Album Lyrics

The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery

  • Two Rope Swings

    Whether in our own back fields, or burning Savanna plains,
    Some kid will build a rope-swing on a brook that has no name.

    Living through halcyon days....

    And be they here or there, they'll wile the days away,
    In the dream of youth eternal, in their homes of yesterday.

    And if they read the world - in books, they might just see each other's swing -
    - In their minds eye they catch a glimpse of trees in the water,
    And sometimes imagine,  that Hawthorn and Hedge....
    ... Become Baoab and Bush.

    I built my swing down Weston Woods at the meeting of two tracks,
    Behind the Rhododendrons so I could find my way back.

    Akhimi built his o'er the creek that marked the village bounds,
    He could see the herd of Elephant on the distant shimmering ground.

    And as our lives go on we think it's all still there,
    The image gets so tempting, it's like an un-said prayer.

    Did he see me in a bowler hat?
    Was my image of him as naive as that?
    Did I see a world where it's "all still here"
    Where nothing lives in danger or doubt or fear?

    A couple of years after they shot that herd
    I learned to play piano on the tusks that "I deserved"
    Akhimi struggles to feed his ailing Mum
    Sells me ornamentaion that he gathers with his gun
    And we think Africa is like some fairyland
    Like in the picture books we read when we played on the swings.
    Lions, Tigers, Wildebeest, Zebra - Kilimanjaro!


    But drop a pin in the map! You'll likely find...
    An abandoned gas station and a disused mine
    A tanker on a dusty road (with a BP logo to show how much we owe)
    Living through halcyon days...

    Just down the road I turn into a quiet cul-de-sac,
    Where cars are parked on driveways and TVs shine the wildlife back.

    Akhimi buys a Cola from the garage on City Road,
    He wanders back the freeway to the bridge at Porte D'Arraud.

    Living through halcyon days....

    And if we wind back both our clocks, we know we're standing there....
    .... where once stood our swings
    Hanging from trees,
    By the Water.

  • Slow Rust

    Part One: News and Comment
    Scene One: A square near the European Parliament building in Brussels

    Hold out the boom arm! Dangle the mic' in front of her face
        “You know she wants it - you know she needs it”
    And jostle the press pack but keep on the right side just in case
        “Because we need her, because she's all we've got”
    'Cos when the leaders head for their hotels
    And the illuminatii have nothing more to say...
        “You're short on those column inches, you'll need more today”
    You might need to fill in details that you missed
    From those you didn't push away

    Scene Two: Two Bars in Brussels

    And out in the watering holes
    By mutual agreement, never the same
        (The leaders have had their slot, now the editors tie the knot)
    Both groups dissecting all of the angles in the game
        (Who said what and to who? And ultimately what it means to YOU)
    But the game is on a different pitch,
    The players exhausted by the antics of the rich,
        -the disinterested, the Media-Savvy - the Twitteratii

    Scene Three:  A Satellite News Van on the coast of Lesbos within shouting distance of a luxurious hotel that is OFF SHOT

    And out on the coastlines
    Now they're writing the script for tomorrow's show
        “Get Johnny Diamond out there today!
        And book a chopper! Not gonna miss this! No Way!”
    Checking the COMMs links and worrying the WIFI might be too slow
        “Got a Brussels link in with Katya
        And Laura's in London, the News at Nine's comin' atcha!”

    But the boats still come with all the woe
    The beaten faces we've come to know
        Like incidental characters in a weekend hospital show
    THEIRS is the story! But that story isn't ours to even begin to know!
        Rusting, - Rusting Slowly! Trusting- Trusting nobody!
        Rusting, - Rusting Slowly! Trusting- Trusting nobody!
        This is not our story! But we'll soon fix that!   
        Add a few names or scenarios
        And the phones will be ringing!

    Scene Four: A rather familiar looking room with a TV in it.
    [A person is watching the TV]

    By the time it reaches you the story's focus has changed
    The camera's on YOU and ME
        But not the finger pointing blame
    It's a World On The Edge
        So point it at the helpless
    It's a World On The Edge
        So point it at the Strangers In Town

    [The person picks up a Newspaper]

    US : Schools, Hospitals, Resources, Terrorism!
       These are the things that make us tick

    THE MEDIA : So wheel on the leaders now and change the focus really quick!

