BARD COMPANY: 'Raising The Standards'

by BARD COMPANY

/
1.
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.
2.
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…..
3.
Nae Pasaran! 05:09
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!
4.
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.
5.
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
6.
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
7.
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.
8.
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
9.
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
10.
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
11.
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.

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

license

all rights reserved

tags

If you like BARD COMPANY: 'Raising The Standards', you may also like: