Here There Be Demons

by The Crows Of Albion

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about

For all the things that demonise us all

credits

released September 30, 2015

Recorded at The Music Projects, Wigan (18th May 2015 - 19th August 2015)
All Lyrics & Vocals: IAN WHITELEY
All Music & Instruments: MARTIN HEATON
All Songs Written by Whiteley/Heaton except 'The Revolution Starts Now' (Steve Earle)
PRODUCED by Martin Heaton & Ian Whiteley
ENGINEERED & MIXED by Martin Heaton
ARTWORK: Ian Whiteley
FRONT COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Dominic Simpson
REAR COVER PHOTOGRAPHS: Richard Nixon

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all rights reserved

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Track Name: The Crooked Beast At The End Of A Crooked Path
The Crooked Beast At The End Of A Crooked Path

I saw him rise like a dark spectre
in the clouds
at the end of a crooked path
his horned head cocked
spreading his cloven claws
astride the graves that nestled
safe beneath the trees
his wings unfurling
across the sky
and gathering in
the long dead souls
beneath the ground
and I thought
I heard the demon say
“I told you I would not forget you
lying here out of sight”
but maybe it was the wind
soughing in the skeletal trees
and blowing away
the thunderheads
or perhaps
the silent prayer upon my lips
for when I blinked
they were only clouds again
and the crooked beast
at the end of the crooked path
had taken flight

as I left I passed the wooden sign proclaiming:
'HERE THERE BE DEMONS'
Track Name: Something To Say
Something To Say.

I’ve got something to say about everything -
the bloody Tories and the bloody liberals
and that blood Farage with his bloody racism
and what about the bloody workers
and stop the bloody NHS cuts,
give us all a bloody living wage,
stop the bloody bankers bonuses,
plenty to say about benefits Britain
about the state of the nation,
about the house of lords,
about fracking and climate and the EDL.

But when it comes to the election
I can’t be arsed
getting off my arse
to place a cross.

I’ve got something to say about everything -
X Factor, Pop Idol, I’m A Celebrity,
Strictly Come Dancing, Eurovision.
I like to feel I’ve got a say in who wins
‘cos it really matters when most of them are wankers.
Plenty to say about Britain’s Got Talent,
The Voice and anything to do with talented pets,
‘cos you don’t want the winners
to be acts you don’t like,
so I get on the phone and vote for the best.

But when it comes to the election
I can’t be arsed
getting off my arse
to place a cross.

I’ve got something to say about everything -
Conservatives, Labour, Liberals and UKIP,
The Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP.
Plenty to say about the Fascists, the Communists,
the Nazis, the Unionists and all the bloody others.
I can’t stand snobs, the elite, the bankers,
the House Of Commons or the House Of Lords.
I’ve got plenty to say about Maggie bloody Thatcher,
Tony bloody Blair and Arthur bloody Scargill.
If I bloody voted I wouldn’t vote for bloody them.

But when it comes to the election
I can’t be arsed
getting off my arse
To place a cross

I’ve got something to say about everything -
Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs,
Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Protestants too.
Plenty to say about Pacifists, Atheists, Agnostics,
Criminals, Judges, the Police and the Courts,
cancer treatments, euthanasia, miracle cures,
holistic remedies, drugs and alcohol,
legal highs, illegal, lows,
masturbation, prostitution, paedophiles and rapists.
Plenty to say about what we should do with all of them.

But when it comes to the election
I can’t be arsed
getting off my arse
To place a cross.

I’ve got something to say about everything -
but on election day

I
HAVE
NO
VOICE
Track Name: The Revolution Starts Now
The Revolution Starts Now


I was walkin' down the street
In the town where I was born
I was movin' to a beat
That I'd never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written 'cross the sky
The revolution starts now
Yeah, the revolution starts now

The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here
Where you work and where you play
Where you lay your money down
What you do and what you say
The revolution starts now
Yeah the revolution starts now

Yeah the revolution starts now
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doin' standin' around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now

Last night I had a dream
That the world had turned around
And all our hopes had come to be
And the people gathered 'round
They all brought what they could bring
And nobody went without
And I learned a song to sing
The revolution starts now
Track Name: Broad Is The Road & Wide Is The Gate
Broad Is The Road & Wide Is The Gate

A sky bleached like old bones
dug from damp earth on an autumn morning.

