Out From Under The King

by Blyth Power



Back at Trinity Heights, the band finally began to be Blyth Power again, after several years' blundering. All of a sudden things went right. There was Fred again, Steve Maden's brilliant 3D artwork, which had been languishing since Karpov got shelved, and most of all, there were no frustrated songwriters with hidden agendas trying to steer things in different directions. From beginning to end, Out From Under the King has the strength of its convictions. OK, there are some hitches - Lord Clay Cross and Owen are too fast and could do with a bit more beef, and Battle of Nations wasn't rehearsed in advance, but most of it could not have been better. Released on CD only, as we finally worked out that cassettes were as big a waste of money as vinyl, this put the band back on track. Alnwick & Tyne with keyboards was what the boss had been looking for. This was all that and more.


released May 5, 1996

All songs by Joseph Porter
Arranged by Blyth Power



all rights reserved


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: God's Orders
On God's orders to their sleepless desert lair
The knights from their commanderies bore
Cold Christian soldiers seasoned prepared
Standing guard behind me in the campfire glare
Until the gold dawn rose kneeling in prayer

The sand piles twisting shift and heave
There's sand in all our waking hours and sleep
There's sand and flies in everything we eat
And the sand piled horizon is shifting in the heat
Then shaking fades as another day in paradise is burned away
And the white knights wonder why they came

But it's not the sand the flies the heat or the desert smell
Or the chafing of the harness and the mail
But too much doting on the old crusader tales
Have left me somewhere west of Heaven's Gate and too far south for Hell
When I believed that fear and deprivation could make a man out of me
I was taken from behind and undeceived

Do not go gentle unto the light
When you can snuff the candle out and curse the night

Do not go gentle that would virtue find
Or for wisdom seek or beauty in a narrow mind

Do not go gentle unto sin
But caparisoned in armour with a barbel's sting

Do not go gentle to a marriage bed
That seeming paved with roses may be bloody red

Do not go gentle unto that good knight

Cold Christian soldiers disease and despair
Tragedy indifference and distemper share
But on Rhodes thorned rose intent and aware
Of God's orders
Track Name: Lord Clay Cross
Bracken green and lilies decked my marriage bed
I was dressed in silver with a rampant lion red
My guests to welcome at the door
The Woodvilles and the Percys and the mossmen from the moor

But the distant sound of cannon spoiled my wedding day
The King of France's daughter sailed back home in disarray
Now all along the border wall
Muster arms the heralds call

For Lord Clay Cross my Lord Clay Cross
Be calm be steady believe me
It's a battle that's better off lost
For Lord Clay Cross
Black sky white heather white frost

How many blue eyed barons kissed your hand today
How many swore allegiance as they brushed your tears away
And told you where there's a tavern in the town
Fine ideals recline on finer eiderdowns

But while you made your power play I changed my mind
Slipping past your sentry posts I forsook the battle line
No oath remains unbroken very long
When the better part of valour
Is admitting that you're wrong

Lord Clay Cross deadlock dead level dead loss
Rode back to his manor in Redesdale

I burned my bridges when you broke the news
Cast the sword aside I'd never learned to use
To search for quietude and prayer
No bleach marks on the bath towels no plugholes full of hair

But I bore no grudge preserved no sullen air
There's no smothered nephews buried underneath my stairs
No one to censure or to blame
No loose ends to tie or maintenance to pay

For Lord Clay Cross my Lord Clay Cross
Be calm be steady believe me
It's a battle that's better off lost
For Lord Clay Cross
White star white feathers white horse
From my vows delivered unfreeze me
Track Name: Westminster & Wandsworth
I'll go back to the shires someday
Where the fields are green and the sky's not cloudy all day
Because there's not enough room here and not enough money to pay

Hearts in my hand reading seven and ace
My hand's on my heart when I'm saying my grace
I'm thanking the saviour for stuffing my face
With my pigs and my fishes and wine

I'm the heir to my sorrows a couple of cows
My horse my sheep and my farrowing sow
And we go to church now it isn't allowed
To work on Sunday no more

We bow our heads in the family pew
We never ask why so we never know who
Calls us there with the rest of the Heaven bound few
To teach us one day at a time

In Westminster and Wandsworth the fish still continue to rise
To snap up the bait with the wool pulled over their eyes
With a crack on the head it's into the basket they go

Then it was clubs bills and longbows we took in our hands
And went off to London to make our demands
We're fed up with WOMAD and socialist bands
We wanted our freedom we wanted our land

Take a jump cried the Bishop ride over your cross
Save up for your sins and avoid at all cost
When you all live together over Stratton-on-Foss

Once more King Richard's away to the wars
For a reason as vague as his aim is obscure
None of the press gang care what it's for
So long as he's paying them square

But when Redcar Shotton on Dee and Appleby close
And Powergen stuff the pits with American coal
What will poor Robin do then to keep out the cold

In Glasgow Lyons and Chicago Calcutta Shanghai
Steamrolling all over the moles go scurrying by
No one sees as behind the skirting they blow

