Wicked Women, Wicked Men and Wicket Keepers

by Blyth Power

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about

Please note: If you buy the album you will also receive bonus downloads of the tracks from the remastered 'A Little Touch Of Harry In The Night'.

Back in the olden days, before NME, Sounds and Melody Maker cottoned on to the fact that Blyth Power was unfashionable, the first LP was recorded. It was December 1986. Joseph had just sacked the entire band, but they were still going to play on the recording. Clearly he had a lot to learn. Any self-respecting dictator worth his salt would have shot them all out of hand. We like the coincidence that 56076 had its Blyth Power nameplates removed around this time, and put onto 56134 instead. It must have been an omen. Anyhow, the band went into RMS studio in Crystal Palace and churned it out. Of mild interest in the wake of this release is the publicity campaign which the then solvent All The Madmen Records paid for. There was this chap called Spike who got paid £400, and in return he blagged interviews with all the music papers. Joseph even got to make an ass of himself on Radio 1's Newsbeat show. Hurrah! Think how much more press we might have gotten if we'd paid for advertising space as well. There were two vinyl pressings. The first had a green sleeve and the second had a blue, and the lyrics were included in a booklet. Mr C. at ATM rejected the original artwork design for the sleeve as it offended his vegetarian principles. Boo hoo. We thought it was funny. When the second pressing sold out, the LP languished in obscurity, until the first in a long line of generous and public-spirited benefactors was rash enough to lend us the cash to put it out on CD. It was thus the first release on Downwarde Spiral Records. To add spice to the re-issue we included a re-mixed version of our first cassette release, A Little Touch of Harry in the Night, which had also vanished into obscurity. This relic was recorded on a 4-track machine in a basement in Hackney. It's one of those things that old punks get dewy-eyed over, and claim we shouldn't have done. "The original's better," we never tire of hearing. "Why don't you release all the new stuff on vinyl..."

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released December 1, 1986

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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: Goodbye General
Goodbye General to lose
Your armies march on bread and water
I have stood in awe before your strategy
But now I bow before a different altar

Slipping along sorrels left bank
You'd stride with me in perfect meter
Had I been half the paragon I claim to be
You would not have been my teacher

Goodbye General you gave to me
One thousand sparks of inspiration
Your action made me time to ask the reason why
In station after station after station

And I know what it's like to play the fool
It's instinct I can't overcome
But I could name one thousand people I'd rather be
But your name does not rank as one

Slipping along sorrels left bank
No logic could have made it easier
You gladly gave to me all that was my due
But what was Caesar's due you gladly gave to Caesar
Track Name: Stand Into Danger
Keep the watch to windward boys
Our enemies are growing bolder
Stand to arms and use your sense of smell
By the way his speech was cracked and halting I could tell
Trouble was brewing and all was not well

When the Captain said stand fast my boys
And I wish you all the best
He was red eyed from the morning
And he was not fully dressed
Then they kicked us stem to stern
I'd expected nothing less

He who fights and runs away
Will live to be thrashed on another day
Empty threats are all the arms we bear
And the blood that we left on the deck to mark the slaughter
Was tainted with rum
It was thinner than water and lighter than air

Oxfam and Christian Aid
And the licensed victualler's trade
And when it all comes down to dust again
The ferryman must be paid
And the barbershop quintet's expenses cannot be defrayed

With your hands together softly so
Your little fists clenched tight in anger
Impotence becomes you very well
By the way you stood before the altar
I could tell You had nothing to offer nothing to say

As we're standing into danger now
I'm hanging on for life and laughter
Heart of oak in gallant company
But a heart of oak will burn when touched with fire
It crumbles to ashes to dust it expires and ceases to be
Track Name: The Bricklayer's Arms
Flower of England to the Netherlands came
To assay his wit on Phillip's claim
With sweating palms he gripped the reins
Nothing ventured nothing gained

Bricklayer bricklayer you're a man of means a man of wit and charm
What draws you then nor sword nor pen now the bricklayer takes up arms

This world has so many windows
Looking out on every side
I have not been satisfied
With my single narrow view
So I've done my best
Took the colours across the sea
Let them do their worst to me
I'll see what I can do

I can sit upon a big boned cavalry charger now and gaze me stern about
I can bow to the gentlemen touch my cap and turn my pockets out

Impassionate and impartial
Don't paint my soul in black and white
I went there to feel and not to fight
But I had to go
The Devil took underneath my soul
And had to be mollified
Now I'm qualified
To speak of things I know

Give me leave to bid you please I need not your leave to go
Nor a cat nor a dove nor a white kid glove
Make the bricklayer's arms a crow
Not a cat nor a dove nor a white kid glove
But the bricklayer's arms a crow shall be
Cat nor dove nor a white kid glove
Make the bricklayer's arms a crow
Track Name: Smoke From Cronwell's Time
This afternoon at half past four
Charlie Chaplin was admitted to the morgue
The undertaker breathed a prayer
Rolled up his sleeves and hung his coat upon a chair
It was Charles, Charles the papers rave
He was bold he was committed I tell you he was brave
We put a cross to mark the spot where we laid his grave
Because Jesus saves

There are people into anarchy and peace
And others who don't practice what they preach
Some people fabricate the truth with ease
They will convince you that the moon is made of cheese
And when the message is received
Some need a name a cult and then there's some just content to believe
But the ones who are never deceived
Are never believed

I believe I believe okay
I believe I've never seen anything look so grey
I believe some people fight and people pray
I don't believe you need believe the things they say
Do you believe in high ideals
Or in a white chalk horse upon a distant hill
Do you place your trust in paramilitary skills
Or powder and pills

This afternoon at half past four
Charlie Chaplin was admitted to the morgue
The undertaker breathed a prayer
Rolled up his sleeves and hung his coat upon a chair
And though the man is dead and gone
Although the turf is laid and the mourners have all gone home
We will continue while his memories linger on
To pick Charlie Chaplin's bones
Track Name: John O'Gaunt
My master is a huntsman he's the finest in the land
His stock is made of silkworms and his tactics underhand
Of habitat his destrier his clothes of christian aid
He leans towards the obvious with his verbal cannonade

What's gone wrong what's the matter John
Pick up your shield and pull your beaver down
What's gone wrong what's the matter John
Me and the lads are fighting for the crown

My master fights a conflict which he does not understand
It's five parts Mary Magdelane and five parts Vietnam
His jacket leather bristles studs and slogans painted zeal
Though his hat is made of puffballs his boots are made of seals

My master speaks in ignorance of colour creed and class
The hand that tilts at windmills would rather tilt a glass
He tells us man made power, tells us man created pain
And Christie made elastoplast to make them whole agaln
Don't give me swimming pools and telephones
Just give me power eaten cold and off the bone
Track Name: Hurling Time
Hello good day, God be with you
And I hope you are well
I hope that you won't be perturbed
By the crack in my bell
And that the stench of my soul
Won't detract from the cautionary burden
Of my tale:-

Hearts in my hand reading seven and ace
And my hand's on my heart when I'm saying my grace
And I'm thanking the saviour for stuffing my face
With my pigs and my fishes and wine
Old Peter Wyatt's got a couple of cows
Two horses, a donkey, a sheep and a forrowing sow
And he goes to church now he isn't allowed
To work on a Sunday no more
And he bows his head as he kneels in his pew
And he doesn't know why but it's something to do
He's there with the rest of the Heaven bound crew
For sweet Jesus one day at a time

I'll go back to Shire someday
Where the fields are green and the people are grey
You won't see me for the dust of my heels I swear when I go there

