "child prostitute." She lives a wretched existence offering her services to the dregs of humanity. The character "Aqualung" has a cameo in this song, presumably as one of Mary's cutomers. The "jack knife barber" is a man who performs abortions.

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Who would be a poor man, a beggar-man, a thief
If he had a rich man in his hand
And who would steal the candy
From a laughing baby's mouth
If he…

Jethro Tull - Cross-Eyed Mary Lyrics


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