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~ A ~
Lyrics

 'A' front cover

(1980)

 

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Crossfire

Fylingdale Flyer

Working John, Working Joe

Black Sunday

Protect And Survive

Batteries Not Included

Uniform

4.W.D. (Low Ratio)

The Pine Marten's Jig

And Further On

Crossfire

Spring light in a hazy May
and a man with a gun at the door.
Someone's crawling on the roof above 
all the media here for the show.
I've been waiting for our friends to come
Like spiders down ropes to free-fall
A thirty round clip for a visiting card 
admit one to the embassy ball.
Caught in the crossfire on Princes Gate Avenue
In go the windows and out go the lights.
Call me a doctor. Fetch me a policeman.
I'm down on the floor in one hell of a fight

I'm just a soul with an innocent face 
a regular boy dressed in blue,
conducting myself in a proper way
as befitting the job that I do.
They came down on me like a ton of bricks,
Swept off my feet, knocked about.
There's nothing for it but to sit and wait
for the hard men to get me out.
Caught in the crossfire on Princes Gate Avenue
In go the windows and out go the lights.
Call me a doctor. Fetch me a policeman.
I'm down on the floor in one hell of a fight.

Calm reason floats from the street below,
and the slow fuse burns through the night.
Everyone's tried to talk it through
but they can't seem to get the deal right.
Somewhere there are Brownings in a two-hand hold,
cocked and locked, one up the spout.
There's nothing for it but to sit and wait
for the hard men to get me out.
Caught in the crossfire on Princes Gate Avenue
In go the windows and out go the lights.
Call me a doctor. Fetch me a policeman.
I'm down on the floor in one hell of a fight.
Top of page

Fylingdale Flyer

Through clear skies tracking lightly from far down the line
No fanfare, just a blip on the screen.
No quick conclusions now everything will be fine,
Short-circuit glitsch and not what it seems.
Fylingdale Flyer you're only half way there,
Green screen liar for a second or so we were running scared.

On late shift, feeling drowsy eyes glued to the display.
Dead cert alert, lit match to the straw.
One last quick game of bowls we can still win the day.
Fail-safe; forget the things that you saw.
Fylingdale Flyer you're only half way there,
Green screen liar for a second or so we were running scared.

They checked the systems through and they read A-O.K.
Some tiny fuse has probably blown
Sit back; relax and soon it will just go away,
Keep your hands off that red telephone.
Fylingdale Flyer you're only half way there,
Green screen liar for a second or so we were running scared.
Fylingdale Flyer you're only half way there,
Green screen liar for a second or so we were running scared.
Top of page

Working John, Working Joe

When I was a young man (as all good tales begin)
I was taught to hold out my hand.
And for my pay I worked an honest day
and took what pittance I could win.
Now I'm a working John and I'm a working Joe
and I'm doing what I know
for God and the Economy,
big brother watches over me
And the state protects and feeds me
And my conscience never leaves me
And I'm loyal to the unions
who protect me at all levels.

And as I grew, the winds of fortune blew
and the bank smiled down upon me.
And mortgaged to the hilt I threw
the breeze of caution behind me.
Now I'm a working John and I'm a working Joe
and I'm good at what I know
And God and the Economy
have blessed me with equality.
Now I'm equal to the best of you
And better than the rest of you,
who would criticise my success
in times of national unrest.

Now I own my horseless carriage
in its central-heated garage
And I commute eighty miles a day 
up at seven to make it pay.
I direct ten limited companies
with seeming consummate expertise,
two ulcers and a heart disease
a trembling feeling in both knees.
I'm a working John and I'm a working Joe
and I'm doing what I know
for God and the Economy,
big brother watches over me
And the state protects and feeds me
And my conscience never leaves me
And I'm loyal to the unions
who protect me at all levels.
I'm a working John and I'm a working Joe.
Top of page

Black Sunday

Tomorrow is the one day I would change for a Monday
with freezing rains melting and no trains running
and sad eyes passing in windows flimsy
and my seat rocking from legs not quite matching,
Got passport, credit cards, a plane that I'm catching
Black Sunday falls one day too soon.

The taxi that takes me will be moving too quickly
My suitcases simply too full for the closing
of pants, shirts and kisses all packed in a hurry,
Two best-selling paper backs chosen at random 
no sign of sales-persons to whom I might hand them.
Black Sunday falls one day too soon.

And down at the airport are probably waiting
a few thousand passengers, overbooked seating
Time long suspended in transit-lounge traumas
connections broken and Special Branch waiting
conspicuously standing in holiday clothing.
Black Sunday falls one day too soon.

