Fall Of Iron

by Blyth Power

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about

Following the success of On the Viking Station we decided to do it all again with the second part of the trilogy, and we very nearly made it into the studio with the same lineup on two consecutive recordings. Fall of Iron constitutes the Sky part of the trilogy and this time we carried it off without the ten minutes of silence and the hidden bonus track.

credits

released August 4, 2006

All songs by Joseph Porter and arranged by Blyth Power

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about

Blyth Power UK

Since 1984 Blyth Power have been playing and recording original music, which although regarded by many as fitting into the folk rock catergory goes so much further. Based around the lyrics of songwriter Joseph Porter, the band's sound is unique, and there is an atmosphere to Blyth Power that adds a depth to the music, and makes them more than just another pop group. ... more

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Track Name: Farewell To Forties
Red sails alone on the North Sea slicks as the tugboat turns for home
And now we've started now my admissions can begin
Red herrings thrown to your bloodhound bitch and the ring at the end of your nose
Unwilling martyrs now bid you spit into the wind

As forth across the water drifting in between
The rusting hulls above the tidemark and the Russian submarines
To the northern score we're pitching in the breeze
Forth across the water we leaned into the turn
The lantern lights upon the quarter then the harbour mouth astern
As we ran towards the oil slicks and the sea

Beyond Dogger shoal where the burning gas from the drill rig platform glows
And on to the Forties out here between the roses and the rue
Where the backfisch roll in whalebone strakes as the heaving timbers groan
To pour on troubled waters out here to hand there’s oil enough for two

Pour on troubled waters the guiding albatross
The union flag upon the mainmast the saltire and the cross
All the land lovers lying in between
Pour on troubled waters murder and remorse
The bucking deck in shreds beneath belies the placid smile embossed
On all your figureheads serene
As we ran towards the oil slicks and the sea

Red burning rage when the storm blows up it’ll probably last for days
Through reefs unchartered we’ll be blown by the weather and the wind
Blue steel and grey in the eye of storm’s force lashed by the hurricane rain
That’s where my heart is so we’ll sink together or we’ll swim

Farewell to Forties until we come again
Great Arctic divers dip and tumble and the herring gulls complain
But we are inclined now to pass them over and leave them be
Farewell to Forties as fast and fatal friends
On Aureol and Lusitania we may never ride again
Now it’s time we turned together and left the sea
If you’ll down towards the galleys follow me
Track Name: After The Horse Has Bolted
The city lay flattened and churned
The heroes weary homeward turned
Hunger sated victory earned
Priam’s palace sacked and burned
And that’s where they washed the spears
That’s where they fought for ten long years
But the cat has run away with the cream
Left their king with a half spent queen
So all is not as well as it seems
As they enact the great reunion scene
But that’s how it has to be
That’s what the men expect to see
Not Helen stony-faced
Forced to confront her dark disgrace
Limp in her husband’s bleak embrace
Saying revenge is sweet enjoy the taste
If that’s what you want Is that why you came
You made your bed now you’d better make it over again

Said Menelaus then addressing the sea
Did all the cream of our mythology
Cross the world to restore to me
The biggest whore in the Pelopenese
And is that why we lit the fuse
Is that what we fought so hard to do
I was visited she replied
Stung by a devil that itched inside
That split me open and forced me wide
And he was far far richer than you
He was hung like a centaur handsome too
And I’d never wanted anything more
I never had it better than this before
I never asked for war
I really didn’t think it would matter at all
Because that’s what people do
And that’s why I half assumed
That you’d do it to me so I might as well do it to you

It’s celebrated now in popular verse
That Helen went from bad to worse
Actors athletes and soldiers cursed
The gorgon’s head beneath her skirts
At least that’s what people said
It’s got teeth it’s got fangs and serpent’s heads
And classical history relates How she lived on down from age to age
Star of record screen and stage
For the public’s pleasure and the public’s rage
Because that’s what people want
That’s what people need
As only a fool would refuse to accept or believe
Only a fool like me
Track Name: Bomber Harris
Arthur’s malice probes the wound
Calls him in from the ante-room
And he’s all for a hanging party
Of that bleak embittered man
As he stands before the jury cap in hand

