Monthly Archives: April 2010

Love in the Red a song for the Prime Ministerial Debate

I won’t be in the audience as Clegg, Brown and Cameron debate the economy, but if  I was, I might warm the audience up with this little song composed the day Woolies closed in Huntingdon. Frankly I think these debates would be transformed if Caroline Lucas, the Leader of The Greens was on them, then we really would be hearing a voice for change. but their day will come. you can hear the song and download it free here (apologies to Steve Earl and GK Chesterton)

The shop fronts are all empty
The house-hold names are gone
They boarded up old Woolworths
And stripped it to the bone
The brand new cars are rusting
in car parks by the sea
And all that we’ve got left is love
At least our love is free

The bankers took our money
For their mansions on the hill
And lent the poor that funny cash
That makes them poorer still
They taught me not to trust them
It cost me quite a fee
But we’ve still got some love in tryst
At least that love is free

Cho:
Come over from the window
Come over from the door
Come over to the mattress
I spread our on the floor
The bailiffs, they might take our bed
But the bastards cant take me
And we can make love in the red
Because our love is free

And now they’ve thrown our taxes
Down the city’s silk-line hole
While the bosses throw the workers
To the dogs and on the dole
starlets still throw their parties
For the moguls on TV
But throw me out the lifeline
of a life-time’s love for free

I remember when we started
In the times that went before
We spent our ingenuity
In making love not war
And I was all the world to you
You were all the world to me
So lets make love not war again
And set the new world free

Cho:
Come over from the window
Come over from the door
Come over to the mattress
I spread our on the floor
The love we made without our bed
Is the best there’s ever been
And once we’ve made love in the red
We’ll go out and vote Green

Now we’ve still got a little room
To play at boy meets girl
While I pick out this little tune
I picked up from Steve Earl
I know its just a cheap guitar
And a borrowed melody
But I can vouch for every word
And all my love is free.

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Filed under economy, imagination, politics

The Magic Apple Tree

Someday make a journey through the rain

Through sodden streets in darkening December

A journey to the magic apple tree.

And journey also, darkling, through your past

Journey through your seed time and your summer

And through the fall of every fruiting time.

Journey through the pictures packed like loam,

The rooting places of your growing soul,

The subsoil of your oldest memory.

Walk through the outer darkness of the world

Towards a buried memory of light

Whose faded trace no photograph records.

You glimpsed it once within the garden wall,

The image of an ancient apple tree,

The fall of light through branches and the fling

And curve of colour on the golden fruit…

All buried in the rubble of your fall.

Walk through the present darkness till you come

To the stone steps, the lions, the façade,

The white Museum with its plate-glass doors.

Through these you pass and up a flight of stairs,

To find the case and lift the dull brown cover

To see, at first, your image in the glass.

You see yourself, and through yourself the tree,

And through the tree at last, the buried light.

Boughs form an arch, the painting draws you in

Under its framing fringe of rich green leaves,

Beyond the music of the shepherdess,

Down through the dark towards the grey church spire

In to its heart : the arching apple boughs…

The sky is dark, intense, a stormy grey,

But just beneath the darkness all is gold:

The slope of hills, the fields of barleycorn.

The loaded branches of the apple tree,

Glow red and ripe and gold and bow themselves

To bless the fruitful earth from whence they spring.

These colours seem to fall from Eden’s light,

The air they shine through breathes a change in them,

Breaking their sheen into a certain shade

Particular and unrepeatable.

Some golden essence seems to concentrate

From light to air, from pigment into paint

In increments of incarnation down

to burn within these apples and this bough,

Which here and now at last, you recognise.

This is your own, your ancient apple tree

And here the light you buried for so long

Leaps up in you to life and resurrection.

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Filed under christianity, imagination, literature, Poems

The Green Man gigs for the Greens!April 21st Bathhouse Cambridge

Sometimes a song writes itself.  My song the Green Man was like that. It came very swiftly after a walk through Granchester Meadows with a friend, a walk during which we wondered what the Gospels might have been like if Christ had been tramping the edges of English Hedgerows as well as the Judean Wilderness, we also talked about how these very hedgerows and meadows were threatened by developers and pesticides and at the end of the walk I felt that wild foliate face carved in the old cathedral choirs had something to say to me, something to say through me, and I felt some of my Lord’s lost ‘I am ‘ sayings tripping from, my tongue.