The pale sun spits on car roofs in a Northern town
where colours hide behind a sheen of grey.

Tram tracks, like silver trails of slugs,
pacing the slowly walking midnight man.

Something ancient and horrid has left a double-mustard
trail of crumbs for him to follow, but never stop upon.

He is nothing in this dystopian landscape -
featureless, amorphous except for outline.

His progress marked out by lines on the kerb.
Each waypoint - a little closer to the grave.

Grotesque shadows disembowel before him,
letting loose the dizzy demons he keeps hidden.

The streetlamps and chimneys point at the sky
like minarets to a forgotten god.

Footsteps echoing and bouncing down a path
of shredded hopes and dreams.

And when those slow, heavy feet come down
the pavement shakes and dust drops from the clouds.

Decrepit wire meshing, strung from rusty pillars,
keep the ghosts of the working class confined.

A wooden wall, built higher than a fort,
to stop the downtrodden seeing what is beyond.

Aerials pointing the way to salvation,
mocking the deaf and dumb and blind.

Behind ramshackle bricks, a den of vans and cars
growl at the injustice of their confinement.

In the distance, two black spectres wait
to harvest the souls of those who fall by the wayside.

And then, there is something alive in the murk,
something that cuts the air with a knife of humanity.

The darkness recedes and sunlight splashes everything,
to the sound of a nervous, tuneless whistle.

There is a fleeting moment of being alive
and relishing the dance macabre,

until he sees the gaping maw and gnashing teeth
of the back breaking gates to the factory.
Track Name: Drax (The Dragon & The Samurai)
Drax (The Dragon & The Samurai)

They huff and puff their plumes of heated breath
into an atmosphere already raw.
These earthbound dragons, guarding nests of death,
fighting for dominance with tooth and claw.
Their carbon offspring doze beneath their feet
or bleed out into nuclear decay -
a fair trade for their gifts of light and heat?
Perhaps we will regret that choice one day.

For what is this? A champion in white
with spinning arms and blades as sharp as swords,
an ecological Samurai knight
come to slay the wheezing wyrm cancer Lords.
Yet they are turned away and shunned by those
who prefer silence when the wild wind blows.
Track Name: Redemption
Redemption

The black soul of a sinner,
in a numbing amphetamine haze,
listens to the screech of bats
and considers his end of days.
Sitting in the suicide dark
in Marion County, Tennessee,
he has followed the stumbling ghosts
of the Chickamauga Cherokee.
He listens to the whispering water
tempting him in that cave
where he thinks no one will find him
to lay flowers on his grave.

Yet, something happens to him
at the depths of his despair
a flame, he will later call God,
engulfs his body there
and he crawls out of the tunnels
into the rapturous light -
saved from the darkness
and given a cause to fight.
Trial and tribulation
saved the man in black
and led him to redemption
in the cave at Nickajack.
Track Name: Under The Bridge
Under The Bridge

hunched up like a demon
grotesque and out of shape
tip tip tapping on the keyboard
mouth permanently agape
looking for hurt and misery
searching out the weak
twisted soul and brainless
an ever growing clique
devouring our innocence
inflicting further pain
they look for human tragedy
their claws dig in again
we cannot understand them
so we underestimate
their capacity for terror
and a percolating hate
seeking out the dying
the ill and the bereaved
then spilling vile poison
on those that we have grieved
they are less than human
as they tip tip tap away
behind a web of darkness
anonymous and grey
the troll wheezes laughter
at the hurt that he has wrought
he thinks he is all conquering
he thinks he can’t be caught
but he’s just an ugly fucker
who nobody will like
when justice is administered
and his head is on a spike
hunched up like a demon
grotesque and out of shape
tip tip tapping on the keyboard
mouth permanently agape
and as we know from fairy tales
trolls are loved by none
and humanity will slaughter them
one by one by one
Track Name: The Walkin' Man
The Walkin’ Man

Serendipity Spangle was a walkin’ man -
of that, there is no doubt,
he walked across great continents
and was seen round here about.
With his low slung jeans and guitar,
he had no need for fancy suits,
he just roamed the great blue yonder
in his worn down cowboy boots .

