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Starzecs 02:50
When I first came over here from Poland This town was as a paradise to me The smell of chocolate was a joy to a small ten year-old boy Spending hours gazing at that factory Now that factory has gone the way of history And in the faded photograph on my wall Oh so much has changed, only my cobblers still remains In the same place we have been since the war I used to sit on the old Two Counties Stone with One foot in Gloucestershire, one in Somerset Shield my daughter from the cold, in this place that I call home Proud to call myself an immigrant The Dapps Hill flood it tried to sweep us off the High Street But my family we didn’t down our tools Here at fifty-one B, we have left our legacy Like Horace Batchelor and his football pools I want my daughter and granddaughter to grow up here To be part of a strong community To learn from our mistakes, fight the serpents and the snakes As Saint Keyne did in the fifth century Supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, café lattes Meant they tore the old ironmongers down Chain after chain, now every high street looks the same And they’re stealing the heart of the town But when times are tough and I feel like I’m broken And hardship leaves me angry, sick and scared I look over at you and at the soles of my shoes And know there’s nothing that can’t be fixed or repaired
Be Creative 04:18
With all my savings, I bought this block of wood, now I can’t wait to make the thing talk Today my bedroom tomorrow the world, strumming before I can walk In this small town there’s a factory plant, no other signs on the road But each time I pick up this six-string guitar, it’s like pulling the sword from the stone Dad says, “Son, you need a proper career, something more conservative”. And I shout that “I don’t just want to make a living, it’s far more important to live!” Standing on twenty-year-old kitchen tiles, he’s shaking his head but somewhere in his eyes, I swear I see more than a flicker of pride, as he holds onto my shoulders and says... “Grab a pen and some paper and write ‘til it hurts Whatever you do, it’ll need hard work No one owes you a living in the real world You’re just gonna have to be creative” The ‘free’ school they built just a few miles away, turned out to be far too expensive So my favourite teacher taught music to me, in my small town comprehensive With her head in her hands she said “powers that be, tell me I can’t teach you how to play, they said ‘there’s too much music in your music lesson’ I can’t carry on this way”. As she cleared out her desk I picked up my guitar, and the whole class just burst into song. “In a world of more testing and relentless assessment, you taught us not to fear being wrong. They think poetry, painting, theatre and art are just hobbies to us but we reach for the stars, they may have full wallets but we have full hearts” and you stood in the doorway and said… “Success, in this world has no reason or rhyme, do what makes you happy and you’ll do just fine, but if you don’t want to toe that old party line, you gonna have to be creative” With all my savings got this block of wood, now I know just how to make it sing I open the window as wide as I can, feeling the future rush in To hell with the choices you tell me to make I’m ready to build my own track My education will always be full of mistakes No curriculum can hold me back And I’m gonna have to be creative, and I’m gonna blow this town today I’m gonna have to be creative. And nothing’s gonna stand in my way
Me and Maria 03:31
Me and Maria, we meet at midnight By the bus stop where we once carved our initials on the red plastic seat We share a kiss that’s so discreet, if any people pass by here, it’s like I’m whispering in her ear, oh this is love We take a walk down, to our hideout, in this park there’s a road above our heads, but we’re down here under Echo Bridge, singing songs and reading poetry, like Dead Poets Society, just sweet Maria and me, oh it’s love The dirty river running next to us, and cars racing by overhead, are our perfect accompaniment, a clandestine soundtrack Maria reads softly to me, poems in her perfect Polish, I don’t understand a word oh but I know this, there’s no going back no more When Maria, is harmonizing, the sound it bounces off the curve of the concrete, and the echo sounds so sweet it clashes with her dark eyeliner, and that dark green army jacket that she wears all the time, oh this is love Both her parents, have to go back, to the dirty running rivers of Gdansk, and we’re no good at making plans but there’s no way that’d we’d survive this, with a whole ocean between us, we could just run away and hide, and leave this all behind And we can’t let this poetry so quickly turn prosaic, but there’s still so much left to say, so it all pours out in a flood. And I don’t care how much her parents earn or if that’s why they must go home, some parliamentary orders, my feelings have no borders, she’s not going back to Gdansk I’ll never let go of her hand, oh this is love This town’s too small to contain us, but Maria never wavers, doesn’t care for being famous she just wants to make her mark An immigrant without a home, just a notebook of half-written poems, we’re a river that just keeps on flowing, under bridges under stars. Me and Maria, we leave at midnight From the bus stop where we once carved our initials on the red plastic seat, we share a kiss and then we leave, if anyone comes looking for us, we’ll be long gone on the next bus, this is love. Oh, this is love.