    Become a writer and when you fail
    They'll take you on at the Daily Mail
    And use your talents to whip up hate
    And get those migrants out of the gate to sell papers!
    To sell papers! That's all we've gotta do!
        Rusting, - Rusting Slowly! Trusting- Trusting nobody!
    Everyone has a limit
    And Empathy is globally on the cool.

    [Lighting dim is to focus on occupant of room]

    So will you remember - The score at Old Trafford?
    Or will it be - Brad, Angelina, or something worse?
    Or Two million people under siege in Aleppo?
    Or the story of the underpaid hospital nurses? All seen in 16 by 9.

    Part Two: 2016 - The World Turns Sour
    Scene 1 : [Confused person in the dark with an illuminated screen]

    So while we are changing, amazing ourselves with our egos
    The World Turns Sour, yes of the World Turns Sour
    And when the helpless are a threat
    What does that say about the rest of us
    And as we start to build the wall we're getting ready for the fall!
    So, hold out the boom arm! Dangle the mic' in front of her face
    Give them a forum, give them a place where they can HATE

    'Cos when you come to write your story and keep your paper's point of view
    It's the end user that matters most or maybe it's just you.

    Part Four - Three Binary Choices
    [7 Billion confused people in the dark with one illuminated screen each. The illumination of the 7 billion screens casts NO light]

    Sitting watching! Sitting taking this in!
    All the stories going over my head
    And I'm a consumer, just like all the other avatars
    Mainlining stories that go straight to our heads
    But if we STOP! and ask some questions
    Well the right ones are hard to choose
    Because the answers are based on VOLUME
    And INTERRUPTION - we're bound to lose

    This is 2016 and we can build an army
    We can crowdfund it and take it where we want to go
    We can lobby the courts, we can bring down the government
    Put Coca Cola in the water pipes into our homes
    And if you want WATER then you are a TRAITOR
    Because the "MAJORITY"* voted for The Real ThingTm
    So you become silent, suck down the sugar
    There's nothing you can do about it, just as well you join in.
    No way! They give us binary choices!
    You can have this or that - but nothing in between!

    "Binary" - now there's a buzzword - now in everyone's vocabulary like a different base in mathematics.
    If the Daily Mail's a ONE perhaps the Independent's ZERO.
    Like/Don't Like
    Vote Up/Vote Down
    Leave/Stay
    Clinton/Trump
    PC/Mac
    Binary Choices. No Central Road. No Interesting Turn Off

    This is 2016 and you can buy the White House
    You can buy the Kremlin for a Trade Deal on top
    We came Back From The Future and Biff was the President
    And Johnny B Goode won't work this time
    Got no choices on the timeline

    No way! They’re all ready for your questions!
    They’re all pre-prepared, they’ve got it all worked out!

    “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under”
    - Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “The Message” 1982

    Part Four: The ACTUAL story
    Scene 1: Just off the North African coastline

    [Around 50 people bob haplessly in an inflatable unpowered boat designed for about 5 people to mess about with on a park lake.]

    The lights of Libya shine down on the water
    And everyone I ever loved is here - adrift on this sea
    They tell me that we will be rescued
    They tell me that we'll be OK in the end....
    ... Somehow - I feel a nagging doubt.

    Three generations of a family in flight
    Cling to this flimsy rubber dinghy
    In the Mediterranean night
    And after this is over
    Maybe we'll find that home
    In the promised land they've spoken of,
    So many miles from our own

    And one day they'll tell their story
    Of how they followed the railway lines
    They crossed a sea so they could break free......
    From the wars that WE set,
    From the weapons WE sold
    From the West WE came in search of gold...
    ... And WE found it.

