Women and Horses and Power and War

by Blyth Power

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The 2014 release from Blyth Power, recorded once again by Fred Purser at Trinity Heights Studio in Newcastle.


released June 18, 2014

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: Morning Comes Home
When the mountain came around to meet Mohammed
It found a note he’d left written on the door
Saying not at home today – unavoidably delayed
Busy, back soon, sorry I missed your call
He’d come a long way, and had no place to stay
He was tired and his foothills were sore
Wearily he gathered up his boulders
Set off back along the winding road
Wrapped a blanket white around his shoulders
Because the morning was cold

Darrel Rivers met with Gwendoline Mary
When they’d finished up at university
They shared a lot of old jokes, some Bacardi and cokes
Then they climbed the Magic Faraway Tree
Darrel’s thinking hard about the future
But Gwen is independent and she knows
There’s a wide world around her
Where anything goes

In a dream last night I was scheming
Lining up the planets in a row
There was a catcher in the rye but he sent me running by
To crash down on the rocky shore below
When I’m rising early in the wintertime
Fumbling in the darkness for my clothes
With the brief night behind me
The morning unfolds

When I’m stranded in Ice Station Zebra
Orbiting in Thunderbird Five
And that gap year’s gone on about a decade too long
And I’m wondering how it feels to be alive
Then it takes me all my concentration
And I struggle with your little ringtone
As the big light finds me
And the morning comes home

The owl and the pussycat foundered
And Snow White never lived to tell the tale
And so many little things grow their legs and shed their skins
And change direction in the water and the air
So I’m glad you took the time to come and find me
And I’m glad you never do as you are told
And I hope you’ll always be there to remind me
That the morning is Gold
Track Name: Avatar
You picked the wrong day you picked the wrong time
Went the wrong way to the left of the centre line
Should’ve played a long game but you picked the wrong hand
Now Kasparov’s on the brink of disaster
Get on the wrong train hit on the wrong man
Crashed and burned now you’re lying in no man’s land
Thinking what a fine fine mess you made of your master plan

We picked the wrong song to start the morning on
We picked the wrong time to start the day
And there was frog spawn instead of unicorns
There was hawthorn instead of hay
And underneath the kitchen table the broken bones of our breakfast lay

Don’t leave me half-starved leave your calling card
Send your avatar while I sleep
You can ask your eight ball to pick you a winning draw
But what you’re looking for is out of reach
And underneath the kitchen table we kneeling wait and pray
That for all the gifts our God has found us may we not have to pay
For all the brickbats the string and ceiling wax the fallen Moonsand and the clay

Come on and show me the rules of the game so that I can play
White doves in the morning calling out my name
Are bright stars in the blackout that show me the way
Come and show me the way

I should have warned you You should have spoken too
So we both know who’s to blame
Hang up your black heart among your battle scars
And we’ll both look just the same
Don’t think about the complications
Or the improprieties
Disregard the obligations
And think what might have been
For our firstborn sprung from the rising storm if the worst comes let it be…
Track Name: Beyond Bessbrook Mill
Terror presages in blackboard chalk intimations of a foreign war
Resolutions passed in crisis talks intervention and an occupation force
Regarded with enmity
To safeguard necessity

Peacemakers call for more again to pick the pieces off the floor again
Newspapers count the score again at each reprisal and as every wreath we lay
Gives comfort to our enemies
Advise us on our strategies

So aviation gas refill again to take the hunters to the hill again
Beyond the dark satanic mill again to build our Mission in a green and pleasant land
Deceptive in tranquillity
And silent in hostility
That will bind us to your history

But east of Eden lies an island slumbering under reprieve
That by the years of bitterness and violence worn down to a dull resentment sleeps
As intermittent through the twilight where some ungovernable still
Are running guns across the border
Comes the mutter of the ghosts as they march through the shadows in the valley by the mill

There’s a message on your Facebook wall invitation to another ball
Cards presented and a carriage called from the Duke of Wellington and all the House of lords
To conjoin in revelry
With discretion and propriety

Late arrival at the channel port speed restriction in the corridor
Brief encounters ‘til the curtain falls Baader-Meinhof in the jugend zentrum hall
Unsmiling through the cabaret
Unmindful of our levity
Remind us of our legacy

But the dead that we sent back home and the devils we sent to the fires below
Are all that we have to atone
For the sins of our fathers we sought to make sins of our own

Terror presages in blackboard chalk intimations of a foreign war
Resolutions passed in crisis talks intervention and an occupation force
Regarded with enmity
To safeguard necessity
Tomorrow and yesterday
Track Name: Fallacy
God had man in his image built his crops to raise his fields to till
His pots to stir and his clothes to mend his sheets to sold and his altar tend
And God made the garden wall too high