When we first got off the bus, Maria looked at me and said “Wow, gosh”, then stared up at the skyscrapers, and down at free newspapers, that were littering the streets, and she took my hand and took a deep breath, and opened up our coffee flask and sat down on a bench. Filled with luminous impatience just outside Victoria Station, and she said that being there reminded her of when we met. At a festival in Somerset, she came over and said that, I looked just as confused as she felt, drinking whisky and iced tea from a plastic water bottle, she said “God there’s such a lot of us things I really wanna see”, Allo Darlin’ clashed with Art Brut, She banged on and on about seeing The Fall. Oh the agony of choice left us paralysed so we missed it all. So when Maria looked up from that bench, all she saw was one giant tent, aware that this event was her life, finally getting started, And so far from home in Keynsham, there in Victoria Station, she said “It’s like we’ve got invitations but we always miss the party” (And I said) Come on Maria, let’s paint this big old city Every colour of the rainbow, we’ll make it so damn pretty If we believe every tale we’re told, Then these London streets are paved with gold So we took the tube on every line, busked and sang No Woman No Cry and danced along in time with Bowie’s Changes. Wandering the trail of hidden waterways and rail tracks, rowing pedaloes in the Serpentine, feeling the wind on our backs, sneaking into Madame Butterfly and finding some binoculars, Maria cried as sleeping toffs missed the soaring melody that sank so deeply into her and me, ten-pin bowling, karaoke, kissing by Westminster Abbey, the knowledge of black cabbies and red double-decker buses, and sweet Maria gushes that “one day maybe we’ll ride on that big wheel. We’ll look down on the river and from up there even high-rises will look beautiful”. And sitting in a park, on the south side of the river, we picture our destiny somewhere far off in the future. Right now we may be sitting in a rocket meant for children, rocking back and forth just to keep each other warm. But tomorrow this rusty rocket could propel us anywhere, and we will look down on eight million arms and legs below us, book ourselves a sell-out show and then we’ll be the ones inside that jazz club on the river, in Chelsea restaurants steak for dinner, spinning in that wheel, prosecco in our hands, backstage passes with the band, sing with oddballs kooks and hippies, reading Steinbeck in the chippy, We’ll make our Marx in Highgate, smell Columbia Road flowers, climb Crystal Palace dinosaurs we’ll sit and talk for hours. ‘Cos there’s nothing ugly here, there’s just possibility, we’ll get jobs in bookshops by day, and by night read poetry, and the audiences will get bigger ‘til we’re not missing the party at all. We are the party. We’re the ones in Time Out listings, never again will we miss things; museums, exhibitions, afternoon tea on the Strand, holding hands in Hyde Park, singing underneath the stars, oh it’ll all be ours, dancing in the dark, by the stalls in Borough Market. And Maria’s taking pictures of the council high-rise tenements, for an exhibition, sometime and somewhere. She sees romance in rusty bikes and poetry in washing lines, rows and rows of wind-blown underwear.
Priced Out 04:42
As young professionals pour out of new coffee shops and bars Talking loudly on their hands-free mobile phones The estate agent looks out and says “Living here’s an investment” But all we really want, is a home. He says “These flat whites are to die for! I assume you want to buy for the proximity to local artisans? And I’m sure you’ve heard the rumours, there’s a restaurant coming that just sells houmous, Now, let’s then guys let’s get down to brass tacks…” We’re priced out, we’re priced out, we’re always priced out, today and always Maria’s got a job earning minimum wage pay Wearing a headset in a call centre, at least eight hours a day I took a job driving a bus, it pays the bills but both of us Have wandered off the map and lost our way We’re existing in a fourth floor high rise overlooking different lives On our balcony, t-shirts hang on the line Outside the shattered glass front door, discarded beds old ironing boards Like an installation that could win the Turner Prize Nearly half our income goes to just paying the rent To a hand we’ve never shaken, to a man we’ve never met To save for a deposit here, it’s gonna take at least ten years When the Waitrose van drives round the bend, you know the end is near From our window without curtains, Maria’s flirting with the city To the sound of next door’s screaming teenage daughters She says “It’ll never knock me down, no matter how hard it hits me” As she stares down at a high street lined with Porsches ‘Cos you might think it’s laudable to build more unaffordable flats And turn us into five-per-cent Home Starters But by storing wealth and profit and by keeping our hands off it There’s no room left for the dreamers and the artists So though we stand there defiant, wrecking balls they bust and boom A sea of hard hats and hi-vis below This utopian dream was just a big city scheme, designed in a boardroom But all we ever wanted, was a place to call our home ‘Cos we’re struggling to cope in, this architects’ utopia A designer’s dream of ‘good community’ It’s turned inwards upon itself, crumbling like MDF shelves If you lived here you wouldn’t see the poetry From the outside looking in, flat screen TV’s sell that dream Holidays, water features and home cooking And it’s all about “location” so long as you’ve got the means The rest of us will never get a look-in
So Dave called, asking where I was. Dave was my boss, and I should’ve been here at work. Sitting at my desk. Typing emails. Answering the phone. Doing spreadsheets. Occasionally popping to the photocopier, mainly to stretch my legs. Occasionally getting up to go to the toilet, or filling and re-filling my plastic cup from the water-cooler, waiting for a “water-cooler moment”, only to return to my desk with stories about the level of performance of the actual water-cooler. Dave asked me where I was, and I told him I was at home. “I’ve got some catching up to do”, I said. Dave told me that was an invalid excuse. He’d started using words like ‘invalid’ to make himself feel more like my boss. He was new at this. And I made a joke that if I was old and frail, it would be an ‘invalid’ excuse. There was a pause. Dave didn’t laugh. Instead he said “Catching up on what? You need to get your ducks in a row. What have you got to catch up on, eh? Going forward. ” And so I told him. “I feel pressure. The pressure to see and hear everything, Dave. For years now I have entertained aspirations of completeness. The world keeps making things, building things, creating works of art, paintings, film, TV and music that I fear I will never get to see, hear or experience. I am fatigued by the overwhelming absurdity of choice. DVD’s, iPods, museums, galleries, radio, digital TV, digital radio, blogs, vlogs, magazines, fanzines, newspapers, books, apps, pamphlets, podcasts, all of it, all of it terrifies me. And the lists of ‘must-sees, must-haves-simply-unmissables, if you only see one show this year make it this’. The music of Stravinsky, the albums of Jacques Brel, a round-the-world-trip starting in Venezuela, the intracacies of jazz, the bonus features on season three of The Wire, surfing, hang-gliding, the works of Dorothy Parker, Hillaire Belloc, or Engelbert Humperdinck. What if I never get round to any of these? My brain seizes up at the number of options laid before it, Dave, it really does. I have fallen behind, and I’m sure that if I just watch everything there is to watch, read everything there is to read and listen to everything there is to listen to – in my own language of course, I’m not insane- I will be a step closer to understanding the state of the universe and solving the question of why are we here? What’s the point of all this? You know, I recently discovered that if I listened to my iPod in order, without shuffling, it would take me 3 weeks, 4 days, 6 hours and nineteen minutes. So I need at least a month off. Because people keep on making more and more stuff. In fact, I was wondering, if you in your new position of power could get in touch with whoever is in charge of cultural output, and tell them to please stop. Just for a while. Just until I’ve caught up. Just for a bit. You know, Stephen Hawking never completed the Ultimate Theory of Everything and I’m convinced the mysteries of the observable universe can be unraveled by studying what we’ve accomplished so far. So please, Dave, please make a few calls. Do what you can. I’ve got some catching up to do.” There was a pause, then Dave said “That’s an ‘invalid’ excuse. Huh. Very good. Just got that. Now, get into work or you’re fired”.
