BARD COMPANY: 'Raising The Standards'

by BARD COMPANY

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about

From Wigan to Wakefield and all points between, this quarrelsome quartet of angry Socialists have delivered a message of rebellion, solidarity and community spirit in an imperfect and blemished world. 
Impassioned performances at festivals like Banners Held High, Peterloo 200, The Green Gathering, The Chartists Festival, 0161, Strummercamp and Wigan Diggers, alongside gigs in churches, pubs, museums and theatres, have seen Bard Company giving anthemic voice to principles carried in the hearts of the many, not the few. 
Building on their debut CD, All Systems Go, the revolutionary ranters, with a smattering of satire, are back to lay siege to the selfish and greedy excesses of society and to celebrate the heroism and fine principles of Socialist warriors, historical and contemporary. 
Just when you thought it was safe to drift back into apathy and indifference ... Rocky, Punky, Cheesy and Bolshie are back. Shouting. Roaring. And Raising The Standards.

credits

released November 11, 2019

ROCKY BARD: Ian Whiteley (Vocals)
PUNKY BARD: Jeff Dawson (Vocals)
BOLSHIE BARD: Tony Kinsella (Vocals)
CHEESY BARD: Gordon Zola (Vocals)
MERRY BARD: John Kettle (All Instrumentation)
ENGINEERED & PRODUCED by John Kettle at The Music Projects Wigan
April-November 2019

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all rights reserved

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Track Name: BARD COMPANY - Raising The Standards
Raising The Standards

You said that you wanted a land fit for heroes,
a place to call home that they’d show off with pride
but somewhere along the way you forgot
the reasons they fought and the reasons they died.

They thought they were fighting for honour and justice,
suppressing the tyrants and saving our land -
returned to a country that punished the workers
for banding together and making a stand

So your songs are all dirges to heroically fallen,
your words all platitudes for their loss of life.
Your actions speak louder than all of your promises,
lies are pandemic and betrayals are rife

Cause they died in the trenches with promises, hollow,
driving them forward and ringing in ears
while you pocketed money that should have been spent
making jobs for survivors and easing their fears

Now we march all together and sing for the future,
while honouring those who we lost in the past
we still want to believe all the promises made
as our young men were slaughtered, dismembered and gassed.

Prosperity offered like chocolate at Christmas.
Peace in our times and everlasting hope -
all that they got were more broken dreams,
more pointless wars, more money for old rope





The bosses got fat on the toil of their workers,
the bankers got fat on their interest rich loans
and the man who came back from the war that he fought in
was treated no better than their graveyards of bones.

So bang the drum comrade and never forget
that if silence is demanded then shout and be loud
and don’t let this government try to sell history
as though it is something for which we should be proud.

A century has passed and they’ve destroyed the mines,
they’ve doused the steel furnaces, grounded the docks,
left northern communities suffering and reeling
in their self proclaimed, privatised school of hard knocks.

There are still poor people living in poverty,
food banks are prevalent, folk on the street,
they cannot look after the homeless and feeble,
the old cannot pay for their lighting and heat.

From the mud of the trenches they came back home
Their future was grey as the clothes on their back
They demanded we give them something to cling to
A future of light in their visions of black.

England’s green fields, the red of the blood,
The gold we were promised, the blue of the sky
These are the colours we raise as our standard
Marching together, with Banners Held High.

England’s green fields, the red of the blood,
The gold we were promised, the blue of the sky
These are the colours we raise as our standard
Marching together, with Banners Held High.
Track Name: BARD COMPANY - AmeriKKKan Trilogy v 2.0
USMF


When the KKK and the Kremlin
Are sharing their vodka and rye
When redneck white supremecists
are making Lady Liberty cry
When The land of the free is walled in
So pesky Mexicans can’t get by
That’s the day the rest of us
Watches America die.

When the Whitehouse houses a bigot
A misogynist ‘locker room’ fly
When a multi-billionaire
Stands for momma’s apple pie
When a name shines on a tower
That reaches up to the sky
That’s the day the rest of us
Watches America die.

