On The Viking Station

by Blyth Power

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    The track 'Edward Lay Bare' contains a hidden track at the end, after 10 miutes of silence so do keep listening!

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 11 Blyth Power releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Paradise Razed, A Rededication Of Pastor Skull, When Death Went To Bed With A Lady, The Bricklayer's Arms, Out From Under The King, On The Viking Station, Pastor Skull, Fall Of Iron, and 3 more. , and , .

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about

Although we had great expectations when we entered Trinity Heights at last, no one was quite prepared for what we finally emerged with. A CD album nearly an hour long with a bewildering variety of songs, and performances of a quality rarely achieved before in the band's history - and this after the present line up had been together less than a month.
The company felt that after all the interim releases since Out From Under the King we owed it to those who have supported us through thick and thin to make something special. This is it.

credits

released April 11, 2002

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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: McCullough & Guinea
McCullough and Guinea and I
Sat in the sail as the harbour swept by
Waving life in Faslane goodbye
We slammed the hatch at the order to dive
And I wink my invisible eye
As I steer through a hole in the water in search of a sign
I'll give you the earth and the sky

With idles and all on parade
The southern Atlantic our destiny made
With torpedoes and sonar arrayed
We whipped up the turbines and sped for the cape
Off the Straits of Confusion we lay
And there in our sights was the flagship steering away
I thanked God for making my day

The attack was timed
The latitude lines and slide rules mapped out the facts and figures
The arrowhead tips and the bowstrings quivered
And when the fax arrived the tracks aligned
Pac Man screamed as I squeezed the trigger
The Rubicon crossed was just a river

The most senior of services we
With weevils and biscuits and rum in our tea
On half-rations of mutton and beans
With vectors detectors and video screens
A total command of the sea
Her capes her trenches her stacks her shoals and her reefs
Will ours to administer be

Then McCullough and Guinea and I
Switched off the Gameboy sat back and sighed
With relief with exhaustion with pride
We lit up our Woodbines placidly smiled
And we took to our quarters that night
Lulled by the rock and roll of Antarctica's tides
While in the water our enemies died

McCullough and Guinea and I
Sat in the sail as the harbour swept by
Waving life in Faslane goodbye
We slammed the hatch at the order to dive
And I wink my invisible eye
As I steer through a hole in the water in search of a sign
I'll give you the earth and the sky
Track Name: Mary's Mad Army
England swings to a pendulum screwed as the unentitled fight for the crown
It's time to decide which side you're on as the punters lay their money down
Mari adulterous with naked sword the lion beat the count
Spent his mettle on the unicorn

So what have you got to show for all your pain
What will you have to show for all your panic measures
Your missile strikes and counter plays

Six o'clock and a shining moon we make our beds and we leave
By another reveille aroused again backs bent to the ploughs again
To the strange unbridled cruelty we practice to succeed
Or get knocked out in the second round again
Heads bowed to the ground again

So what have you got to show for all your pain
What will you have to show for all your panic measures
Missile strikes and counter plays

Mary had an army its fleece was black and green
With a faith as bright as its Armalite and sweet demeanour gleams
Mary had an army each face as white as snow
And everywhere the unrepentant Mary went her army had to go

Mary has an army she tells them what to do
What the stakes are they're playing for
Who they're taking the blame for
That faith may be rewarded but favours misconstrued
As mistakes must be paid for for her sake to the grave for

Mary has an army she tells them what to do
What the stakes are they're playing for
But she never tells them where she's going to
Track Name: Cider Dreaming Time
How's the weather Jack? It's terribly cold
The wind's up from Weston I'm whipped to the bone
And there's frost on the hedges and ice upon the road
The blacksmith's still ringing the morning's half gone
My legs are too short my greatcoat's too long
And my throat is as dry as the cider memories strong
The blackthorn with ivy is tangled around
Here on the hillside at the edge of the town
Where old friends lie buried in the cemetery ground

Amidst bottles and barrels and collapsible chairs
We danced in the tent at the Caryland Fair
Though I would never have asked were I sober
So I'll thank you to answer me frankly I think I'm prepared

I was a stoker called up to the sea
Of thunder and battle I distantly dreamed
While I stoked the furnaces and swore at the smoke and the steam
Long nights at the drill hall with the local home guard
Were battles with skittles Woodbines and darts
Watched by pictures of film stars who smiled from cigarette cards