When our ship comes down to the banks of the river we'll flow
The yeast will rise if the fists keep pounding the dough
Soon into the furnace for baking the people will have to go

Andromeda you mustered your children away from their ploughs
Some are in prison some are still free to tell how
Beneath the earth that you promised them rashly
Some are pushing up daisies for you now
Track Name: Emma
Emma says I you caught my eye
You beckoned and I followed you through
Now how long do you expect to engage me here?
What do you expect me to do?
What kind of a man do you take me for
Tell me what are you trying to prove?
You would refuse my advances she answered if only you knew

Then Emma says I the stars are bright
But there isn't that much of a moon
The guests will be ready for dinner at eight
So we'd better be getting in soon
She said your haste isn't tasteful or decent
And it's tarnished your silvery spoon
You are amusing sometimes but I wonder if ever you're true
You can amuse me whenever you choose

Take me pray gentle Jane
To the cold heart of the matter and make it plain
Tell her story state her claim
Every book every page
Every word every speech you make her say
Let your ordered mind arrange
And pray gentle Jane
Make her play take her measure make her pay
I'll make her rue the day she came
And you will excuse me for using her name

In the coppice gales mourn as a coach is drawn
For Emma getting ready to go
With the sour faced squire from a midland shire
Who's offering his body and soul
She says his heart is a lion regardless
While mine is a pancake roll
Now they will have music together forever wherever they go
They will have music wherever they go
Track Name: Katherine's Will
Unwilling lips your majesty
Unwilling kisses give though seeming keen to please
But I've no affection left to spare now for anyone but me

I early learned to entertain
To shut my mouth until he called it into play
To bite my tongue and keep my cool while the fool had his way

To think of England in my dreams
At reminiscences of other English queens
Beneath his passion saddled gored by the boor I lay serene
Stifling my screams

I know his route from day to day
I can mark his leaden tread from several rooms away
I know all the widows and their schemes and the rooms where they play

He's getting older getting slow
He's no straw and I've no camel's back to bear him so
Nor steady hand to mop his brow when his bowels lose control

I know his belly every fold
Each damp depression where the canker's taking hold
Each sweating crevice to my fingertips is a well travelled road
But I will lay down my load

And I will survive him I will last
I'll be alive to see him wormcast
To watch the carriage bear his cask and the pallbearers pass
I set the flags to halfmast
Bought the candles paid the priest to say the mass
Had marble columns raised
And fools paid to praise him
To parade
And read his epitaph
Track Name: Lambert Simnel
Lord Derby thought his tarot cards would never tell him lies
With a Yorkist Sunne in Splendour thought he'd backed the winning side
That was on the field at Bosworth back in 1485

There was Stanley there was Percy with a pricetag on his shield
Jackie Duke of Norfolk and Lincoln in the field
There was weeping Henry Tudor with his sinus' and seals
And ships lined up from Dungeness to Dover

While the liar and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
King Richard in the middle and the centre giving ground
The Percys cast a sovereign up and lay their weapons down

I was born of an Oxford joiner there and only twelve years old
When the preacher took my measure ambition took me hold
And I met the Earl of Lincoln and the jeunne d'armes De La Pole

First they crowned me king in Dublin and we crossed the Irish sea
Lord Derby sought his tarot cards a vision for to see
Of one hundred thousand Furness men standing on the glebe
But he cut the pack and turned the fool's card over

When we failed to raise the commons we failed to raise the peers
Back we rode like madmen through the missiles and the jeers
With the sky as black with arrows as our boots were wet with fear

Both John le Pole and Lincoln bold were better men than me
To death they went impenitent and turning took their leave
Saying never make concessions to placate the enemy

While Henry Tudor licked his lips his lips he licked with glee
As I trembling knelt before him his mercy to receive
And when he sent me to his servant halls the closets for to clean
I gladly kissed his ring and called him master

Now Lord Derby and his tarot cards are scattered to the wind
The hanging men are laughing as the tide is coming in
And I'm a kitchen porter now instead of being King
Track Name: Owen's Tail
Owen's pressgang came for me
Hauled me from my mother's knee
Scarcely whelped and scarcely weaned
Down from the hills returning

With crows and convicts cold unkempt
Ten long weary years I spent
To all my long lost gods I sent
From Dyfeds windy marches my lament

Owen's sword is red with rust
Owen's standards grey with dust
Are Owen's prop and Owen's crutch
No thanks to his barber surgeon

Owen's quartermasters bold
Own us body sword and soul
They cut our rations steal our dole
Giving Owen ten percent of the profit in gold

Owen's praise demands my song
Owen right or Owen wrong
Owen's soldiers curse and brood
Short of money short of food
He owes them long arrears of pay
And he'd better watch his back
When we catch him off his guard someday

Owen's praise demands my song
Owen's minstrels play too long
Owen's pages pale and young
Firm of thigh and deft of tongue
Omens show that come what may
He'd better watch his back
When we catch him off his guard someday