'Tis diamonds they wear at their cuffs and their throats
Of silk are their britches and velvet their cloaks
While it's sacking and nettles they give us for coats
And their God He looks down from above
Now here on the land it gets harder to thrive
What with every new law that our masters contrive
We pay through the nose when were paying the tithe
To the Baron the Priest and the King
He bids good day to the sun and then next to my gold
To the ones I'll unleash and the ones I withold
But it's to the ones that increase and come back to the fold
I'll give my blessing and all of my love

But something within me demands that I lay down my arms
To give up the gun and the ghost and my magical charms
You won't see me for the dust of my heels I swear when I go there

Now here in my hand is the seven of spades
To dig up the land where the cattle once grazed
Where rebellion was fostered an army was raised
Deep in the bowels of the past
With Walter the Tyler lying dead at our feet
We drew back our bows and advanced down the street
When up came the King with his tongue waxing sweet
And he duped us with honey and bile
Then how great were my hopes meteorical rise
I could hardly believe with my very own eyes
Then the kings men came riding cut us back down to size
Without even the farce of a trial

But I'm terribly terribly terribly terribly proud
Of the arms I bore and the crest they'll sew on my shroud
Though my name is engraved on the arm of the gallows at Tyburn gate
Thanks ever so much for the trouble you took
I would have kissed your most neighbourly hand if I'd known where to look
But I was never so blind as the times I was searching for truth so hard
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: Probably Going to Rain
It's probably going to rain
Tomorrow's going to be the same
It'll probably always be that way
And probably never change
Mr Porter won't you take me to excess
Won't you take down my particulars
And take down my address

Did you tune into it last night
Did you see it once again
Did you wince and pray to the Lord did you know
It's probably going to rain today
It's probably going to rain

No screech of tortured couplings
No grinding squeal of brakes
Just the hiss of poisonous gases
Through the ventilator intakes
I've got Jesus on the mainline
A 45 on the spur
Stage managing disasters
Under test conditions

Deep throat South Atlantic
Sonar will not reach
Radar will not penetrate
I'm like a whale upon the beach
When thirty seconds later
The movie reached its end
You're probably feeling stupid now
You've probably lost a friend
Track Name: Caligula
Beautiful flows the Tees
From Middlesborough down to the sea
They'll erect a statue of me
In Thornaby

Faith I met Caligula
Now I can't leave him alone
In Rome do as Rome does
Do as Rome does when in Rome
You can court your D'Artagnans
Woo them with pimpernels
But don't mess with Caligula
If you can't stand the smell

Hand wrought in delicate clay
On the chesterfield sofa he lay
Engrossed in a leatherbound book
Reading Shelly and Rupert Brooke
The most logical thing I could do
Was to give to Caesar his due
And quoting Seneca he
All my due gave me

As the cricketers proffer their bats
To the ladies in the big straw hats
The clink of bottles and coins
Sounds a knell as battle is joined
Says I 'tis never a match
To daisy cutters despatch
All God's in a lie quoth he
And a fast ball gave me
Track Name: It Probably Won't Be Easy
Phillip Duke of Anjou
I'm happy to kneel beside you
To witness the burden you bear
Silently bowing in prayer
My painted plasterwork peer
Has been on his knees six hundred years
The courts are reviewing his case
They want me to stand in his place

The defenders of Burghfield mill
Fell to Iretons disciplined drill
I was a bystander there
I averted my gaze and muttered a prayer
Ireton said to me
You are temperate pious and clean
If your conscience stands in accord
We will be happy to have you aboard

Where's the man with the smile
A two bedroomed flat in Carlisle
Does he move in circles we know
Hammersmith Broadway to Greenwood Road
Is Dickon his familiar still
Does his ghost stalk Burghfield mill
Does he court Jehovah with lies
When he turns up the eggs of his eyes

It probably won't be easy
What if they see right through me
What then can the ticket inspector do
I'm willing to come to terms with you
But it probably won't be easy
What if they don't believe me

Now he gets up with the sun
To shovel his sixteen tons
And the frost is as stolid as nails
To splinter the sleepers and shatter the rails
Remember whatever the cost
You've got to burn all the bridges you cross
Because the Devils you've yet to behold
Are better by far than the Devils you know
Track Name: Marius Moves
Marius moves an oath is sworn
The parish churches and the bloodstained corn
Where have all the flowers gone
They've gone west young man says I