Those who were there at his birth
cross their hearts and tell no lies -
they say he came into this world singing
and walked straight from his mammas thighs
out into the dustbowl road out there
where he promptly disappeared
into the heart of America
and was folk and country reared.

CHORUS:
You hear his footsteps echoing
along these highways of dust
when Bob or Bruce or Pete Seeger
ask you to place your trust
in poetry and a guitar
and a minstrel of the road.
Serendipity Spangle
will help you carry your heavy load.

He walked the fields of Gettysburg,
dried the tears of the crying.
He strolled the trenches of the Somme
and comforted the dying.
He raised the flag at Iwo Jima,
hung his head at Nagasaki,
stirred the spirit in Vietnam -
his heart is red and khaki.

He’s been around a long, long time
and many times he’s died,
but he walks into the valley of the shadow of death
and comes out the other side
with a pale horse trailing behind him,
riderless and out of breath,
Serendipity Spangle
always wins the wrestle with Death.

For the poor, the weak, the hopeless -
he will pacify the soul,
the depressed, the hurt, the dispossessed -
chew it up and swallow it whole.
With his raging songs of freedom,
you will hear the old folk talk,
of the time that Serendipity Spangle
stopped by on his long walk.

A lonely figure steps out
and walks into the moon
at the top of a country road,
whistling a mournful tune.
When the sun rises tomorrow
his footsteps will have blown away
on a warm and soothing prairie breeze.
Walkin’ into another day.

For Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 – January 27th 2014)
Track Name: Fields Of Carbon & Blood
Fields Of Carbon And Blood

You praised as they died in their dugouts
for a cause proclaimed honest and true.
No mention of cowards or traitors -
a justified war to see through.
Now you mock the bravest of fighters
who live to bring coal from the earth.
Not bully-boyed in to your armies -
but pushed down the pits after birth.

CHORUS:
As the right wing tabloids spawn rumours
in an effort to turn husband from wife.
For the Tories all this is a policy,
for the miner the fight is for life.

They ask for no medals, or glory,
just an honest days pay for a job,
yet you spit on the faces of children
whose daddies are branded ‘the mob’.
When you sit warm and cosy in winter,
before fires of amber and red –
some starving infant, this Christmas,
will pray for the day it is fed.

After the bath
she used to drag
black worms
of coal dust
from the corner
of his eyes.

He has never cried,
though sometimes -
when he thinks back -
for no apparent reason
he finds charcoal
on his cheeks.

He is clean now,
though for many years
every crease and wrinkle
on his angry forehead
was gritted with
carbon hate.

Where once stood
a newsagents
on the corner -
there now stands
a Polish grocery store
selling Polish coke.

Where the pit head stood
nothing grows
except the straw coloured chaff
of broken promises
around the concrete bases
of solidarity.

The bitter resentment
still twists
like a ragged knife
to his heart.
He still picks
at the scabs.

Pledging,
once again,
to never forgive
the vindictive bitch
who broke the back
of Fryston.
Track Name: Here There Be Demons
Here There Be Demons

there is a small terraced house
on the dark side of Benefit Street
where a mother lies with cancer
and a child has nothing to eat
where a father kicks anything that moves
whether wife of child or dog
then drowns himself in self pity
and rancid numbing grog

when he leaves he leaves a hole
as wide as any pit
and a family who cannot cope
without their benefit
it pays a pittance for their hurts
and helps to keep them fed
a little heat a little light
a roof over their head.