When a straw thatched Umpa-Lumpa
Pedals the conspiracy lie
When a tax dodging privileged hypocrite
Tells workers he’s their kinda guy
When a bully is sitting as president
And parents tell their children why
That’s the day the rest of us
Watches America die



Lady Liberty Weeps

In a Minnesota precinct
On a Minnesota street
The day starts like any other
For the Baton Rouge elite
In the land of the brave
In the land of the free
A cop with a pistol
Shoots liberty
A man reaches for a wallet
With a target on his back
Red white and blue
All the patrolman sees is black
Where the gun is law
The sheriff of the west
Has immunity to kill
Wearing a star on his chest
And this is the country
Who sets itself above
The rest of the world
And preaches peace and love
But it can’t control the forces
It creates to protect
And it can’t control the hatred
It chooses to elect
Where every stand off
Is resolved by the gun
And red neck lobbyists
Believe the lies they have spun
Now in Dallas Texas
There are cop killers on the street
The day ends like any other
The cycle is complete



Safety Off

The FBI and the CIA got ‘em
Good ‘ol boys in the KKK got ‘em
Even Doris Day got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

Kids in their daddies cars got ‘em
Rednecks in Dallas bars got ‘em
Sheriffs with tin stars got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

The white and black and brown got’ em
Old folks in mid-west town’s got ‘em
Even the Whitehouse clown got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne got ‘em
The holy and insane got ‘em
I’ve heard that Citizen Kane got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe


Shopkeepers in their stores got ‘em
Vets returning from their wars got ‘em
Pimps and two bit whores got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

The Washington Post and Fox got ‘em
Randy high school jocks got ‘em
Snipers in tower blocks got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

Heroes on TV got ‘em
The brave and the free got ‘em
Babies on their mamas knees got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

The Waltons and the Brady’s got ‘em
The good guys and their ladies got ‘em
Tupac and Slim Shady’s got ‘em
But it don’t make ‘em safe

Every Independence day got ‘em
Every bullet that goes astray got ‘em
The whole of the USA got ‘em
And they’re never gonna be safe

BODY COUNT

16/10/91
23 Dead – Luby’s Cafeteria – Killeen Texas

4/12/12
27 Dead – Sandy Hook Elementary – Newtown, Connecticut

16/4/07
32 Dead – Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia

12/6/16
49 Dead – Pulse Nightclub – Orlando, Florida

1/10/17
58 Dead – Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

AND COUNTING…..
Track Name: Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!

In Chile 1970
A nation warm and friendly
Voted democratically
For Salvadore Allende

In 73
A wind of change
A military coup
Financed by the USA
So tell me something new
A cruel regime in uniform
Filled the land with dread
Allende to escape the storm
Put a bullet in his head

Pinochet your planes won’t fly
You’ll drop no bombs
On your native land
When Santiago’s people died
They all downed tools in East Kilbride
No drop of blood will stain their celtic hands
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!

Far away in bonny Scotland
At the Rolls Royce factory
The news rolled in that one man
Had destroyed democracy
As Pinochet’s cruel Junta
Wreaked havoc over there
He sent his Hawker Hunters
For Scottish workers to repair

Pinochet your planes won’t fly
You’ll drop no bombs
On your native land
When Santiago’s people died
They all downed tools in East Kilbride
No drop of blood will stain their celtic hands
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!

The allies of Allende
The enemies of brute force
The defenders of democracy
They still fought for the cause
They found themselves surrounded
They were tortured and detained
While their Scottish comrades grounded
All the General’s precious planes

Pinochet your planes won’t fly
You’ll drop no bombs
On your native land
When Santiago’s people died
They all downed tools in East Kilbride
No drop of blood will stain their celtic hands
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!

The shop stewards and the foremen
Had every Hawker engine blacked
While the war machines lay dormant
They were warned they would be sacked
But in skies now free of bomb raids
They tuned in secretly
To the news of unknown comrades
And their solidarity

Pinochet your planes won’t fly
You’ll drop no bombs
On your own native land
When Santiago’s people died
They all downed tools in East Kilbride
No drop of blood will stain their celtic hands
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!

You won’t hit no more targets
Your planes are down for good
While Thatcher rolls out carpets
Stained red with Chile’s blood

Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Nae Pasaran!
Track Name: BARD COMPANY - English Martyrs
English Martyr

T’was the twenty fourth of February,
eighteen thirty four,
when the Tolpuddle sheriff
came a’knocking at my door.
Served with a warrant
I was swiftly hastened away
for taking an illegal oath
to challenge my meagre pay.

You see we were only paid six shillings a week
for working the squires land,
so we set up a trade union
and in our little band
there was James Hammett and James Brine,
Thomas Standfield and his son John.
my bother James and I, George Loveless,
brought together to right a wrong.

They had already cut our wage three times
in just as many years
and the Revolution ‘cross the channel
had raised land owners fears,
so when the squire, John Frampton,
got wind of what we’d done
he decided to stamp the union out
and quell our rebellion.

The six of us met in the village
‘neath the shade of a sycamore tree,
we talked about our plan of action -
took an oath of secrecy.
But for this simple action
we would lose our reputation,
sentenced to hard labour
and seven year’s transportation..

In prison I scribbled some words
“We raised the watchword, Liberty,”
and added as an afterthought
“We will, we will, we will be free!”
Simple words from a simple man
not signalling aggression
just asking for the working class
to rise up against oppression.