I don’t need your pity sir I don’t want cash I only want one thing from you, give me my job back Think me stupid if you wish sir, call me green blue red There’s one thing I know for sure, my family must be fed I can see right through your window as you light up your cigars And out there in the parking lot I see your flashy cars I don’t need your riches I don’t want your money All I need’s my self-respect my pride and dignity Cos my wife has seen me crying, banging my fists through the wall My child’s birthday is arriving, and I can’t buy him nothing at all You won’t know the pain I feel you won’t know what I mean Til you have felt the shame of being replaced by a machine My father tells me all the time, my boy you must be brave That’s why I’m spending every day, sitting by his grave Cos the bills fall upon my doorstep and I can’t pay a single one Can’t kiss my wife without shaking, and I can’t bear to look at my son I’ll keep talking til you listen and I’ll bend you ‘til you crack Til you hand me back my right to live and give me my job back No I don’t need your pity sir, I don’t want your cash I only want one thing from you, give me my job back
Was It You? 03:37
I’m in a queue for train tickets the day after the election And on the glass machine there’s something strange in my reflection And I realize that it’s anger, brewing since the exit polls A heady cocktail mix of sadness, desolation and dashed hopes I turn round and see a couple that are holding hands and smiling They look happy and content, like they have been for a while and As they waltz on through the barrier, flashing their annual passes I think “Don’t you care that last night you destroyed the working classes?” ‘Cos human rights are on the line. How can you seem completely fine? The welfare state’s obliterated too. You fell for right-wing propaganda, so wave goodbye to social handouts Oh how the hell did this country turn blue? Was it you? Was it you? The silent majority? Was it you? Was it you? ‘Cos it truly wasn’t me. Shame on you, I blame you, and if you’ve got a three-piece suit It was probably you, it was you, it was you. So in the café a barista serves a flat white to a guy Who’s the antithesis of all the friends that I’ve accrued online And based solely on his coffee choice and red-top tabloid paper I think I know which box he crossed and his views on immigration This government experiment, oh I thought that we would end this ‘Cos I believed my News Feed represented a consensus I forgot about you people with small-town mentality ‘Cos mostly everyone I love and like in life agrees with me The girl wearing the Versace dress, I bet you’d privatize the NHS Anyone with their tie done up a bit too tight You made me a judgmental bigot, but a briefcase makes you complicit Oh the gloves are off, I’m ready for a fight ‘Cos the majority of you, from cashiers to shareholders As the shelter doors close and there’s nowhere for the homeless Still think that the poorest folk among us are all scroungers Stuffing state handouts right down the front of our trousers But though government began this unethical experiment We’re the ones backing it, we’re the ones sharing it What’s sympathy worth for the disenfranchised Unless we open our hearts as well as our eyes? So next time the plan is to engage more with my opposition Win an argument with a stranger who doesn’t share my position ‘Cos unless I change a mind or two, it’s obvious to see I’ll have to look at my reflection and say “It was me”
It’s been a long, road, to the top But it’s no accident, you don’t get where I am by good luck I come from good Etonian stock Please understand that I’ve got plans, now I’m the top dog… Let’s start with prisons, I got it figured They’ve been rehabilitating folks for far too long now No second chances, they’re cattle ranches I really think we should be milking this giant cash cow Then let’s drain purses of doctors and the nurses They can’t go around saving lives and making us pay We need more powers, let’s give them longer hours Then when they’re broken smoke ‘em out and swoop in to save the day I’m no quitter; I’ve started so I’ll finish Chop up the Human Rights Act, to make it more British God I’m so strong and tough, Oh yeah I’m the big cheese I’ve waited long enough, so get down on your knees Walking tall, with all the answers, tucking into Fortnums hampers Yeah I’m the Big Man on Campus Now onto teachers, those whinging leeches We don’t even need to train them for a PGCE