He fell to Earth in smoke and flames and groaning lay on the stony plain
And mourning made him loud complain and swore he’d climb back to the garden again
Then out of the mist as the Tempest moaned
The ice-firths cracked and the oceans froze
Gaunt as a preacher and lean as a hoe naked and terrible an angel rose
He said my son we can turn this around we were both cast out and both cast down
But from ash will arise and reclaim our crown so follow my path and I’ll show you how

And Eve not a backward glance they gave
Not a by-your-leave nor a cheery wave
But left her bones where they broken lay
Nor raised her headstone high nor made her grave

It takes two – you and I
We brought the tablets from the mountain high
We cast down pearls to feed the swine
But the seeds of our faith won’t grow if they’re left to lie
In a fallow mind
But lean and our mercy will provide

Then man and his mentor spread the news and forth from their message a gospel grew
And they nurtured a priesthood to foster the view that God was a lie and the saints were too
There were bottomless scriptures reminding us how popular culture was mythology now
Spread by stand up comedians holier than thou and artists of calibre and highest renown
Then out of a miasma of science and thought man in his image a universe wrought
With logic and reason religiously taught and new ideologies that argued and fought

But Eve sat alone her wounds to tend
Snakes for comfort wolves for friends
Saying lead us not into temptation again
But the end of days will find us make amends

It takes two – you and I
We brought the tablets from the mountain high
We cast down pearls to feed the swine
But the seeds of our faith won’t grow if they’re left to lie
In a fallow mind
And we kissed all the girls and we made them cry

And Eve just smiles and says ‘Thy will be done
I can take my turn when his course is run’
And she patiently waits for her kingdom to come
On Earth as in Heaven and everywhere under the sun
Track Name: Round the Outside
White gold shone the moon
We danced as the orchestra carried the tune
Together we followed the measure the length of the room
My heart unbeguiled ‘til our fingertips touched then I knew
It was strong it was strange
Like the searing effect of a brand, like the heat of a flame
Passivity, languor and diffidence suddenly changed
Now my heart is on fire and may never stop burning again
As we turned through the squares
I kept looking back over my shoulder to check you were there
The shape of your neck the insouciant flick of your hair
Nailed my heart to a pyre and held it implacably there

Go round the outside round the outside
Everyone follow me round the outside
Round the outside round the outside
The truth is a hard act to follow and a hard track to ride
These are hard facts to swallow so follow me round the outside

I am suave, you will have perceived,
I am handsome, a man of the world so I like to believe
My dress sense impeccable, manners contrived to appease
But my heart is a liar and it frequently under achieves
But then you came to be
Like a dream, like a vision afloat on a sea
Of radiance, potential of roses, a panoply
Now my heart is enmired and it shouldn’t have happened to me

I’ve been pulling the legs off spiders but they keep telling me lies
They say ‘she loves me not she loves me not she loves me not’ time after time
The Zodiac groaned and disowned my ambitious designs
Saying her heart has a prior arrangement and it isn’t with mine

So is it love (she asks) is it greed?
A fleeting obsession, a stupid obsession, a need
For a primeval furrow to rut in to burrow and breed
I think that you owe me an answer you’ll have to concede
Track Name: Nightwatch Story
To a safe house in a pension block off Princess Alice Square
With practiced ease she lured the subject there
We were listening down Sputnik beams our secret shadows stared
From hidden TV cameras everywhere

Three floors above her surveillance teams are tracing word for word
Each whispered conversation overheard
When he tells her he loves her their red eyes flash and their tape machines record
Each breath each kiss each pregnant pause

Through wires and needles technicians check each telegraphed relay
Each secret spilled each confidence betrayed
And through the speakers the tape recorded treachery replayed
Sweet music for our efforts made

Sleeping with the enemy meeting on hostile ground
Meeting with the blinds pulled down wired for sound
Sleeping with the enemy meeting when the night shift ends
So no one can come between us
And no one can say there was ever anything ever between us

I read your expression I heard what you said
But my fingers were crossed as I nodded my head
So don’t waste your breath don’t waste your arrows
You begged me to borrow now you’ve had me to hold
I can break you and bend you and force you to fold
You’ll find me here again tomorrow

Along the watchtower our secret listeners strive to understand
While in the tractor plant assembly’s going to plan
And beneath the clocktower, where the cold war consorts always get their man
The situation’s underhand

Ostrakova Nova in lazy circles turning leads the wing
Through the black night speeds her mission down the wind
And rolling over at the target strikes the missile systems sing
And the friction burns like needles sting
Track Name: Going Down With Alice
Alice woke from fitful dreams of hearts and diamonds clubs and queens
Left her childhood passed her teens drove her own reflections underground
She changed her name, foreswore her youth burned all the books that told the truth
Wiped the tapes to hide the proof combed her hair and pulled all her posters down