And comrades rallied to the cause
so that every politician
took heed of the voice of the country
as eight hundred thousand signed a petition -
and it took them three long years
before they listened to the plea
and sent us home as heroes,
pardons granted, safe and free.

Some called we six martyrs -
but that don’t sit well with me,
just lessons learned that justice
can be served with unity.
So when they come to take you
band together, don’t bend the knee,
stand up and be counted
forged in solidarity.
Track Name: Give Me A Country That Cares
Give Me A Country That Cares


Give me a country that holds its head high
Give me a country that still has some pride
Make it one that loves its neighbour
No matter if they vote Tory or Labour
The colour of their skin, the building they pray in
Their sexual preference or the body they’re in

So give me those who made us who we are
The striking miners who still bare their scars
Give me the Diggers - the Levellers too
Our Brothers and Sisters at Peterloo
The NHS and the Welfare State
The Socialist’s - not those who hate

Don’t talk to me with patronising words
Wearing the mask of someone who cares
Don’t talk to me like you understand
When you’ve no idea of the lie of the land
Don’t talk to me like you’ve had it hard
When you wouldn’t have it in your own back yard


No, give me Nye Bevin and Tony Benn
Someone with conscience in number 10
The Trade Unions – the jobs they have saved
Anti-Nazi League, International Brigade,
Rock Against Racism, Gay Pride,
the Jarrow marchers – their banners held high

Give me the Anti-Frackers and CND
Those who fought at Cable Street.
‘We Shall Overcome’,
freedom from persecution.
Bridges, railways and waterways
the Industrial Revolution.

Orwell and Steinbeck, Luther King.
Strummer, Guthrie – let’s hear them sing.
Frederick Engels and Karl Marx,
Indira Gandhi and Rosa Parks,
Nelson Mandella and Malcolm X,
The Tolpuddle Martyrs - the Suffragettes.

All those comrades we will never forget.
those comrades we must never forget.
Yes give me those who give a damn,
And Give me those who care,
Those who inspire us with their deeds
Not just with their words.

Give me those who fight for the needy
Not the parasites who side with the greedy.
Those who give me something to believe in
Give me those who I can believe in
Give me those who keep us believing
And give me a country that cares

Give me a country that cares
Give me a country that cares
Track Name: Woman Of The Windrush
Woman Of The Windrush: For Sarah O Connor

You fled from rising poverty
Embraced our great 'democracy'
Five decades of dignity
Woman Of The Windrush

Faced with plunging temperatures
Paid taxes, rates and rents to us
Never begged one cent from us
Woman Of The Windrush

The common wealth for all to share
The racist slurs you had to bear
From stop and search to stop and stare
Woman of The Windrush

But still you came
Despite the rain
and the pain of saying goodbye
But still you came
And still you stayed
Now they want to send you back again
Woman of the Windrush

Secure within your lovely skin
Knuckled down and fitted in
Gave birth to British citizens
Woman Of The Windrush

Your honest pleas just hit deaf ears
The crocodiles ignored your tears
You hid behind locked doors in fear
Woman Of The Windrush

But still you came
Despite the rain
and the pain of saying goodbye
But still you came
And still you stayed
Now they want to send you back again
Woman of the Windrush

These statistics are real people
Deliver them from racist evil
Not one human is illegal
Woman Of The Windrush

As bailiffs rapped on your front door
Your nerves just snapped down to the core
Your soul escaped this hostile shore
Woman of The Windrush
Track Name: BARD COMPANY - Under August Skies
Under August Skies

We sat around the table Mam
but none of us got fed,
for the Corn Law has been biting
and we don’t have any bread.
The mill wheels have stopped turning,
so we haven’t any jobs
and we’re under-represented
by the parliamentary nobs.

So we gathered in the field Mam,
with our banners and our flags,
and the soldiers sat in lines
with their brightly coloured nags.
We were organised but unarmed
and adamant we would not yield
as we marched in peaceful protest
arm in arm to St Peter’s Field.

There were tens of thousands there Mam
under baking August heat -
and when Mr Hunt got up to speak
we all jumped up to our feet
and a huge roar went around the crowd
as everybody cheered -
but that was just the signal
that the local magistrate feared.


He called up the Hussars Mam
and sent them in so we’d disperse
and the air was filled with shrieks Mam
and I don’t know what was worse -
the slashing sabres on our backs,
or the blood that soaked the ground,
or the groans of all the wounded,
or the chaos all around.

There were soldiers in the field Mam
and they all had swords and guns
and they hacked their way through daughters
and they hacked their way through sons,
they hacked their way through husbands
and they hacked their way through wives
and they didn’t care a jot
for the loss of poor folk’s lives.