Pleading time inflamed me
With her patriotic smile and destiny fulfilling me
Forced me to my knees as she
In time became engaged to me
Gave me orders and I took them willingly

When that fatal match was made all the stars seemed to fade
Ragged clouds the moon surrounding
White winged swans turned to grey
And from solemn vows the angels turned away
She was dark she wasn’t fair as thin and cold as the empty air
She was no Joan of Arc
There was no compromise between the travesties and lies

But time has stained me
Since they cut me dead down at the ministry
Time grants no relief and no reprieve
Now time has put the blame on me
Time has robbed me and diminished me

But I’ve had visions since and dreams
Opening letters that I don’t receive
Making calls to distant counties
Boarding night-bound trains
East to Eden and the rocky range
Raise his statue then and smile

Hang more medals on the holy mile
And we’ll stick with a fairy story
Red sea crossed to a Palestine
Resurrected on the river Rhine
In the smoke of burning cities stand his shrine
So let’s hope we get it right next time
Track Name: Cynthia's Revels
Elizabeth died on her golden throne
The dried up husk of a wrinkled crone
Left naught for the grave but skin and bone
No heir to follow after
In England whipped and England tamed
In the aftermath of her endless reign
We thought we’d never sing again
Nor light the lamps with our laughter

Shakespeare’s work adorned her age
Or so they claim and so they say
But I can’t make sense of his history plays
At tragedy he’s no master
His star-cross’d lovers grate and prick
His swan-necked heroines make me sick
When the crowd hurled dung at his Henry Vth
T’was a well-deserved disaster

But here we sit now poets all
At the sign of the Tun by London Wall
To sing ‘til we’re sick, to screech and bawl
And drink until we’re plastered

Are you ready now sing
Sing sing the whole night through
‘Til the kegs run dry and the smoke-rings blue
Bring a tear to your eye and a sore throat too
Sing as long as you’re able
Sing ‘til dawn kicks through the door
Sing for your supper now sing some more
We poets sing and though we’re poor
We sing for the love of our labour

We band of brothers gallant few
Here’s to me and here’s to you
To Sir John Roe and his gap-toothed muse
To Jonson’s art and craft sir
To Chapman grizzled lean and strange
Fletcher loosed from Shakespeare’s chain
young John Donne with a choirboy’s range
And his voice as high as the rafters

To Goodyere’s house and Goodyere’s hall
We went to play we went to sport
For Goodyere keeps an open door
And none are turned from his table
So we meet from time to time
To eat the meat and taste the wine
And we pay our way with verse and rhyme
For all his friends and neighbours

With Fletcher’s wit and Chapman’s roar
With Donne’s sweet songs and beardless jaw
Sir John Roe’s odes to his tuppenny whores
And Jonson’s learned readings
With songs of love of hate and war
In turn about we took the floor
And Lady Rutland stayed ‘til four to dignify proceedings
Track Name: To Whose Gods?
Man has raised the pyramids alone
Has mountains through his efforts and endeavours overthrown
With pain strength and discipline his deities outgrown
And has carved his initials on their stones

Let the earth move the monuments and mounds
Let the acid rain eradicate and the rolling oceans pound
What can never last forever let in time be broken down
And let history cast the ruins underground

And of the stone circles fallen and decayed
Let quarrymen and masons come and take the bones away
Ship them out from railheads at a thousand tons a day
And let no trace or memory remain

Into the blue skies the wire towers reach
In factories in railway yards and iron foundries
At Cambois power station lying smouldering by the sea
And to new Gods let these cathedrals be

And when the time capsule opens on our age
Will a future generation stand bewildered and amazed
Among the brick stacks and the cooling towers and the masonry remains
And ask to whose Gods were these cathedrals raised?
Track Name: Born In A Different England
Summer came and winter went blew away our discontent
The age of peace and plenty had begun
The organ grinder pulled the stops everyone we knew was on Top of the Pops
And everyone’s favourite song was at number one

And when things went wrong we simply carried on
And everyone was happy

The shops were full the weather kind colliers worked in prosperous mines
The TV showed the good life every day
No one swore and no one fought the troops returned to Pippin Fort
With peace in Ulster just a breath away

But we’ve been reborn into a world we don’t belong
A world that never happened

Where the trains ran on time where the water turned to wine
There was justice there no poverty and no violent crime
The children never cried but toed the party line
We walked with Alice in a world wide Wonderland where everything was fine
The streets were safe at night there was pure peace of mind
It was all a long hot happy summer holiday with all of mankind
Or so I’m told I think I was born in a different England

Sit-com queens from the tube beamed came to life
I’m still trying to forget the memory
And who were those men on the News at Ten last night
Was it the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four or the Jackson Five.

