The Black And White Album
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The Prayer
Be still,
My heart;
Be still,
My head.

Soldier Song
Where do all the soldiers go
when they grow old and tired with time?
It’s always on my mind,
yes it’s always on my mind.

Gimme a minute to think it all over check it out now
I am living a miracle
believe the T.V. if you like being miserable
but its better to write your war stories on the calendar
hang it on the kitchen wall and build stamina
my advice is amateur
what right have I, judgement by propaganda
words damage like tear gas canister
never read them headlines just before bedtime, its criminal
I can see half way round the world but make myself invisible
hide away and play safe to save myself from ridicule
before mass reaches critical
before I wax lyrical
God - let my soldier song be forgivable
Don’t wanna be made the bigger fool
for not knowing my people
they’re easily missable
I’m hanging onto hope like an umbilical
that this united kingdom will live up to its name sake
and stop being so cynical

Where do all the soldiers go
when they grow old and tired with time?
It’s always on my mind,
yes it’s always on my mind.

at some late stage in the game
the family became the company
I’m saying it’s a shame
the soldier sold his soul to get paid for his fame
can’t rely on no-one no more no way mate you’re insane
to think that
no-one can make your dreams come true but you
d’you think?
the world is yours for the picking
you’re kidding!
That’s what they want you to think to fit in
to put your pound lucky dip in
it’s time to put the great back in Britain
we got what it takes
I’m so full of myself right now
light years ahead of the right crowd
we got more culture than agar
can’t keep us below the radar
build it up layer by layer
show the world just what were made-a
take the credit for my own mistakes
but not alone
come along don’t stop at home
when you gotta go
you gotta go
let it all fall into place

Modern Times
Pushed down dead alleyways of thought
We bought from fools who cruelly
Kept the best for them and fucked up
Our intelligence and blamed us
Is it a wonder that we’ve polarised our ears,
Our iPods symbols of your fears
We’ll learn to listen not just hear

And you can complain of the shit that’s on T.V. today
The bills aren’t paid by me
So it’s the icon of your weaknesses du jour;
You bored us with a thousand digital displays,
Imagination was displaced
With megapixels and bad taste.

S'all so pointless and confusing
Discordant, like my guitar's only got two strings
And I'm shouting out aloud in different tunings
Ahhh- I'm trying hard not to confuse things

Modern ideas, what do I fear
I paid to be a part of this, I’ve got a life here
I'm trying to believe we can make something big
But all the stars in my eyes are separated by light years

Quit trying to sell me stupid holidays
I know you're just doing your job but, no, it’s not okay
No injuries to compensate
Other than this vicious verbal constipated stew we all tolerate

S'all gotta be cooked up with a twist on
The same old same old shameless shit that we sit on
But run with it cos some poor sod out there's got it worse
That's why the news is always bad so we redirect our curse

All F****d Up
Who gives a fuck about poetry?
Preserve your thoughts and save a tree.
There’s always something on T.V.
Your life is short while hours are free
So keep it locked and melt your keys;
There’s nothing lost if nothing’s seen,
So burn your bellows, wake your dreams.
Life’s exactly as it seems.
A thought’s just wasted energy.
A map’s just somewhere else to be.
A tambourine’s a noisy wheel.
“I love you”’s just another speech.

Where do we go from here:
It’s all fucked up?

There’s gold in that computer screen,
So Google ‘heaven’, someone’s been!
A novel’s just a wordy theme.
It’s easier to disbelieve.
And everything runs to the sea.
A memory’s just more to keep,
So snap horizons digitally
And sink the ships that don’t look neat.
It’s easier to never speak
As Clinton Cards know how you feel.
We know it’s real if we can see,
Ebay’s selling love for cheap.

Where do we go from here:
It’s all fucked up?

Sometimes when I can’t sleep
I keep an eye on the dark outside
through the high skylight
I see the beautiful rain dancing again on the glass
as it crashes fast
as if it’s asking to crack into my brain
or for me to pass to the other side:
to the strange ‘out there’
and, although I’m scared inside,
I think I might.

I step onto the roof and instantly there’s proof
of what’s scaring me;
I hear T.V.s blaring and see the flashing blue
in a million rooms across the city
The million stars now pity us:
the mess we’ve become:
mentally numbed
with souls devoured by a lack of willpower
so now we decay in our flat-pack frames
because we don’t dare to escape

It’s the end of another week
for the wasting lives
braving storms of words from incompatible wives
who crave the latest craze
with meals balanced on fattening knees
to watch ‘Britain’s got talent’ –
when it’s clear that it hasn’t!
The adverts scream and the steaming kettle
upsets the balance of peace for a second
so arguments flare into words of hate
because they’re angry inside that they can’t escape

And so the ordinary prevails because culture’s a bore
why fight a bloody cause when there’s a televised war
as long as beer’s cheap
let’s keep the ‘great’ on dead Britain;
sit and play on our phones,
disconnect your heads from the living, because
you’re stripping your lives
to keep your ‘facebook’ sites gripping
but the endless texting won’t stop the
clocks from ticking.
so don’t have sex because this life’s more
dying than living
I pray for bombs to reset us
because everything’s missing

Be Still
With rocks collecting on my chest
and thoughts a shroud in wilderness,
the pendulum of endlessness
repeats a war like beats of death.

With empty winds and punctured eyes,
I choke on sands of desert minds;
lanes overgrown with shattered signs:
I’m lost in mazes I can’t find.

With compass scribbled off the maps
and dictionaries burnt to scraps,
my faith was shot so God collapsed
and every memory lays a trap.

Be still,
My heart
Be still,
My head.

The spectre thoughts, in armies, come,
their midnight cyclones rage and run;
Your face, the banner of their hunt,
Stabbing dreams to heartbeat drums.

A violent torrent stopped within
By jigsaw words and dam of ink.
The loudest vessels soonest sink;
I’d sooner fucking swear than think.

The clashing thoughts which sense rejects:
You can’t be friends without respect.
I gave my soul, there’s nothing left.

Be still,
My heart
Be still,
My head.

Any Old Shape
Dig out your reasons to hate me
you’ve got more time now
to hold, destroy and re-make me
into any old shape that you want

If you need a reason to hate me
you can take four years
shred them to veins with your doctor
and make any old shape that you want
I’ll be any old shape that you want
I’ll be any old shape if it helps you get by

Turn back the clock as you blame me
and re-write our past
use your transactional therapy
to make any old shape that you need
I’ll be any old shape that you need
I’ll be any old shape that you need to pass by
I’d be any poor victim you wanted to fight
I’d be any sad shadows you wanted to light
I’d be any dead hero you wanted to write
I’d be any religion with any cracked saint
I’d be any worn portrait that you’d over-paint
I’d be anything broken that you could create

You found a reason to hate me
in that I didn’t care
sadly, that’s your best fiction lately
and it proves you were never all there
but I’ll be any old shape that you want
I’ll be any old shape if it helps you get by
I’ll be any weak shoulder on which you can’t cry
I’ll be any cold sunshine on any dark night
I’ll be flowers and wind on the grave of your life
I’ll be any rejection or any disease
I’ll be storms in your alleys and pain on your seas
I’ll be crucified thoughts; I’ll be memory’s thief
I’ll be any old shit you can make and believe
If it gives you a reason to hate me

The Tragic Illusion Of Loss
Look sad for two weeks
Then you’ve got what you need:
A conscience guilt-free
And your friends’ sympathy.
Now you’re set to believe
The emotions you’ll feel
With a script and a scene,
It all looks so real.

‘Cause you’re acting today
In a self-written play
Called the ‘Tragic Illusion of Loss’
Yes, you’re acting today
In a self-written play
Called the tragic illusion of loss

Your delusion is neat
As the cycle repeats;
There’s a painting to keep,
And a fortnight to weep.
Your live hero offstage
Writes this dead one’s last page;
Then a quick costume change
Hides your face and your shame.

‘Cause you’re acting today
In a self-written play
Called the ‘Tragic Illusion of Loss’.
Yes, you’re acting today
In a self-written play
Called the tragic illusion of loss

Lie to me, don’t lie to yourself.
Keep hanging on ‘til you meet someone else.
So, lie to me, don’t lie to yourself.

Fire In The Rain
There was smoke on the mountain
And fire in the rain
As we bundled our existence
And walked away again.
And all of the lessons
We’d be taught by love and pain,
We bound in rags like children
And threw in shallow graves.

Times Have Changed
With click revolutions for virtual fights,
The times have a’changed and now everything’s shite;
The waters washed off all the social veneers,
Now there’s blood in our buildings and cracks in our tears;
The suits disappeared like the shedding of skins;
Appeasement’s the president, iPods are kings
And the times have changed,
Yes, the times have changed.

The thinkers and writers were burnt with their books,
Respect was replaced by a statute of looks;
The ‘I’ in a team was cut out with a knife
And now everyone’s slept with someone’s future wife;
We’ll swim in the sorrow of our neighbours’ tears
And then laugh as they crash as our tracks disappear
Because the times have changed
Yes, the times have changed.

The faster we’re falling, the less we can see,
Now we don’t need to buy what we download for free;
The walls can collapse if they don’t fall on us,
As we dine on insurance to poison our trust;
And the old way of life will never be missed
Because it’s not on the web so it didn’t exist
And the times have changed,
Yes the times have changed.

There’s a new T.V. station that caters for me
So I don’t need your stories or books or ideas;
The battles that bound us together are smoke,
Now the wars raging in us are making us choke;
Where love can be bought in a little red pill,
There’s nothing to fight for so God has been killed
And the times have changed,
Yes the times have changed.

Relieved And Cold
You did all the talking and I listened like a priest
beaten senseless in the morning glare
and I didn’t cry your name
as the bullet message came
severing our future from your care

Endless was the sickness pre the firing squad at dawn
you’d been missing in a bloody war of thoughts
Then you tore my bastard hopes
like a fighter on your ropes
losing sight like fires in their smoke

Go. Go: your love got old
Go. Go: relieved and cold

Handing back the novels that I’d read just like your soul
distant characters were waving from the shore
take your picture from my wall
and the shadows from the hall
we’ll never see the places that we saw

Gathering your guilt and junk in broken plastic bags
like a vagrant on the war-torn street you’d bombed
can you fight what fate has planned?
I only wish I’d touched your hand
not heard the sad musician’s famous song

Go. Go: your love got old
Go. Go: relieved and cold

Findlay Mackinnon - Drums & Percussion
Chris Hope - Piano, Guitar, Bass & Singing
Jippy Gileppo - Rapping on 2 & 3
Naomi Haworth - Harmonies on 8
Rob Blakeney - Bass on 9
Chrystal Ding - Flute on 5
KEHS U4S 2011 - Choir on 2 & 3
Mike Kent - Double Bass on 10
Eleanor Davison - Cello on 10
Grant McWalter - Violin on 3
Matt Raynor - Violins & Violas on 3, 8 & 10
Sarah Watts-Tibbets - Violin Solo on 1
Design by Denis Ramplin
Produced by Chris Hope
Mixed by Rob Blakeney
Mastered by Steve Kitsch at Audiomaster