    Scene 2: The Hungarian Or Macedonian Or Greek Or Turkish or British BORDER

    Out on the borders of some unwelcoming state
    At the barbed wire fences that they put up in haste
    Marshalled like cattle
    Treated like dirt
    Security measures to keep out
    The ones who have already been hurt

    [Press reaction]

    "WE don't know who's coming in
    But we do know they're here
    And if we get the right photo
    We can harness the fear"

    Part Five : More News and Comment
    Scene 1 : Great Britain. 2017

    Who was it trained these writers?
    Taught them grammar and writing prose?
    Did they teach them decency
    Reflecting humanity and its woes?
    Did they give them “distinctions”
    for whipping up a storm about
    A Mosque they built in Nottingham?
    Forearmed is forewarned
    Did anybody ask them why their writing's full of hate?
    Or isn't that in the remit of those who educate today?

    Schools turning out corporate automotons
    Ready to go all boxes ticked...
    Accredited by Pearson
    The TLC of the PLC is sick
    Become a teacher then bow your head
    To the passing fashions where you are led
    Recite their mantras and say your prayers
    Because when all's said the futures theirs
    To sell textbooks - just textbooks, that's all they wanna do
    Rusting! Rusting slowly! Trusting - Trusting nobody

  • The Sad Story Of Lead & Astatine

    Lead is a plentiful and highly useful element of great stability and strength. Astatine is highly unstable, unpredictable and so unreliable as to not exist long enough to actually be held in ones hand....

    I lose a friend again, it isn't hard
    I thought I'd got past all that playground yard stuff
    But in the end there's always that small matter of pride..
    It gets so strong you know, gets in your head like caffeine in the morning
    Your blood is boiling and you're shaking now
    And all those things you said don't matter anyhow but you persist!
    You rationalise, and justify
     
    I am a loser of time, I keep waiting for it
    Catching me up on the downside of a word that I might regret.
    And you? Well, you're just the same!
    And we haven't picked the phone up in months now
    Stubborn silence like an empty carrier on the shortwave band
    No-one listening and nothing planned
    We have no audience for our silence

    And the years will pass by, there'll be no applause,
    There'll be no encores or victory laps this time
    There'll be no vote, there'll be no eviction
    Just the humdrum... that truth is stranger than fiction

    Let's go flying, take some photos!
    Play some music, I really miss that now!

    But if I thought that everything I said WAS wrong
    Would that make a difference? - I know! - I'll put it in a song!
    But in the end I'll just put my own point of view... to you...
    ... and that's how we got here!

    I am a loser in time, I keep waiting for it
    It’s passing me by in the search of an answer to a word I might regret
    It could be over - in moments! Like never said!
    Words taken back and recycled
    The old ones left for dead
    But we keep on shouting although there's nothing left to say
    And every hour that passes adds up to a wasted day
    When we could do the things that we love - together

    And the years will pass by, there'll be no applause,
    There'll be no encores or victory laps this time
    There'll be no vote, there'll be no eviction
    Just the humdrum... that truth is stranger than fiction

    Let's go flying, take some photos!
    Play some music, I really miss that now!

    And the years will pass by and no-one will care about
    The things that made us laugh
    They might smile once in a while as they tuck us in
    Because if we don't talk now, then it will be gone
    Like the water underneath the bridge
    Where we once.......

  • A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road

    There was once a country.....
    Like many other countries it had a history that had seen division, strife and war. Like fewer countries it had won a lot of those wars and at a fairly notable point in its history it had been at the centre of a large and powerful empire. As time passed and with economic and world change, the might of that empire dwindled and faded away.  Although life continued for the country, its people would sometimes wistfully look back on the time when their forefathers controlled and developed large parts of the world

    Give us Empire!
    Give us what our fathers fought for!
    Give us money, give us power, give us greed!
    This world is ours, we're the masters of its future
    Can't share the fruits - just spit out the seeds!

    Give us standing!
    Lets see the other countries bow to us
    On reverential knee!
    We are the leaders where we go you will follow,
    Never tie our hands we are the "living free"
    WE STAND ALONE

    For generations though, successive governments and administrations continued with traditions, pomp and ceremony while the working people of that country were ignored and left to suffer. Treaties and restrictions that were imposed on the country by its neighbours became frustrating to the people and they became restless to be the controllers again, rather than the controlled.

