Categories
Behind The Song

NEW SONG: Refugee With An iPhone

Safer to be where the bombs come from than the city on which they’re falling
A short walk in another man’s shoes
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

I can’t remember who it was (probably just as well) or where it was, but I remember seeing the news reports and someone said to me “if they’re poor refugees, how come they all have iPhones?” I’ve had some contact with refugees so I tried to answer their question. But I think I’ve answered it better here. Verse 3 is true though it’s hard to be totally literal in summing up a life in 8 lines.

Refugee with an iPhone, where are you all coming from?
I’ve a sneaking suspicion you’re pulling some kind of con
Refugee with an iPhone, iPhone that’s newer than mine
Would you jump the queue while I’m stuck here standing in line?

I had a house and a car and a job
Before the secret police, the riots and bombs
But it’s safer to be where the bombs all come from
Than the city on which they are falling
So I gave a man all the money I had
In exchange for a space in the back of a van
And all that I had in a bag on my back
Was my phone and a few bits of clothing

Refugee with an iPhone, where are you all coming from?
I’ve a sneaking suspicion something’s gone horribly wrong
Refugee with an iPhone, they say you have terrorist links
There’s no room on the lifeboats, if we take anymore then we’ll sink

Is it a sign that I’m radicalised
If I don’t want my wife and my daughter to die?
I’ve seen the fear in a little one’s eyes
That her daddy soon will be taken
So I call her now at the end of most days
To tell her I love her, tell her I’m safe
And we both send pictures of our scariest face
And she holds the phone while she’s sleeping

Refugee with an iPhone, exposing uncomfortable truth
We can’t bail out the bankers and afford to look after you too
Cos bankers have friends so high they own the Sun and the Sky
And refugees just like iPhones never take too long to die

In January ’48 Steffie arrived
From the wreckage of Austria to build a new life
Practiced her english late into the night
Reading out loud from the papers
Married a soldier, a practical man
He built a home for them with his own hands
Raised children and chickens and took any job
And one of her children is singing this song

Refugee with an iPhone, how can I deny you the chance,
Deny you the same opportunity my mother had?
Deny you the basic compassion I hope I would find
If the fire that fell on your country was falling on mine
Refugee with an iPhone, a symbol, as two worlds collide
Let’s take a selfie and you can ‘friend’ me if you like…

Here’s another take on the issue from The Independent

Categories
Behind The Song Song Vault

Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand

To both be heard, to both be seen
A cry for peace and reconciliation
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

In 2015 I set myself a goal of writing 50 songs. I finished demoing song no 48 (Guns) on Dec 31st but I was determined not to fail I wrote and recorded song 49 (New Mistakes) with 40 minutes to spare. Digging into my ‘song starts’ folder I found the title Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand. It was a paraphrase of something I’d heard on a radio 4 program maybe 15 years before. Against the deadline I wrote and played the first words and chords that came to mind and demoed it as the new years fireworks began to go off (listen closely to the end of the demo for proof!). I rerecorded the song ‘properly’ in early 2016 but it was worse than the ‘New Years Eve one mic live take’ so I went back to that and added a little overdubbing to fix a spot where I got the words wrong and a few sweeteners.

I wish you peace, I wish you joy
I wish we’d have no fear of laying down our swords
To both be heard, to both be seen
Living in the light of shared humanity
It’s not too late for us to understand
Every fist was once an open hand

I pray for hope, I pray for grace
I pray that I can put the smile back on your face
I see the scars that your still bear
I know my actions and my words put them there
Can I change? I believe I can
Cos every fist was once was an open hand

You have a cause for which you fight
And the God you serve believes you’re always right
No second thoughts, no feeble doubts
Just the strength to carry your decisions out
It’s not too late for you to change your plans
Every fist was once an open hand

Call off the missile strikes that fall on foreign lands
Let every fist become an open hand

Categories
Song Vault

Bullingdon Boys

The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Punk Protest
Download     mp3 demo     Lyrics (pdf)

David and Boris and Gideon met
At Oxford University
They dined with a crew of the chosen few
Wearing sky blue and ivory

It’s a fine old tradition for young blue bloods
To trash a restaurant and pay in cash
As preparation for a host of Government posts
It’s how we train the ruling class (and they sing…)

Rah Rah Rah! We’re the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
It’s the day of the Bullingdon Boys

Bloods have their colours
And so do the Crips
Like any self-respecting gang
But Bullingdon threads don’t come off the peg
Set your family back three grand
(Call it an investment, money well spent). Sing…

CHORUS

You wouldn’t put a paedophile in charge of a school
No matter how much he’d changed
Would you trust a Buller boy with the lives of the poor?
Then you’ve only got yourself to blame

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich kids break it and the poor just take it
And make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Crime pays when you’re a Bullingdon Boys

Buller! Buller! Buller!

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Hip hooray for the Buller Boys

Categories
Free Music Song Vault

The Ballad Of NDC

More genre jumping songwriting with a Music Hall inspired, agitprop-pop satire on urban regeneration. It’s all yours – no charge, just leave me a comment.

Download     mp3 demo      Chord Sheet (pdf)     Behind the song

In the year two thousand and nothing
Our Community got a New Deal
55 million pounds came from London
To fix Radford and Hyson Green
The N.D.C. were appointed to spend it
The Neighbourhood Development Company
But that’s not what N.D.C. stands for
Least not if you ask folk round here…

No discernable change,
No discernable change,
That’s what it means,
‘Cos that’s what there’s been –
No discernable change.

No discernable change,
No discernable change,
Well they came and they saw 
And spent millions galore
All for no discernable change.

 55 million quid don’t go far now
If you spend it on Alfreton Rd
The shops along there must be pricey
It’s a good job that half of em’s closed
But who cares that some’s standing vacant
When they’re boarded up so beautifully
If you need a kebab or a haircut
There’s no better place you could be

 The government weren’t too impressed though
“For our money please give an account,
Is there anything left in the coffers?”
When they turned out their pockets they found-

No discernable change,
No discernable change,
Laggy bands and some sweets
And a lot of receipts
But no discernable change.

No discernable change,
No discernable change,
For only a pound 
We could buy Notts County 
But no discernable change.
 Some Nottingham folk saw it coming
They said things would come to no good

‘Cos the most famous local’s an outlaw
There’s robbin’, but it ain’t Robin Hood

Should we all take our grievances higher?
Does the blame lie at Council House steps?
If we made our voice heard next election
What outcome then might we expect?

 No discernable change,
No discernable change,
Vote ‘em in, vote ‘em out, 
When the last ballot’s counted
No discernable change.

No discernable change,
No discernable change,
Hyson Green you’ve been had, 
Radford, eat your kebab
There’ll be no discernable change

Related Posts: The Eglon Song