Sell to high bidders, then we’ll get rid of Accountability to us and call schools ‘academies’ The so-called ‘needy’, well they’re just greedy So I’ll slash billions from their welfare, all to stimulate growth They’ve still got food banks, so where’s all my thanks? They can keep eating or home heating, but they cannot have both The motion’s tabled; let’s attack the disabled ‘That lot’ never vote for me, especially the poor And all the others, demanding single mothers I’ll take benefit payments away and hide them offshore God I’m so strong and tough, Head honcho big kahuna, I’ve waited long enough, if you’re poor I’m gonna ruin ya, there’s no method in my madness, dance around you on the canvas, dominate you like Pete Sampras, yeah I’m the big man on campus Close the borders to the migrants ‘cos all they do is scrounge Be seen as European, but for God’s sake save the pound Close every single library, ‘cos no-one needs to read Lest we educate the masses and they take to the streets But keep the fighter jets on standby, nuclear capability Cos if your ratings drop then only a good war can set you free When everybody hates you, that’s how to be a statesman, please Put on a suit, do up your tie and sing God Save The Queen To all newspapers, my friends in higher places Don’t panic, ‘cos the tax breaks are never gonna stop My darling media, don’t bite the hand that feeds ya And that’s my little tip, to get to the top
I wake up I stretch and yawn and before I know it’s dawn I’ve got my phone in the palm of my hand, And in less than a minute, I signed two online petitions, saved the Orcas and I’ve stuck it to the man, I show no signs of moving, still ensconced under my duvet, Proving in the big machine a vital cog, Learn ‘bout Syria and Isis, the top ten movies of the ‘90’s, And seen someone stroke the tummy of hedgehog But my curtains are still closed to the world And there you are next to me, the most beautiful girl that I know And I know. I should put down this pocket window… That I scroll and swipe and text with Do something unexpected And just get connected to you I just want to get connected to you But those six novels by the bed remain defiantly unread, As your smartphone fills your head with dopamine, Raymond Carver gathers dust, as you try to keep in touch With all those friends of yours you’ve never even seen, Neurotransmitters of elation, rise with each notification, Every one a confirmation you exist, Can’t afford to miss the zeitgeist, we are moths dtawn to a red light, Like a toddler pressing buttons in a lift
I’m at a dinner party tucking into the wine Stuck in a conversation about Israel-Palestine And I remember something Tony Benn said that should fit here just fine “If there’s a God he’s not an estate agent”, I pretend that’s one of mine After that big impression I’m now out of my depth and There’s no going back to chit-chat, Haven’t got the guts to say, “I don’t know enough about that” Now there’s an online petition about boycotting Nestle And I know that it’s bad but I don’t know in what way Something about baby formula past its sell-by date Or is it forcing kids to drink breastmilk for minimum wage? So I add my name to the thousands, though I don’t know the facts As I sit down with a cuppa and eat my Kit Kat Yeah I’m sorry to say, “I don’t know enough about that” Don’t know enough, don’t know enough about that I know when I watch TV news on the Syrian crisis I can’t finish the report without crying my eyes out But before my tears are dry I’m back checking my status Scrolling through photos of friends on exotic vacations And after five minutes, I’m laughing at a video of a cat falling off a piano Then I’m with my wife shopping for tools to build a shed She needs drill bits and a hacksaw and wood chip for the bed And the man in the shop ignores my wife and then instead Directs all advice to me but I’ve no clue what he said Something about “leaving the base some room to breathe” So I nod along as my wife rolls her eyes and turns to leave It would be easier to say “you should talk to her mate, I don’t know enough about that” I know a lot about all the things that I like Every lyric of Bob Dylan ‘til he crashed his motorbike I could write a thesis about every episode of Friday Night Lights And I’ll always know my downstage left, from my stage right But now you’re talking foreign spending and the Human Rights Act And I listen but I’m missing that piano-falling cat I just wish I could say, Don’t know enough about that