But Alice scorned and Alice spurned sometimes frets and sometimes burns
Then to her mirrored image turns am I still the fairest of them all
With malice to the looking glass did the tribe increase she asks
Will you part and let me pass shall I walk among them as before

Now Alice waits on bended knees will they yet remember me
Mirror let me enter please there's no way through the looking glass replied
They bred like amoeba splitting in half they foaled they farrowed cubbed and calved
These knights and squires and wives of bath forged them at the board like men deprived

Since big years turned and left behind the thirsts they slaked in vats of wine
Empty rooms and narrow minds are all the wonderlands you've ever known
With no reflections no relief in solitude to bear your grief
Instead she bares her yellow teeth the mirror breaks and Alice stands alone

Now I’ve got 5-4-3-2-1 come ye thankful people come
To thee they went the blind the dumb they say you can’t cheat Karma well I’ve seen it done
Man made power man made pain for profit loss and for private gain
And man made plans for social change and fraudulent social security claims
Now I don’t know but I’ve been told
We owe them a living but I don’t think so, now this is a message to Persons Unknown
You can strive to survive but violence grows
And you’ll get knocked down in the middle of the road
Big A little A DVD, or a benefit compilation EP
What’s the cost of your new CD, worth no more than the price on the sleeve
Now I’m not 5-4-3 too young, beautiful days are yet to come
Make no concessions under twenty one and the child care costs will cost you some
When Jack was younger he cherished a view that if you look out for others they’ll look out for you
But Jack was a simpleton, Jack was confused, and his gifts freely given were accepted as dues
But Jack gets vindictive when Jack gets vexed, and though he’s been patient awaiting redress
He hasn’t forgiven and will never forget so give him a box and he’ll fill in the X
And I’ve got 5-4-3-2-1 I don’t want to go to Holidays in the Sun
And I want 5-4-3-2 more I want women and horses and power and war
Now it’s a question of my survival
If then to crawl to the rich I tread on the poor
I’ll stuff their doves and I’ll eat them raw
Now one is one and all alone and ever more shall be so
Track Name: You Come Too
We left our trousers on the riverbank and ran
To hide behind the garden wall
But in the promise of that long hot summer
We thought the rain would never fall
Now the stars look very beautiful tonight
Behind the searchlights and the flares
I know you’re looking at that same sky somewhere
Wishing you were ‘over there’

So you come too
We two together can make the world as good as new
So come on over
We’ll march shoulder to shoulder and try to make it through
But if we change our mind
Then you go back to your island
And I’ll go back again to mine

We had your boys to visit everyone was glad
Things went better than we’d planned
Though one or two I’m sorry won’t be coming home
Still I’m sure you understand
Now from the halls of Montezuma
And on the road to Mandalay
We’ve had the best of times together
And the summer’s here again
When you come too…

I’m writing to my special friend
There’s precious little treasure in the treasury to spend
But perhaps a few surprises if you’d care to lease or lend
Would ensure a special fairy story ending in the end
If you come too…
Track Name: Catesby
There’s a time for peace and a time for hope and a time for understanding
And a time for luck when a man takes stock of his goods of his worth and of his standing
There’s a time to act and a time to hold back and a time to cast your hand in
But come times of strife, then a man’s whole life can be cast to the wind and abandoned

In the green of spring every new voice sings with the joy of the world’s celebration
That the shadows cast by the winter past are eclipsed by its rejuvenation
But by summer’s end we were desperate men pledged to a grave undertaking
And in the light of God I see the path we trod was a line between faith and damnation

I would have followed him anywhere
In my heart’s-ease sorrow. In my anger sadness and prayers
By our gracious Lady we give thanks for grace and favour
For our eyes to see and the bell at morn
Rise up and awaken we have everything to play for
And our lives to give for a world reborn

All our best laid plans bore their master’s stamp and when we knew we’d aroused suspicion
From the Isle of Grain to the Midland Plain there was haste there was indecision
But when the wreaths were hung and a mass was sung, blessed by the priest and shriven
At the altar bowed, we affirmed our vows in the face of our grave misgivings

Then autumn came with persistent rain that filled up the water courses
And Cecil’s spies lent their ears and their eyes to report on our war resources
But we held our tongue ‘til the search was done and deferred to the Sheriff’s forces
As they searched the barns and the tenant farms and tallied up the stores and horses