Sorry I didn’t come home Mam
but I’m lying next to John,
trampled by the horses,
but now the horses have all gone.
There are fifteen other mothers
who will grieve the same as you
over this bloody mess in Manchester.
Pray for the dead of Peterloo.
Track Name: The World Turned Upside Down
The World Turned Upside Down

In 1649
St. George's Hill
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
defied the laws
They were the dispossessed
Reclaiming what was theirs

"We come in peace," they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste grounds grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feeds the rich
While poor men starve

We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
We are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace
The orders came to cut them down
Track Name: How Do You Sleep At Night?
How Do You Sleep at Night?

It was a blockbuster movie with a Hollywood production
Special effects, no weapons of mass destruction.
A tapestry of lies spun on a wheel of corruption.
When you sacked Iraq
Sacked Iraq.

You bombed the culture back to the middle ages.
Raped its philosophy, history and sages
Your Spin relegated it from the front pages.
Now you’ve sacked Iraq.
Sacked Iraq.

Roll up, Roll up, for the Blair Bush illusion.
Prestidigitation, practiced by crown princes of collusion.
But we all knew there could be only one logical conclusion,
When the world is ruled by demi-gods of delusion.

You lapped up power like a junkie hooked on smack
The hate seeds you sowed have started to strike back.
Blair, how can you sleep at night?
Blair, how can you sleep at night, since you sacked Iraq.
Sacked Iraq.

Your net worth is twenty million in the black.
But you lost your real worth the day you sacked Iraq
Blair, how do you sleep at night?
Blair, how do you sleep at night, since you sacked Iraq?
Sacked Iraq.

How do you sleep at night, since you sacked Iraq?
Sacked Iraq.
How do you sleep at night, since you sacked Iraq.
Sacked Iraq.
Blair how do you sleep at night since you sacked Iraq
Sacked Iraq
Track Name: The International Brigade
The International Brigade

Eight decades ago, the Spanish Civil War
and we're going swept by the far right again
since Franco, Mussolini and Hitler believe me
the result is always the same

The fascists bombed Guernica, then Barcelona
and Spaniards inflicting their pain
now battle lines are drawn, they don't care for their own
and we're going right back there again

But their comrades rose up all over the globe
and traveled to join them in Spain
they came to their aid to form the resistance
The International Brigade

And 'no pasaran!' was the cry from the hills
because no pasaran was the people's will
we'll fight Franco, and the fascists until
we liberate our brothers and sisters
we'll fight Franco for our freedom he steals
when we fight with our brothers and sisters

They fought in Jarama, Madrid, Zaragoza
to liberate their comrades in Spain
they fought for their lives and what was right
with the International Brigade

Now they pray that their children, not the fascists who killed them
be remembered not thrown in a grave
so long live our comrades, their memories engrained
and The International Brigade

And 'no pasaran!' was the cry from the hills
because no pasaran was the people's will
we'll fight Franco, and the fascists until
we liberate our brothers and sisters
we'll fight Franco for our freedom he steals
when we fight with our brothers and sisters

And 'no pasaran!' was the cry from the hills
because no pasaran was the people's will
we'll fight Franco, and the fascists until
we liberate our brothers and sisters
we'll fight Franco for our freedom he steals
when we fight with our brothers and sisters

When we fight with our brothers and sisters
Track Name: Build A Better World
A Better World

I fear for the future.
But the best I can do
Is to build a better world
A better world for me and you

The Diggers and Levellers
They shown what to do
They died for a better life
A better life for me and you

Oh I mourn for Jarrow and Orgreave.
I’m looking for answers. I maybe naive
How to turn the tide? I haven’t a clue
Can only try to build
A better life for me and you.

Our Suffragette sisters
They knew what to do.
they fought for a better world
A better world for me and you.

And I walk in their footsteps
That’s the best I can do
Strive for a better life
A better life for me and you

Nothing’s changed since the Peasant’s Revolt.
We need to bring war and attrition to halt
The crimes of the past. I can’t undo.
Can only try to build.
A better life for me and you.

I’m no hero or martyr
I only wish that I knew
how to build a better world
A better world for me and you.

So Let’s all work together
It’s long overdue
It’s time to build a world
A better world for me and you.

I mourn for Jarrow and Orgreave.
I’m looking for answers. I maybe naive
How to turn the tide? I haven’t a clue
Can only try to build,
A better life for me and you.

Nothing’s changed since the Peasant’s Revolt
We need to bring war and attrition to halt
The crimes of the past. I can’t undo.
Can only try and build.
A better life for me and you.
Can only try and build.
A better life for me and you.

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