Owen's wife the soldiers sing
Fair of grace and lewd of wink
Will oft by night to the sentries slink
Down by the campfires burning

Stealthy now to the guardhouse creeps
While Owen's drunk and Owen sleeps
Shakes the cup with practiced ease
To dice till dawn and the grumbling watchmen fleeced

Owen's praise demands my song
Owen swift and Owen strong
Owen vain and Owen proud
Owen's laughter shrill and loud
Owen's dues in time we'll pay
And he'd better watch his back
When we catch him off his guard someday
Track Name: Father O'Brien
From the sign on the door NO HAWKERS HERE
Where The Devil sits weeping into his beer
To the Triple Tun townhouses' muted cheer
The ale has all turned sour

Flower of England meet my need
I've been up all night with a cause to plead
I need a warrior born to bruise and bleed
For Arthur of the bower

When The Devil said son let's make a deal
If your brain's of straw and your nerves of steel
You can turn the wrath of Ezekiels wheel
If you'll give to me your soul

I said sorry boss no martyr I
As the lord is my witness I'm his bride
No bastard son to be crucified
So I can't accept your role

But what do you think they were saying
When they spoke to The Lord that night
They tugged on the bellropes with all their might
As if they thought He'd hear
But He just sat on His cloud in the sky
Trying to make up His mind
Throwing the dice from left to right
As He grinned from ear to ear

Now Father O'Brien is making a stand
While The Devil comes roaring up the land
A can and an hourglass in His hand
And the clock strikes five past three

The ecologists fell to fire and sword
When they lay down in protest before The Lord
The JOB DONE sticker on the vatican door
Was plain for all to see

Now the fascists hang from the telegraph poles
The anarchists march on burning coals
It's afternoon tea and sausage rolls
For The Devil The Lord and me
Track Name: Swing
Down among the caddis and the reeds
Float great renaissance ladies wrapped in satin winding sheets
And their rumour spreads like ripples through the weed

Lapis eyes the water gently bathes
Great artists come to paint them the estate has agents paid
To keep the fishes and the waterfowl at bay
And by'r Lady who's to blame

Now who will fetch the water from the well
Who will bind our broken ankles tell her children's tales
And take the cattle to the slaughterhouse to sell

Whose hand will sketch the lily and the rose
Who will pay the old retainers and the tradesmen all they're owed
And spread alms among the villagers below
Where everybody loved her so
It fell upon a holy day a crowd was coming in
For the murder of his lady wife to see Lord Barnard swing
Some were dressed in velvet pressed and some wore black and scarlet
Some had come as he kicked and spun
To celebrate and fete our Lords departure

The sun came down to see the sportsmen play
The nimble man to hang him the parish priest to pray
And the stable lad to lead the nag away

Who will climb the Oak tree by and by
To swing him high above the hayfields in an arc against the sky
And let ballads songs and snatches testify
That everybody's satisfied

But who will drive the gypsies from the door?
Who will rape the farmers daughter now set hounds about the poor
And kill fair ladies and their lovers by the score?

Who will sew the linen for his shroud?
And give comfort to his kinsmen when they grieving gather round
For we'll miss his steady hand upon the plough
So everybody tells us now

Down among the caddis and the reeds
Float great renaissance ladies wrapped in satin winding sheets
And their rumour spreads like ripples through the weed

But time will pass the water taking hold
What once was fresh and beautiful will blacken and corrode
Track Name: Battle Of Nations
Bonaparte walked through the beanfield
As he studied the rolling terrain
He said here's where I'll station my cavalry lines
Over here my artillery train
And here's where I'll raise a pavilion
To keep the foul weather at bay
So the revellers and the jugglers
And the bands can play

He said but sometimes it seems I'm in heaven
It's the way they described it in school
With nothing to do but reflect and construe
And none to talk to but fools
Sometimes I can't be bothered
Sometimes I just want to go home
And leave the empires and the beanstalks
And the standing stones

Able was I
When I thought I was willing and able and ready to try
But the wind blows and the rainfalls
And the sirens cry

When the battle was finally over
The old guard had broken and fled
The peasants looked up from their labours and swore
As I helped them to bury the dead
The emperors army was scattered
And when the soldiers had wandered away
They left the churchbells and the birdsong
At the close of play
Track Name: The Holly And The Ivy
Now the Holly bears a witness fair as another winter falls
We sang to please Our Father as we climbed the priory wall
We sang to praise Our Saviour Christ of a virgin mother born
And begged his grace and favour for the Sisters of St John

We sang to save the fishermen to the merry organ's groan
Six hundred tuneless children sang to raise the harvest home

In the rising of the sun in the running of the deer
In the playing of the merry organ sweet singing in the choir

Now the Holly bears her redback berries down the winte'rs tale
As black widows tempt the children from the hanging Ivy trails
Sunset's tints indifferent sink as stark against the sky
From the bare Elm tree branches the ragged rooks arise

And where ancient feet familiar streets and the quiet pastures trod
I have not seen Jerusalem nor the Holy Lamb of God