On the Great Western Railway the company store
Took air-raid precautions the fortunes of war
Filled the streets with American soldiers
Who were sport for my daughters the long and the short and the small

Come foxhounds and hunters in topcoats and tails
I'll follow on with my shovel and pail
For there's nothing so fine for the roses
And I grant you my garden grows nicely but Lord how it smells

I'll find my way home in a moment or more
To the black Suffolk-latch on the yellow street door
Where my heart knows the way but my feet aren't always sure
Now the cups in the cupboard mean nothing to me
The matches the kettle the sugar and the tea
Are all lost in the kitchen with the mice and the memories

But if life is all stories in parallel lines
That the present the past and the future define
I promise before I'm much older
That we'll meet again in the Cider Dreaming Time
Track Name: Armstrong Goes To War
Captain Armstrong so 'tis sung cursed by birth as a younger son
With a Roman nose had prospects none and a thirst he'd bear to the grave
His father raged in a black despair at the cross-eyed boy with the red gold hair
Sent him away to Vanity Fair to learn a soldier's trade
But he learned backgammon whist and gin to cheat at cards and seldom win
He would never let up 'til his luck was in and the stakes were always raised
With his powdered wig on his fat white mare
H his mess bills rose as his prestige fell
His tailor's fortunes likewise failed for his debts were never paid

Fall in A fall in B fall in all by company the Horse Guards call and the infantry
With powder shot and ball
Now the banners dance and the bugles blare
Horses dance on the barrack square
The children laugh and the men despair when Armstrong goes to war

Captain Armstrong went to war with his tricorn hat and his rusty sword
And all his quartermaster's stores for Ireland he set sail
To Dun Locheld his men he led but he drank and he whored and he stayed in bed
And where his soldiers fought and bled he neither knew nor cared
So when the rebel armies charged he turned and he fled through bog and marsh
Left the cream of the Coldstream Guards dead beyond the pale

When Marlborough's armies marched to Hell the Dutch like corn before them fell
There was many a redcoat died as well before the war was won
But gallant guardsmen grenadiers when the cannon's mouth is drawing near
Captain Armstrong grey with fear will turn his tail and run
Track Name: Rebel Angels
Saint Sable black and silver has to Iron changed his name
Iron-bound the rebel angels bicker
That silver can be stolen and Iron can be tamed
Gold is not the only thing that glitters

I have come the long way round

For my saint I laid a table where I unbidden swore
His every word and every thought to follow
He laid it on in spadefulls until I was sick and sore
Now I'm not so sure what I can swallow

In resolution undismayed
I liked the lustre and the licence that it gave
So until I turned the final page
I was constant in collusion
And though Rome was burned in a day

For the faith to paint a rainbow where I envisioned Hell
For credit notes to pay back all I borrowed
For the strength to break the iron bars where I in prison fell
And laughter lines to turn aside my sorrows
Track Name: Wintersfiend
Spring rises green on the hillside
Scarlet her mantle unfolds
The hart and the hare for battle prepare
As Winter relaxes her hold
The bullocks aroused on the meadow
By Chauntacleers rose before dawn
While little boy blue wonders dazed and confused
For whom should he blow on his horn

She said come to my house and you won't want to leave in the morning
She said if you once leave your boots at my door
She has prepared with meticulous care
Through the eyes of her spies and informants
But if she fails then to soothe and protect her bruised self-respect
She must endeavour to compromise yours

Borne in on a riptide of brambles
Her retinue spread like a tail
Spangled and maned with the sun in her train
Summer broke into the pale
To camp on the roof of the forest
Through the green fields they clattered and danced
Until sated and spent they collapsed in their tents
And extinguished the hurricane lamps

Then she offered to light me a candle
She promised to summon by bells
The birds and the bees and down on her knees
Offered weddings and beddings as well
But your hope bites a bullet in anger
Roses are red as your glare
Lavender's blue but what can you do
When Johnny won't come to the fair

This summer has been too demanding
I've never dug deeper before
But it strikes me as hard that I've travelled so far
And have nothing to show for it all
So I'll be glad when the season is over
And Winter along in a while
With the wind and the rain to blight and blacken your name
To hammer to crack and bespatter and slacken your smile
Winter and I have been talking she wrote me a letter to say
When the autumn is done and she's through with the sun
She's coming coming forever to say