When we left we hoped we’d get back to strawberries and cream teas Back to when we all just left our back-doors open But you took everything that we loved including feta cheese Forty-eight-per-cent of our hearts are broken Without the French we never sink into a proper kiss So I haven't had too many of those lately And though we've got Elgin Marbles you've got the Acropolis And we lost the recipe for Danish pastry No-one commentates like an excitable Icelandic Every restaurant is now badly understaffed A Brit wins Wimbledon each year now, but I just cannot stand it Cos no-one's got legs quite like Steffi Graf I'm wearing a jaunty beret, smoking Gitanes cigarettes, reading Kafka quoting Rilke watching Scandi-noir box sets, I am sorry I’m ashamed and I’m profoundly embarrassed ‘cos I am you, you are me, I am us, I am we, I'm a international human being, I am English, I'm a Brit, but if you want a name that fits, then I'm a European There’s no croque-monsieur no more monsieur, all we’ve got is a sandwich Adios, auf wiedersehn it won’t come back, And I miss words like ‘chou-fleur’ since you took away your language, Dzienkuje, danke, gracias and Tak We’ve had to give Italy back the Roman Baths we bathed in, Had to say farewell to German Shepherd dogs, Without Switzerland and Liechtenstein we’ve run out of tax havens, And we mourn the loss of windmills, spliffs and clogs So I’m wearing lederhosen, outside Buckingham Palace, wishing I was under the aurora borealis, I never said I was an expert and I’m so very embarrassed Now we’re stuck here under cloudy skies, Under doctor’s orders Eating endless steak and kidney pies, Gazing at our tighter borders We forgot those Polish pilots in that 1940 summer, On our side during the great Battle of Britain, Now all the Poles have gone, no-one wants to be a plumber And no-one built a house for us to sit in, To Prague and Bratislava and your small sweaty dancefloors, We owe you an apologetic thank you How we miss your bargain-basement beers and long penis-shaped straws Cos there’s nowhere here good enough for a stag-do So hit the grand bazaar in Istanbul, cross Malmo-Copenhagen Bridge Buy poetry along the Seine, raid Oktoberfest fridge Turn up the Europop and dance like crazy to Kraftwerk Hasselhoff and Haddaway and everything by Bjork Throw three coins in the fountain all Italians probably pee in When in Rome it feels like home inside the Coliseum Buy local art in Montmartre and a joint in Amsterdam If you ever go to Belgium, dress up like Jean Claude van Damme ‘Cos one day they’ll take it all away and we’ll miss it when it’s over Gazing across the Channel from these old white cliffs of Dover.
Remember when we sat up all night, trying to rewrite the works of Raymond Carver? And it was so much harder and it took longer than we planned, to turn his stories into songs, and we turned an opportunity missed into a chance to sing some early Taylor Swift? And the way you stroked my burgeoning belly as we watched a cop show on the telly, knowing this was just one day of so many days ahead. And “who cares if we waste this one cos there’ll be millions more like this to come”, free of guilt we let time tick on as my Dad slept on upstairs. Blissfully unaware of his wine cupboard being raided, oh those were the greatest days, you know? ‘We Could See The Smallest Things’, our unfinished concept album, was just scrunched up and discarded next to my striped-t-shirt and your black cardy. And what started as a dance to dad’s Frank Sinatra singles, ended up giving us tingles on the cold kitchen floor Two bodies pressed together, quietly. As the record played ‘Come Fly With Me’, Outside Christmas lights far as the eye could see, do you remember that December night, Marie? But gone’s all the Carver, the Sinatra, and the Swift Cos five years on, now it’s all just come to this We had so much to give then, Now we’re existing not living We’ve turned into two friends on benefits, We’ve turned into two friends on benefits. Five Christmases later, you're crying into your calculator, wondering if it's fate or whether we made the wrong choice, Money causes all this tension, now its too tight to even mention Tax is taxing and there's no pension, when you're self employed Trying to get by on credits of fifty quid a week These years they run like rabbits but we barely even speak I'm scanning supermarket yellow stickers for cheap meals You search the shops and you compare buy one get one free deals.