So the big year turns into powder and burns and our fortunes changed with the seasons
And Catesby died on that wild night ride and left us to pay for his treason
Now the warder’s say it’s Wintour’s day and the crowds are out to receive him
As he takes his due, and his leave from you, and the man he once thought to believe in
Track Name: Cunningham's Pond
When lamps are lighted in the town and the ships are home from the sea
The old corsairs and the fishermen sing songs of their ancestry
Of Nelson Drake and Jellicoe, long dust of a former time
The old soaks wax on oblivious impelled by the blabsome wine
But of Anvil Torch and Pedestal one day their songs will tell
How into the lists and to history the silent service sailed

With plans to raid the chicken run for oil to grease his wheels
A baleful eye from a northern sky looks down on a pact of steel
Let time efface their memory and collapse the house of cards
Force H has engaged with the enemy and Malta’s standing guard
And while France the age-old chatelaine lies toothless and deflowered
Franco’s Spain can stake no claim as he has no naval power

We seek no wide dominion
No land to take and hold
No slaves no spoil nor steel nor oil
Nor bullion nor gold
No flag to impose or opinion
Nor to map the wild beyond
We seek no fame but to reclaim
Mare Nostrum Admiral Cunningham’s pond

We’re far from the shores of England and English country ways
By Biscay blue and the Straits passed through sculled by the restless waves
We left The Rock full of foreigners Oran a smoking ruin
And the flares we’ll light on Taranto night will shine like a thousand moons
We met them off Cape Matapan and fought through the night and the day
‘Til under our guns in the forenoon they wrecked and broken lay

Masts to starboard masts to port
Massed as far as I can see
Masts in harbour massed off shore
Tonight horizon-bound will be
Sailing off to the distant war
The shifting shapes of ships sailing south to the Inland Sea
Track Name: Another Country
Frog went courting trouble and he did ride
Picked up his sword and his pistol and went out to mutter and sigh
Beneath her window in the lantern light
To languish and linger biting his fingers in his pyracantha hide
Midnight marks the hour as the church bells chime
Our rival steps into the ring come to claim the prize
She spies his carriage from her window high
Heart all a-flutter she sings of my charming prince and I
Grabs my knocker – bang! Announcing he’s arrived
Speak friend and enter, come welcome again, into my arms to fly
Incense owns an infidelity nigh
Stake me and claim me but don’t kiss and name I’m ready to open wide
Ripped and torn in the bushes crouched close by
Watch with foreboding the story unfold as they disappear inside
He saw the candle flicker and before it died
He saw the gleam in her eye

The ship is slowly sinking the iceberg gently thaws
With the last survivors battered I walked hand in hand to shore
Now there’s nothing left to show what’s gone before
And I’ve had my fill of trouble and I don’t want anymore

Princess in your tower let your hair down please
Your husband’s away on crusade – did he happen to leave a key
He writes you letters from across the sea
Couched in the sweetest of terms, and you read them wearily
And about your lorn chastity
I may be mistaken I know, but is there room on the bus for me
I don’t expect to ride for free
But I know how I like my eggs in the morning – over easily
You do me wrong kind sir said she
Your artless advances and manners crass are uncomplimentary
And my innocence and purity
Are all that I claim them to be

You’re in your oval office making plans
To seize the initiative before the space invaders land
Armies sweep the board at your command
They come creeping in under the doors and sing of promised lands
And jazz bands witter ‘This is a Fine Romance’
But you haven’t a ghost of a chance

I found another country I sought to make my own
But somewhere west of second best the seeds of doubt were sown
And turning I let the harvest call me home
Now the road goes on forever but it doesn’t lead to Rome
Track Name: Going Outside
Mirror mirror on the wall
It’s midnight quiet now and nothing to report
Sleeping peaceful down the curtained corridor
All the ships came safe to shore

We made our bed that night
The blood was red as poppies our fingernails were white
Arc lamps shimmered softly and reflected beads of light
In the needles and the knives

When the wind is fair and the day is fine
Rising upwards on the tide
You come to mind

Out on the icepack out in the cold
Out in the blue-rinsed fields of snow
Out in the storm’s force out on your own
Far out of the warmth of your comfort zone
Out of my depth, out in the wild
Out by a hundred thousand miles
Under the bridge, going over the line
Going outside now for all time
Going Outside

Mirror mirror once and for all
Scattered shadows mark your path along the hall
I heard your footsteps heard the whisper of the door
And the quiet waterfall

You are the best part of me
The songs no one remembers, the books no one will read
Plans for great adventures made with fake identities
To all the worlds I’ve never seen

But stepping through the looking glass
Echoes of my features cast
Evoke the past

Weather warning, sick and yawning, street lamps lit on winter mornings
Tempest tossing, dirty washing, slowing down for the pelican crossing
Train crashes, Channel dashes, Halloween and Ballet classes
Berlin wall and Brighton pier – back in fifteen years
I’m going outside