She says pack up the sauce of your troubles and kick them behind you
She says don't let them darken your door
She writes with fire on ice to comfort protect and remind you
That she'll be there sooner than you expect
With deepest respect
Fraternally and gratefully yours
Track Name: House Of Cards
When Graves came up from Charterhouse last May
I met him on the train and we hit it off straight away
We took a look round and made up our minds to stay
There with Cromwell's arms on the chapel house door engraved
There were motes on the river and dust on our decadent daze
Long nights en amour on the scaffolding planks emblazed

We'd roll home at dawn in mourning with our arms linked through
Beggared by the bottle and a thin white muse
With the Devil's spit and polish on our dancing shoes

Fourth floor rooms we shared and a chest full of colourless clothes
And though we worked on similar lines there were separate goals
Until we came by different paths to the same crossroads
Then finding clues between the lines of his letters and prose
And acrostics hanging on the spines of his lyrical poems
I learned to know him better than you might suppose

How much gold for your honour are you willing to take
Or am I tempting a serpent with apples and cakes
What our hands won't deliver then our hearts won't break

Four things better than all things are
In all things better much better by far
Than the sun and the wind and the shining stars
Your rivers of gold run deep and the currency's hard
But it won't pay the rent on your house of cards

To the long-cold Caradoc's hills now the birds have flown
On the westbound train all the crowd went quietly home
Slipping outside they left before the end of the show
Now the dust's long settled and the worms and the carrion crows
In deadlock struggle where the grass through the flagstones grows
And the parks and the lawns and the terraces are overthrown

When Heaven makes me an offer should I give it a chance
Adam came a cropper now they need a good man
Or will the Devil pay me better for my idle hands
Track Name: On The Viking Station
I'll tell you all a story the like you've never heard
About a bitter conflict and how it shook the world
How from all the North Sea trawler ports to the North Atlantic bound
Our ships set sail in the teeth of the gale for Iceland's fishing ground
It's not with a fly and a maggot it's not with a cattle prod
It's not for the haddock and not for the skate and not with a line and a rod
It's not for the stinking kipper fish we toss on the breath of God
We sold our souls to pack the hold with the grace of Old King Cod

So watch for the gannet watch for his strike now watch for the arctic tern
What did you do in the cod war as you watched the fog lamps burn
Watch for the hammer watch for the spike swing hard by the gunboat's stern
Cry Harry! Cod! And England! And round for your homeports turn

They sank 'The Pearl' and 'Oberon' and took their crews on board
And 'The Jackson' out of Fraserburgh was rammed by the gunboat 'Thor'
Now down in the bars on the dockside we have vowed to avenge them all
For there's more good men in 'The Fisherman's Friend' than all of Iceland's shores
Send for the shot and powder now shout while you light the fuse
Call on the ancient mariner to call on his ancient crew
Send for the Royal Navy with their bands and boys in blue
And Jock the Bastard's nephew's sailing up from Dunbar too

We were ten days out of harbour the sea was iron grey
We picked her up on our radar screen and tried to slip away
I was mending nets on the afterdeck in the last of the light that day
When a searchlight gleamed off the starboard beam
And out of the wind she came
Then three live rounds across our bow three live rounds fired she
Our captain versed in Gaelic cursed and we swung round hard to the lee
And we rammed her abaft of the binnacle now Jock the Bastard's creed
Says Old King Cod is a merry old sod and merry old sods are we
Track Name: To Horse And Away
Hope and pity though her tender mercies hold
Every shining silver needle takes its toll
Rolls you restless into slumber as the power pain withdraws
Once the doctor knows the problem the doctor knows the cure
Intravenously injected into tired and knotted veins
Now a little touch of Harry dear will help to ease your pain

I remember well the message how it came
Over all the length of Europe flew her iron curtain calling
There were roses in my window box that day
Although from skies of grey and silver there were dirty raindrops falling
So as you lead them through the measures one last time
To all your stately efforts undermine
Tell me if my spiteful laughter sends an echo down the years
Here's a little touch of Harry that will help to dry your tears