CHORUS:
the TV in the corner
spews its Tory game
it makes them hide from neighbours
to camouflage their shame
they merge into the wallpaper
never to be seen
they become mere shadows
of all that they have been.

some bitch with too much bitching
wants to paint them all as scum
for having tattooed arms
and dogs in their home made slum
while she sits as judge and jury
sipping room temperature champagne
they feed themselves at food banks
and survive on out of date pain

so when you read your Daily Mail
and absorb its poisoned views
be thankful that your job is safe,
that you can afford new shoes.
the TV in the corner
is feeding you with shit
In the name of entertainment.
so where’s the benefit?

don’t tar the weak and needy
with your damned righteous brush
show them some humanity
don’t look to blame and crush
their hopes and dreams of betterment
because you have been fed
by right wing program makers
who remain morally dead

no one on that side of the street
will be voting for the Tories
so it’s safe for the government
to concoct their little stories.
shame on you for falling for
the demons that they create
in the vulnerable non-working class
they’ve blinded you with hate
Track Name: Encounter (Road Kill)
Encounter (Road Kill).

A black crow struts down the central reservation,
pecking at the remnants of undefined road-kill.
The white dotted line stretches out forever –
reminds me of the perforated slip on a tax form –
something that’s required but causes great effort
to tear along regardless, and sod the consequence.

A lemon-curd sandwich, parked in the lay-by,
switches on its camera and zooms for a close-up.
I glance at the dials and press on the brake pedal –
even though I’m under the legal requirement
a pang of guilt eats its way into my conscience
and many miles later I’m still checking in the mirrors.

Steve Earle blasts from the in-car CD,
tells me of the trials of travelling The Highway
in sun-bleached Memphis where the black-top’s melting –
while here on the Pennines the sleet is falling.
My mind is out there on a black and silver Harley,
not cooped up in a Nissan with a whistling windscreen.

A red BMW pulls up to my bumper,
its lights ablaze and tyres screaming.
His hands don’t seem to be in contact with the wheel –
one tugs at the hair, while the other is waving,
erect middle digit thrust in the air –
the universal badge of a brain-dead schizo.

I subtly avoid his bulging eyeballs,
veins that stand out like worms on a mirror.
He wants to hurt me, to torture and kill me
for being in the way of his manic agenda -
and as he hurtles by, doing ninety miles an hour,
I switch on the wipers and slash away his slush.

The overhead signs demand I slow to thirty,
roadworks ahead and hazardous conditions.
Despite all the warnings, some will not listen.
As I draw closer, I’m not surprised to see
his burnt rubber path clearly visible -
leading to a blazing, crimson coffin.
Track Name: Song Of The Wandering
Song Of The Wandering

In darkness deeper than the mine
where, once, I scraped my fingers to the bone
a silver seam of moonlight
breaks across the boiling blackness
and I let those self same fingers
idly trail in the cold Mediterranean.
I dream of the golden sunlight
left behind in the dust, distress and bullets.

That was then and this is now.
The churning sea, the angry orders
snapped at us in foreign tongues.
The smell of fear permeates this shanty-boat.
I drowse and dream of figs and apples,
sweetness quenching the arid desert mouth
of this poor orphan cast adrift
upon a ship of dreams.

Like fish in open boxes we lie back to back,
tightly packed Into the wooden crate
that bears its cargo to the free world
where, they promise, we will be safe.
We sing ancestral hymns,
learned from nuns in schools under African skies,
who all lay dead beneath
the soldiers boots.

Songs of the wandering.
The crossing of oceans -
first Saharan, then the tides.
Buying a future that cannot be foretold
even though they call these vessels ‘Zodiacs’.
Counterpoint rhythms of futile calls to God
to save us from this undulating hell
and lead us to redemption.

A creak…
a groan…
wetness rushes
into the mass…
we move…
it rolls
and all
is lost…
Track Name: Arroyo
Arroyo

The rain has fallen down for twenty hours
from a dead sky of slate and granite hews,
dampening the walls of urban towers.

Cobbled streets the colour of an old bruise,
tyres rattle over pothole dark drains,
counterpoint to some distant splashing shoes.

The day cast in monochromatic stains
as water forms itself into a lake
that eddies into inner city lanes.

A passing car creates a trash-spume wake
of leaves, crisp packets, cartons and sad hope
cascading from the daily give and take.