Pick up my feet and kick off my lethargy,
Down to the gate with the old mood upon me,
Get out and chase the small immortality
born in the minute of my next returning
Impatient feet tapping and cigarette burning.
Homecoming one day too soon.

And back at the house there's a grey sky a-tumbling,
Milk bottles piling on door steps a-crumbling,
Curtains all drawn and cold water plumbing
Notepaper scribbles I read unbelieving
Saying how sorry, how sad was the leaving
…one day too soon.

Tomorrow is the one day I would change for a Monday
with freezing rains melting and no trains running
and sad eyes passing in windows flimsy
and my seat rocking from legs not quite matching,
Got passport, credit cards, a plane that I'm catching
Black Sunday falls one day too soon.
Top of page

Protect And Survive

They said: protect and you'll survive
(but our postman didn't call)
8lbs. Of over-pressure wave seemed to glue him to the wall.
They said: protect and you'll survive.
E.M.P. took out the radio
(and our milk-man didn't call)
Flash blinded by the pretty lights,
didn't see his bottles fall
or feel the warm black rain arrive.
Big friendly cloud builds in the West
(and our dust-men haven't called).
They left the dual carriageway at a hundred miles an hour,
a tail wind chasing them away.
And in deep shelters lurk below, sub-regional control
who sympathise but cannot help
to mend your body or your soul.
Self-appointed guardians of the race with egg upon their face.
When steady sirens sing all-clear they pop up,
find nobody here.
And so I watch two new suns spin
(our paper man doesn't call),
Burnt shadow printed on the road now there's nothing there at all.
They said: protect and you'll survive.
Top of page

Batteries Not Included

Six o'clock in the morning,
Wake up by the bed.
There sits a Japanese toy
And I like it.
See the name on the wrapping,
Can't read yet but I know:
it's made for me (lucky boy)
And I want it.
Lights that flash, wheels that go round
Digital display
Fresh silicon chips to enjoy
And I need them
(Where's the batteries?).
Sitting silent and empty.
Wish I could breathe life
in my new friend who's terribly still.
And I like him.
Just like me. P'rhaps he's hungry.
Six volts make him smile
And twelve volts would probably kill.
How I like him.
"Daddy, where's the batteries
I can't find my batteries".
(There's no batteries)
Seven o'clock in the morning
They find me by the bed
with my friend the Japanese toy.
I am with him.
Mummy, Daddy can't see you,
hear you. Batteries not
included in this little boy.
(Where's my batteries?)
Top of page

Uniform

See black, see yellow with little notebooks drawn,
See grey stripes bowling down the street.
Silver streaks and T-shirts so precisely torn,
Strange foreign chaps in white bed-sheets:
Uniforms.
See golden halo'd men of high renown,
prance to the politicians' beat.
Well tailored in unswerving elegance
with shoes by Gucci on their feet:
Uniforms.

How do you know who the hell you are?
Wake up each day under a different star?
Dressed to the nines, meet yourself going home
like a clone, smartly dressed in your pressed uniform.
Uniforms.

White battle dress on green pitch, proud eleven
Beneath the swelling box so neat,
the teeming millions of the future fly,
the spinning cricket ball to cheat.
They're all uniform.
Uniforms.
Top of page

4.W.D. (Low Ratio)

Met a man just the other day, 
said his name was Jim. Boy, won't you take a look!
Got a car for you it's a real steal.
Cleaned it right down new brakes, clutch and here's the hook.
Yes, it's a 4.W.D. (low ratio).

Cash to Jim. I took it home
through the deep mud. Plugged happy as a boy in sand.
Fitted wide tyres, spotlight, a winch as well
and some brush bars up front to complete the plan.
Now it's really a 4.W.D. (low ratio).

Take you down to the edge of town,
Where the road stops, we start to hold the ground.
Well, I'm blessed! Got traction in a special way,
Hold the roll bar, slide back, feel me pull it round.
Let me show you my 4.W.D. (low ratio).
Top of page

The Pine Marten's Jig

[Instrumental]

And Further On

We saw the heavens break
and all the world go down to sleep
and rocks on mossy banks
drip acid rain from craggy steeps.
Saw fiery angels kiss the dawn,
Wish you goodbye till further on,
Will you still be there further on?

And troubled dynasties,
like legions lost, have blown away.
Hounds hard upon their heels,
call to their quarry wait and play.
Before the last faint light has gone:
Wish you goodbye till further on,
Will you still be there further on?

The angry waves grow high
cut icy teeth on northern shores.
Brave fires that flicker,cough
give way to winds
through broken doors.
And with the last line almost drawn:
wish you goodbye till further on.
Will you still be there further on?
Top of page

 

All Lyrics: © Chrysalis Records Ltd., London, UK, 1980 - All Rights Reserved.

APP ballerina

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