    Give us Empire!
    Give us Greed
    Give us Power - it's what we need
    Give us money, give us power, give us greed!
    WE STAND ALONE

    Both near and far away though, other countries were beginning to show an interest in their own national pride...

    "Why should we not be who we are?"
    "Why should we not fly the flag for our country,
    for our future, for our history,
    for our children, for our national pride,
    for our Glorious Dead, for our fathers
    for our Motherland?"

    Highly supported by the popular press, rank outsiders appeared in major world powers advocating populist ideas of the common people being masters of their own destiny. The country responded likewise and there rose from the rank and file a Man who offered freedom from those rules and restrictions. Who could deliver the tremensous potential of the country back into the hands of its people. In order to do this he focussed on the people he said were "bleeding the country dry"

    "Give us freedom, give us control of our borders
    Give us safety from invaders and from fear
    Give us leaders who can harbour those emotions
    Give us national pride and they'll all disappear
    Eject the Mudbloods who don't have the right background
    And rank people on a score of one to ten - but
    Give us cheap labour to make our cities' future
    And make our nation "great again"

    Now as far as HE was concerned, the people who were "bleeding the country dry" - as so many people had observed before, were people who had migrated to that country. Well the hard working and forgotten population of the country looked at what he said and many agreed. Rather than looking at the way they had been overlooked and conned by the political elite, they now had someone the could REACH that they could blame. On the corners of the streets, on the train in the morning.

    The easily accessible targets were quickly turned into priority number one. So when the country was invited as a whole to maske a huge political decision about their future, ANY WAY they could vote to rid themselves of these migrants seemed to be the very best way to progress, and regain the empire that they had lost.

    And it's ALL OURS! and we don't wanna share it!
    It's all ours and we're taking it back!
    It's all ours and you've just got to wear it!
    It's time to start following those railway tracks back home....

    Not worrying about the consequences, not worring about the people, money or the future, they signed the fucking deal. And soul by soul and silently, their shining bounds increase. Their soundbites are all of gentleness, their weasel words of peace.

    Give me what I want! I've got no fucking time for you!
    Cos I'm the one who's got the conch and so my words just must be true!
    What the papers say? It's like one great "HOORAY!"
    "I'm the one who saved the day, it's just so Fuckin 'A'  "
    Give me what I want! I've got no fucking time for you!
    Cos I was born here, (my friends and all my antecedents too)
    Seeing my country in this dreadful state
    We need to do something and I can't wait to be the one!

    Within hours of the country's decision to break the treaties, hate attacks began on those people not considered to be "true residents". Large groups of semi uniformed thugs gloated in their victory and those people from other parts of Europe were heckled, hectored and harrassed. The word "traitors" was used to describe those who had voted against the decision made.

    The country was....

    (Putting it Mildly)

    A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road

    Just days after the decision was made, the new leaders of the country sat down together and began to talk about how they would make good on the pledges they had made. Within minutes, any casual observer would have realised that "These Guys Haven't Even Made A Plan". For example, it's very easy to promise that you will rid the country of a migrant problem, somewhat more difficult to actually deliver it. The new leader looked over the top of his reading glasses around the table of his new government.

    "I think this one is seriously important" he said at length, "And as such, I would like YOU  to handle it." He looked over at Heinrich Himmler.

    "Jahwohl Mein Fuhrer, Leave it with me"

  • Baslidonxit

    "I don't think that we should let them in!
    Let them sort their own problems out" (the people on the Daily Mail forums shout)
    "I don't think that we should send them aid,
    We've got enough problems here of our own,
    Don't need foreigners near my home"

    But if we lived in Southend and the Tsunami came
    Would they let us live in Basildon?"

    "I don't think that we should let them in,
    Their seaside ways just won't fit in
    The Schools are full, resources thin
    I think government should sort it out
    Sure they need somewhere to go
    But where they're going I don't know"

    Close The Arterial Road! And set to, building a wall
    Somewhere out near Rayleigh.