Inside the office block a girl finds soap,
then washes off the filth of wet with wet
and wonders how the homeless people cope.

It looks as though this dismal weather’s set
to last for days and soak into their bones,
how saturated can an old coat get?

Beside the tarn the flow overturns stones,
masking the sodden cardboard box of groans.
Track Name: All Hallows' Eve
All Hallows' Eve

Gnarled tree roots claw from the ground
scratching over disturbed graves.
Pumpkins grin their toothless snarl,
fleshy tongues of seed and fibre.
The spectral drift of chilling mist
that prods and pokes at exposed flesh.
Somewhere a creature of the dark night
mewls in whimpering ecstasy

Dank leaves of autumn line the paths
as little demons run around
dodging from house to pretty house
until the cottage on the hill
is all that’s left to fill their buckets.
Greed overcomes the gnawing fear,
they jostle to avoid the choice
of who will trespass the witches lair

The children come in squealing terror
wrapped in clothes of heavy gauge
their flashlights shaking from the cold
that permeates their winter coats.
A brave one steps up to the door
and taps upon it, breath held tight,
the others cower by the gate
and watch for movement in the house

She sits and stirs a boiling pot
that gurgles, splutters, coughs and gargles,
into it she drops dark things
that wriggle to escape the boiling.
Muttering in ancient words
that coil and twist as if alive.
Moonlight seeps from broken panes
washing all in filthy light.

There are no mirrors in this house,
no beauty, flowers, scent or joy,
only dust and memories
of days when things were not this way.
She has lived for many years
alone except upon this night
when company knocks at her door
and welcomes all she keeps inside.

Her smile is ancient and all knowing,
she cocks her head and sniffs the air
“Young flesh come to my humble door”
creaks from her lips of brittle leaves.
She stands and stoops to turn the latch,
a wet chuckle for inhaled breath
she catches from the other side
as slowly swings the opening door.

Come face to face with all his fears,
her hair of cobwebs blowing wild
upon the chill October air.
He turns to run but cannot move,
his friends scream loud and run away
never looking back to see
the treat bestowed upon the fool
who disturbed her on this hallows eve.
Track Name: Natural Selection
Natural Selection

Outbound

I look at them
they look at me
through glassy eyes
that never see
we’ve shared this carriage
many years
never sharing
hopes or fears
I swiftly pass
the guarded gate
and check my watch
in case I’m late
despite producing
dog-eared ticket
the blank faced guardsman
doesn’t click it
I side step gran’s
with shopping bags
and hands that plead
from piles of rags
fat businessmen
in rain drenched suits
and pretty girls
in thigh length boots
rehearsing each
spontaneous line
the interview
begins at nine
my suit is black
and very smart
shop windows whisper
“just the part”

Return

I look at them
they look at me
through x-ray eyes
I know they see
my bitter
onion of cares
they relish
peeling back the layers
a question asked
a swift reply
a sadness seeing
grown men cry
a pungent odour
seeps and lingers
on my
disappointed fingers
the journey home
seems twice as long
I bump and grind
the milling throng
the guardsman smiles
a knowing smile
hands withdraw
into the rag pile
fat businessmen
with pretty girls
shiny foreheads
golden curls
my suit is damp
with dismal rain
it’s job rejection
time again
Track Name: Old School Tie
Old School Tie

It’s very smart In blue silk,
with snazzy turquoise stripes.
When daddy gave it to me
my first words were “blimey!, cripes!”
I couldn’t wait to get it
around my scrawny throat,
it went so well with all my gear
especially the tail coat.

It made my chin more obvious,
I hadn’t known I had one.
It made the fags subservient
to get done what should be done.
It made me feel important,
It made me feel a toff,
It made me come a thousand times
while I was tossing off.

I wore it with a certain pride
that oiks wouldn’t understand.
It taught me how to be a twat,
devious and underhand.
Then when I got much older
it opened many doors
for those, like me, who wore it -
not the raggle-taggle poor.

Now I’m sat in Downing Street,
a smug look on my face.
I may not be a Nazi
but I’m one of the master race.
I wear my tie around my eyes,
It blinds me from the truth,
of the poor, the old, the dispossessed,
the jobless, hopeless youth.