Stiff in the saddle Cromwell came
They met together in a shower of rain
We ground them into Salisbury Plain
And it came as no surprise

To see you outgunned and outmanoeuvred
Even as you planned your wild campaign
Black were the boots of the young men
Trampling the fields of yellow grain
He lights up his pipe as he tells you the story
Again and again and again

Stop the city block the drains
Tear down the houses and stop the trains
And Johnny came marching home again
To watch the news at ten
Cavalry charges in a flank attack
Tape it on the video and play it back
Look there's me I'm the one in black
He tells his new found friends

Remember how you stood there screaming
On the steps of the corn exchange
Black were the boots of the young men
Trampling the fields of yellow grain
He passes the bottle and tells you the story
Again and again and again
Tell me again

How General Purpose quit the field
The military objectives unfulfilled
We bore him away on his cardboard shield again
Track Name: Ixion
Some folks are never happy some are on the make
Some are not content with a slice
And want the whole of the cake
There's the greedy and the malcontents the weak and the strong
We don't entertain the thought
That we could ever do anything wrong

Ixion's pinned to his wheel
Is he ever going to turn his face away
Is he ever going to learn that it's never going to pay
He's going to be turning round in circles forever and a day

An oath of desperation stifles tears of bitter rage
The pen nib crawls in spiral scrawls
Across the empty page
Where once a year of inspiration could be written in a day
But what's the point in writing
Now you've nothing more to say

If you could be an artist would you want to waste your time
Painting passions from a broken hearts
Imaginary lines
If grey skies up above prevent you coming up for air
Try to paint only the things that you see
Not the ones you know to be there

Ixion's pinned to his wheel
Is he ever going to turn his face away
Is he ever going to learn that it's never going to pay
He's going to be turning round in circles
Forever and a day
Track Name: Some of Shelley's Hang Ups
There's an awful lot of ideas coming thick and coming fast
Some are stupid some are dangerous some are never going to last
There are those which shock the senses and some defy belief
Then there's those that would be better If they'd never been conceived

This morning at five thirty spins electrodes to the brain
As the driver Edward Miller revs the engine of his train
47484 the locomotive gave a cough
Eddie grabbed the regulator and tried to pull it off

Waiting at the portals and we're standing in a line
Our faces fresh and eager to imbibe the heady wine
We climb upon the table and we lay our bodies bare
They pin down our extremities and shave off all our hair

Just as Revlon killed the rabbits in laboratory tests
Surely we shall die of sony walkman video cassettes
As we screw the outer casing on the latest new machine
To perfect the ingenuity of Doctor Guillotine

Inspector Siegfried Möller he's the Devil of a man
He can clench his fist and hide a full grown tomcat in his hand
His face is red in his swollen head his belly huge with beer
And he certifies your ticket with a cold carnivorous leer

With his one hand on the rudder and the other on the chain
Siegfried guides himself across the rolling northern German plain
His little piggy eyes light up when inspiration comes
And another new-age scheme is born of Siegfried's restless thumbs

Over every single country like a cancer spread the train
Over channel ports and borders bringing panic fear and pain
Into the iron curtain crashing through the flashing floodlight beams
And on through every east bound station where the signal light was green

And I know that it may sound silly
But I don't know for sure
Why that westerly wind has brought you so many things
You've never had before
So crawl back to your pine trees crawl along with me
The Devil took the gentlemen but he won't take me
The Devil took the gentlemen but he won't take me

Now I've been working hard all day
To wash some of Shelley's blues away
There's an infinite amount in a Swiss bank account
And the interest rate grows higher every day
Well the train leaves town when the sun goes down
And won't be coming back
The train is running on schedule
But the train is on the wrong track
They say the train is running on schedule
But the train is on the wrong track