When rumour speaks she'll open up her ears
For who can help but listen when his painted tongue is talking
She was sitting frozen faced and biting back the tears
While down the Horseguard's Avenue all Birnam Woods came walking
And though heavy lies the head that wears the crown
How much heavier the heart that lays it down
But if she seems unwilling in her anger and her shame
Here's a little touch of Harry that will make her think again

Now entertain conjecture if you dare
How all the little people saw the flashing knives surround you
There were some there vicious some were stupid some were scared
Some were choking back the laughter as your fortunes fell around you
Through eleven bitter years you had your say
Now your dust and ashes just the same
So if you're feeling tired and that all your effort's been in vain
Here's a little touch of Harry that will help to ease the strain
And if you're feeling sorry at the parting of the ways
Here's a little touch of Harry that will help you through the days
Track Name: Sometimes I Wonder
We met at the airport at a quarter past four
North through the suburbs we rode
Andreas driving with Gudrun beside him
Took care to avoid the patrols
It was cold it was dark it was raining
Sparks from our cigarettes flared
The headlamps and beams of the oncoming streams
We met with amphetamine stares
Then Andreas looked behind him
To where Ulrike was sleeping and frowned
At the loneliness sadness and traces of madness
Etched in the lines on her brow
She looks tired he said and used to seem much younger

Then Andreas groped for his German soul
And talked of his childhood days
Of artists and cafes and Opel-gang wars
Of taking and driving away
He spoke to the parson's daughter
Of a father he couldn't recall
Who was blown by defeat to the ends of the east
On the wind of another man's war
He spoke of his mission of mercy
And in a vision not fully explained
Of his elders and betters of silenced Berettas
And Frankfurterallee in flames
Lord of the flies in his pre-stressed tower block jungle

Someone has stolen our thunder
Disarmed and abandoned headless we stumble and blunder
Through newspaper articles radio plays
Headlines and deadlines and posters on public display
Are these all illusions we're labouring under
Sometimes I wonder

Sometimes I wonder

Andreas passed to a German hell
Ulrike preceded him there
Gudrun has gone to the place she belongs
And I hope that the Devil's prepared
But I sat alone into uncertainty thrown
Stalked by the flies on the wall
Until anxious to please and as keen to appease
I was ready and willing to talk
To turn in my gun now and run with the hounds and the hunter
Track Name: To Wallis A Sonnet
At night the unrepentant head
Of Wallis shares the royal bed
Where Wallis lays with royal Edward bare
To share his sleep and share his dreams
To dip his royal thighs between
The duties of a royal queen to share

There were strangers at the station
Conversations strained
Journalists debating at the bar
An equerry was waiting
To lead you to the train
And there was Special Branch detectives
In the Pullman restaurant car

Let the House of commons bicker
Let the palace bolt its doors
Don't let Alice through the looking glass today
The transatlantic clipper
Is ready now to board
So what the Lord has given
Let the lady take away

And underneath the royal cot
Scented with forget-me-nots
In Royal Doulton chamber pots their confluence prepares
To lay Edward bare
Track Name: Edward Lay Bare
Empire O Empire what has begun
Lust has betrayed your most royal of sons
That King was anointed whose reign had begun
Scandal betrayal and ruin overcome
And squandered a birthright for a beggarly sum
But such is his will and a King's will be done

Captain my Captain make up your mind
Pack up your troubles or leave them behind
A horse for your kingdom but not for your wife
Stand up and whisper or stand up and fight
Stand up and be counted or lay down and die
Most royal most regal most ridiculous knight

It's all up with you
Harry George the lion and the unicorn too
Britannia won't waive the rules
Clear out your desk and give us the keys to your room
Hang up your crown on the hook in the hall
Put on your outdoor shoes and pull the door to

Edward O Edward eighth of that name
Biting your tongue as you struggle and strain
The taxis are waiting she's chartered a plane
Van Dieman has asked you to dinner again
And Chancellor Hitler is tugging your chain
Sit or get off the pot now and let them take you away

It's all up with you
Harrods Lourdes the wines and the Wimbledons too
You're over and done with you're through
Try to reflect with pride and dignity do
Goodbye to Hello and Vanity Fair and the rest of the press reviews
You're yesterday's news

It's all up with you
Bride on a broomstick glide down the underground gloom
In Deathrace 2002
A nation of ignorance washing their hands in your wounds
Thou saint and redeemer our saviour and queen
Did you cry for the camera crew
On the third day when they opened your tomb