Well, I’m standing at the bar ordering yet another beer, that I’ll drink half of then forget about, and then I’ll be back here, with more money in my hand, and a barman all too glad to take it There’s a moment in a night out with the boys, and it is fleeting, and that moment is the moment I should grab my coat and leave, but before I know it I’m outside singing Daydream Believer, telling everyone I meet that I love them and I mean it And if I could I would turn back the clock, To a few hours ago Could’ve left things on a high note, but I always miss the boat I never know, when it’s time to go home, Time to go home Wedding reception’s going fine, although we only know the bride and groom, and every time you catch my eye I’m thinking of our hotel room, the complimentary tea, what movie’s on TV, the thickness of the walls Then we make friends we’ll never see again, drink into oblivion, throw dancefloor shapes we should regret, but we’re so drunk we’ll soon forget, the name of our hotel oh it was all going so well, ‘til the Ceilidh dancing started and my Strip the Willow hell At the festival my favourite band’s headlining the main stage, there are fireworks and unfurled flags, I feel half my age, I’m surrounded by great people, Got my top off for no reason, and a feeling that the night sky is my own star-studded ceiling Yeah I’m exactly where I need to be, I hope it never ends, I’ve got a bottle full of whisky and a night with all my friends, But maybe that’s exactly when I should go back to bed, when it’s perfect say goodnight, back to a pop-up two-man tent… I’ve started, to read between the lines, Time to depart, when you recognize the signs The last bus leaves in five minutes and you’re asleep on the couch You're the only one that’s sober and the drugs are coming out You’d rather watch an old documentary about Arsene Wenger It’s three-thirty in the morning, someone shouts out “Let’s play Jenga!” Your best friend’s started crying about a lost or stolen phone You ran out of all your cash a good four hours ago You’re dreaming of the telly and a nice hot bath, but you can’t seem to fight back So you pretend to belly laugh, whilst talking to a right twat You’re buying shots of Tequila for a complete bunch of strangers Doing all the moves from the Macarena, inside those nightclub cages Always a reason, there’s always a reason, to go Cos the alcohol has all run out a stranger’s grinding next to me, I’m not the Mayor of Partytown, not even the Deputy, but next time I’m on a night out I’ll look out for the best bit, on the joke that gets a big laugh, that’s when I’ll make my exit
We’re not going down without a fight There’s a fire burning behind our eyes You can keep us in the dark, we’ll see a flicker of light Cos we’re not going down without a fight And we're not gonna take this lying down Hear our footsteps marching on the ground You can cheat us and mistreat us, but you’ll never ever beat us Cos we’re not gonna take this lying down We won’t let you win this time We won’t, leave our side of the line Set your cavalry to charge, we won’t cross the great divide And we won’t let you win this time It’s not faith based on ideology Just a belief in deep down decency That we’re strong and we’re proud of our roots Underground like an old oak tree, ‘til we’re scattered like leaves on the breeze And free There’s more of us than there are of you Take your best shot, come on turn us black and blue You may have the boxing gloves, we’ve got dignity and love And there’s more of us than there are of you All we want, is what you stole from us When you left our families scrambling in the dust Give us back our pride, give back what we have lost All we want, is what you stole from us We’re not going down without a fight There’s a fire burning behind our eyes You can keep us in the dark, we’ll see a flicker of light Cos we’re not going down without a fight.
I’m not sure I can pay my tax bill, and I’m struggling to sleep at night Feel like I’m always falling through the cracks still, I think it’s gonna be alright I’m trying to make a case for the government Swinging further off to the right But flying in the face of all the evidence, Somehow I think it’s gonna be alright Cos I sing these songs, and I beat my chest Drink with friends, and then I feel that it’ll work out for the best Hold my girl, hold my kids real tight And I think it’s gonna be alright I’m pushing forty and I often feel defeated By all the things I haven’t done with my life But if I say it to the mirror and repeat it Maybe everything will be alright The big smoke, it kicked us like a tin can Right back to this Somerset starlight But while we’re under echo bridge here in Keynsham We know everything will be alright Cos they say it’s always darkest, right before the dawning The neighbours’ dog is always barking, at six in the morning So pick a side to fight against and be the one to stick a thorn in This is the only life we ever get to be born in And I think I’ll get some sleep tonight Cos I think it’s gonna be alright Somehow I think it’s gonna be alright


We are thrilled giddy to be able to release the fifth album (his second for My Little Owl Records) by lyrical wunderkind Gavin Osborn. This time out he's ably supported by the mighty musical muscle of The Comment Section for an anger-fuelled concept album about austerity in modern Britain.

This album is set in Keynsham, a small town between Bath and Bristol in Somerset, probably most famous as the PO Box address for Horace Batchelor's football pools and as the title of a Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah album. It's a town where the local MP is Jacob Rees-Mogg. Make of that what you will.


released September 1, 2017

Gavin Osborn - vocals, guitar, harmonica, ukulele

The Comment Section:
John Hare - piano, trumpet and backing vocals
Cécile - backing vocals
(cecile music.bandcamp.com)
Chris Webb - additional acoustic / electric guitar
(chris webb.bandcamp.com)
Rachel Hare - cello
Mastered by Gareth Price-Lewis at Chatterbox Audio

Written and recorded by Gavin Osborn and The Comment Section, 2017.


all rights reserved


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