Many wish me harm
for failing all but class -
well let me tell you poor folk
you can kiss my Tory ass!
For you will never get me,
no matter how you try,
it’s impossible to strangle
bastards with the old school tie.
Track Name: Children Of The Glamned
Children Of The Glamned

We found out all we knew about sex
in Youth Clubs and the disco-teques
grinding slowly to T-Rex
pumping from the Teac decks
then with Pans People our flames were fanned
we were the children of the glamned.

The photo-shoots - cheesy and tacky
in the pop filled pages of the Jackie
sucking on the wacky-baccy
Saving for a Kawasaki
we whammed, we bammed, we shang-a-langed
we were the children of the glamned.

Ziggy played guitar and pouted
Slade stomped their feet and chuffing shouted
Sweet were brickies, over-grouted,
pretty boys, we never doubted.
while Suzi Quatro Can The Canned
we were the children of the glamned.

Playing football in our platform boots
girlfriends bragged, “Oh ain’t he cute?!”
dressed to the nines in lurex suits
peroxide blonde, dying our roots.
Alice Cooper, drawn, quartered, hanged
we were the children of the glamned.

Watching Magpie’s Susan Stranks
the root cause of a thousand wanks
but no doubt there were way more thanks
for Sally James and her Tiswas pranks
our eyesight was forever damned
we were the children of the glamned.

We danced to that stupid Chinnichap beat
that shuffled from Mud’s Tiger Feet
we dipped our shoulders, hips to greet
and thought we looked so bloody neat
Alvin Stardust’s leather clad hand
we were the children of the glamned.

The stardust memories slowly fade
like Mott The Hoople behind shades
remember all the dreams we made
on Sherbet dibs and lemonade
we were tinsel gods and never bland
we were the children of the glamned

Punk drew itself from glam rock glitter
sucked on the Sweet and made it bitter
Motley Crue learned from their baby sitter
to apply the make up – jive and jitter
so those faded teens could make one last stand
We ARE the children of the glamned.
Track Name: The Westgate Run
The Westgate Run.

Upon the Merrie Cities oldest street
when twilight creeps across the Yorkshire sky,
traditionally friends and strangers meet
and let the velvet darkness pass them by.
In pictures from a dim and distant past,
as gaslight spilled from heavy shadowed doors,
to neon tinted bars of Friday last
the sound of liquid laughter gently pours.

CHORUS:
Perhaps these cobbled streets hold no surprise
to those who visit here upon a chance -
but living all my life beneath these skies
I hear the music, soft beneath the dance.
A century or more of stumbling feet
have traced this path from St. Micks to the Rock.
Good spirits open wide the doors to greet
the revellers of Wakefield when they knock.

At seven, sharp, we meet in the Redoubt,
it’s crooked rooms are full of chiming talk.
then on to face our Waterloo and stout
as black as coal, to help us on our walk.
The White Hart next and sawdust ghosts afoot,
stiff, wooden chairs that creak like age old men.
A chimney spills authentic, ancient soot
that trails away in footsteps way back when.

Where Wagon and Horses were tethered tight
we drink and watch the youngsters on the baize -
full heads of hair and eyes a shiny bright,
no blood shot orbs and salt and pepper greys.
The Smiths Arms draws us to a blazing fire
that warms us from the hearth of cosy rooms
until we leave to climb towards the spire,
our breath explodes in will o’ the wisp plumes.

The Swan With Two Necks, changed yet one more time,
its stained glass windows gazing at the mill
forever etched against a sky in grime -
though long gone you can see its outline still.
Henry Boons is next with its straw thatched bar
where trendy student ambience abounds.
The walls are permeated with a tar
of funky, grungy, rocky, poppy sounds.

Under the railway bridge and cross the road,
the red bricked Elephant & Castle looms,
a place where time has permanently slowed
and memories are cobwebbed in the rooms.
Finally, back across the road to find
the Black Horse on the corner of my dreams
of a dim and distant past I left behind
supported from its old, oak timbered beams.

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