Men were walking on the moon everyone was born with a silver spoon
We carried home the ashes every year
Football fans in rival gangs dropped their Stanley knives and danced
And drank each other’s health with tepid beer

And though Chopper Harris died his legend still survives
But it’s bleeding bruised and battered

The year they won the Nobel Prize the National Front apologised
At Notting Hill they vowed to make amends
We had ITV and British Rail we all still loved the Prince of Wales
We hoped we’d see him married in the end

But things don’t change history still remains
Or does it really matter
Track Name: Endgame
It was late one night and ten years past since the day he’d seen his lady last
When a servant came and said My Lord there’s a woman come knocking at the back stairs door
She’s waiting now in the servant’s hall and in her arms is a black-eyed baby

Her face once fine is drawn and thin she’s dressed like a leper with her cheeks sunk in
Her lank stringy hair is matted and grey she smells like a badger and she won’t go away
she says she’s come back to your hall to stay and she says she’s your Lordship’s lady

So he came down the winding stair his face set hard when he spied her there
With the babe in her arms that hollered and bawled and her bare feet worn from her ten year walk
She fell to her knees on the hard stone floor crying Lord now don’t forsake me

Whack-fol-a-day the merry musings of the harps and the violins played
So we danced ‘til the break of day to the rhythm
Whack-fol-a-day went the music to our hearts as the melodies strayed
Whack-fol-a-day-fol-a-diddle

He said you left such a long time ago your goose feather bed grew hard and cold
As you stirred his pots and stoked his fires, you slept in a ditch and you bore his child
But when you spread your legs to the call of the wild with a knife to the heart you betrayed me

So I’ll make you a deal that will settle the score and wipe the slate clean once and for all
If you would return to my house and hall you must kill the black-eyed babe you bore
Then with all my militiamen armed for war to the gypsies you must take me

So she agreed and we watched amazed as she borrowed a mop from the scullery maid
She took the babe and stopped its mouth ‘til its struggling ceased and its cries gave out
And My Lord said lay welcome now to honour me forever and obey me

They rode not East and they took no rest for the lady led them South by West
Til they smelled the smoke and spied the lamps and heard the clamour of the gypsy camp
And My Lord to the fore as the troop advanced said I swear not a soul will escape me

They laid waste and they made sport nor paused for breath ‘til they’d killed them all
Revenge is sweet My Lord opined seasoned with the bitterness of passing time
You had your fun now I’ve had mine and there’s none whatsoever that will blame me

So North by East they returned to the hall by fern and bracken by marsh and moor
Til they spied the manse at last through the gloom and the lights shone bright from a hundred rooms
And His Lordship’s smile was a crack of doom on his face as he spoke to the lady

He said the woman I love lies asleep upstairs I’ll go to my room now and find her there
But they’ll make you a bed on a pallet of straw to bicker and squabble in the servant’s hall
As you wash my linen and scrub my floors and take your punishment daily
Track Name: Salmon & Gluckstein
A cold moon was rising the sea was flecked with foam
When I thought I heard a whisper on the radio-telephone
Saying ‘Heaven is no distance – its harbour lights are home
But if we fly together we will never die alone’

I had a brother in the army, another went to sea
And both of them went better men to better ends than me
One went down off Greenland and one at Foux-Jolies
But when I go west tonight then it’s united we will be

And it’s hours ‘til dawn and the morning’s calm but the boys are off through the bay
Back to the Bight ‘til broad and bright comes the brief respite of day
And though sticks and stones will break your bones and fire will blow you away
To all the call came clearly and all the cracks had gathered to the fray

Ground mist arriving was mingling with the steam
And the curses of the ground crew and torpedo-arming teams
Some of them are strangers but stranger men than me
Have left their lives in foreign lands and run away to sea

To see the sunrise in the morning turning soon to rain
And I’ve been searching through the blackout for the Southern Cross in vain
I’ve been Chasing after danger, racing without aim
Until time and tide and terror come to take me home again
Track Name: Fall Of Iron
Descriptions of buildings waiting to fall
Of victims bewildered in cable reports
Of terror reprisals and casualty wards
But the pictures of children from the occupied zones
Fade with each new arrival of letters from home
Now my red eyes have found me travelling alone

I slept and I dreamed of an army encamped
In hospital quarters crippled and cramped
I waited and watched as the nightingale carried her lamp
Through the legless the armless the blind and insane
Dissent and disorder tender she came
Stopped by my bedside and softly she asked me my name

Like syringes her fingers were needles that deadened the pain
And while thieves and malingerers listened I begged her to stay
But I woke up to find I’d been bleeding again

Lock on and loose chop down the shoots
We’re damned if we don’t and we’re damned if we do
But the minister is satisfied a case can be proved
And it’s time to start turning the screws
Intelligence sections are briefing the crews
Lock on and loose chop down the shoots
We levelled and laid them but we prayed for them too
How can a blind alleyway lead to the truth
First you give an eye for an eye add a tooth for a tooth
In the end you’ll have nothing to lose

When so many around me to the battle succumbed
I called up my brothers and asked them to come
Because three heads together are better than one

Rainstorms and cloudbanks obscuring our view
We formed on the beacon and into the blue
North Westerly vectored in radio silence we flew
Lost with my thoughts in the bomber stream’s flow
The hum of the engines and the instruments’ glow
Alone on the winds of the jetstream dreaming I rode

With the countryside sleeping beneath us we crossed the unknown
Then pathfinder flares at the heart of the city below
Led the firestorms spiralling out of control
Track Name: The Glorious Vanquished
Are they blind these lords of Gaza in their strong towers
Who declare Samson pillow smothered and stripped of his powers
O stolid Philistines stare now in amaze
At my foxes running in your cornfields with their tales ablaze
At swung jawbone and bees swarming in the stark lion’s hide
At these the gates of well-walled Gaza a-clank to my stride
At these the gates of well-walled Gaza

Are we blind these days or am I blinder still
That would bend their rule of iron to my weaker will
Now fine flung phrases and stumbling disbelief
At the jagged stone embrasures and the broken teeth
Of fallen angels across the spiked cannon in the gun pits splayed
Won’t chase the eager ravens from the open grave
Then the barracks rang with laughter I’m the fool
Who sought to chase the lamprey from the lily pool
Who went to tilt at windmills but only fire breathing dragons found
That singed the laurel branches from the hero’s brow
Who from the saddle crashing through briar patches to the ground
Cast aside my colours and made good my rout

Now the giant’s armour flashing and the wild jackal’s bark
Make David cast his slingshot missiles wide of the mark
Sportsmen wager as Daniel meets his end
Forsaken by his maker in the lion’s den
And Christ our Saviour bloody in the tomb still lay
When Mary knelt beside him on the third day
Christ our Saviour bloody in the tomb was lain
Nor rose He thereafter but died in vain
Track Name: Fang Over Lip
Here do I stand on top of the bridge
Looking over the Cider Sea
There's a Network Seven and a Sprinter train Where ‘Implacable’ used to be
We've been sold down the river of profit and loss
Our boss is a self-made man
But he's been aiming to pay off his poll tax
By betting on also-rans
He sells into China for gunpowder tea
And buys Anarchist PLC

So I've rented a house on the East side of hell
With a garden and wonderful view
Where I'm all grown up and I'm all washed out
And I’m forgetting my misspent youth
Here the cats keep coming on covered in sighs
So long as they can't catch me
Then I'm all wired up and I'm all tuned in
And I'll evermore bouncing be
So don't say you don't know me at all
If you ever come round to call

Now this is my table and this is my chair
And this is my Ford Capri
There's a sunstrip sticker and a leopard skin wheel
Where my para-boots used to be
Where once before I was certain and sure
That I was bound for a heavenly see
Now I'm learning to do as I'm done by
It's the fireside down for me
And I give you my guarantee
Some day you will ride with me