Well the Green Man has taken me to some extraordinary places and of late I have felt strongly that if I am going to sing about the Green Man I’d better put some of his principles into action and I have found, on reading their manifesto that the Green Party have good plans to turn the heart of my song into practical action. so this Wednesday, 21st of April I will be playing a benefit gig for the Cambridge Greens in the Bath House in Bennet street and I am delighted that Tony Juniper the Greens excellent candidate for election in the Cambridge constituence will be there to introduce it. I’m also really pleased that so many of my fellow musicians are showing up to share their talent. Mystery Train will be there together with Mojo Triangle, George Breakfast, Lizi foan and Sophie Davies, it should be a wonderful night. You don’t need to be convinced of the ecological cause or even in the least bit political to come along, it’ll be a night of great music, with a chance, for those who want it, to meet and talk to Tony and to find out a little more about The Green Party  and its potential impact on our national life.

You can listen to the Green Man here

As a taster here are the lyrics of The Green Man

The Green Man

Em

My face in the foliage, you’ve seen that face before

It was carved in the Choir by your fathers back in days of yore

I’m the power in the pulse I’m the song underneath the soil

I’m the unseen King of the ditches, ragged and royal

I’m the Green Man, don’t take my name in vain

I’m the Green Man, and its time to break my chain

If you cut me down I’ll spring back green again

I’m the roots on the stock I’m the tender shoots on the vine

I’m the goodness in the bread I’m the wildness in the wine

There’s power in the place where my smallest tendrils are curled

And my softest touch is the strongest thing in the world

I’m the Green Man, don’t take my name in vain

I’m the Green Man, I’m bound to break my chain

If you cut me down I’ll spring back green again

I’m the grass at your feet and the leaves that shade your head

I’ll be your bower of love, I’l be your green grass bed

I’m in the finest flower, I’m the power in the wickedest weed

And I’ll plough your furrow with pleasure and plant my seed

I’m the Green Man, and I make love with the rain

I’m the Green Man, and I feel like breaking my chain

You might think I’m finished but I’ll spring back up again

You can cover me in concrete, staple me down with steel

Spread your houses and your car parks over my fields

But I’ll still be there keeping everything alive

And I’ll spring back green but you might not survive

I’m the Green Man, don’t take my name in vain

I’m the Green Man, Its time to break my chain

You can cut me down but I’ll spring back green again

©Malcolm Guite 2002

2 Comments

Filed under Current affairs, Music, Songs

My Smoky Muse

I’m not what they need in the fitness clubs

theres no place for me in the smoke-free pubs

I could measure out my life in cigarillo stubs

Empty ashes in my highway shoes

So light up another for the likes of me

Light out to some place you might be free

Carry me with you or leave me be

With my Smoky Muse

Bridge: She lives at the top of an old stair well

Her house is on fire but it’s hard to tell

If that kind of fire is from heaven or hell

And it’s too late to put out the fuse

She takes me when I’m feeling like an empty shell

She wakes me in the darkness of a strange hotel

She makes me ill and then she makes me well

My Smoky Muse

The wide boys are whining with their thin white duke

Throw me down to the cooler with cool-hand Luke

It’s the plastic in my life that makes me puke

Nothing’s real enough to refuse

I Make my retreat down some shadowy lane

I Take what it takes to defeat the pain

I can still see her waving goodbye in the rain

My Smoky Muse

Celebrities stabled in a big brother house

I can see more life in a lousy little louse

I could take my life, or take religious vows

But I’m stuck with the news of the screws

Everybody wants to be a party to it all

Every body wants to be a fly on my wall

I just want to get out of here and crawl

To my Smoky Muse

Bridge: She lives at the top of an old stair well

Her house is on fire but it’s hard to tell

If that kind of fire is from heaven or hell

And it’s too late to put out the fuse

She takes me when I’m feeling like an empty shell

She wakes me in the darkness of a strange hotel

She makes me ill and then she makes me well

My Smoky Muse

She knows how I love the way she breathes

The way she shrouds me in wraiths and wreathes

And shares her favours with vagrants and thieves

And leaves them so confused

She comes to me veiled in graceful swirls

I trace the fragrance in her fingers and her curls

Her skin shines pale beneath strange black pearls

My Smoky Muse

She left me with nothing, nothing left to say

I’m gone with the others the ones that got away

Stuck in a cell block with jean genet

Singing the jail-house blues

Chain-smoked my way through the chains of night

Went out in the morning looking for a light

If she breathes on me now I know I’ll be allright

With my smoky muse

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Filed under imagination, Songs

Ascension

Let there be light.  The light leaps up

That was in deepest darkness drowned.

There is no realm or kingdom now

In which the lost cannot be found

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Filed under christianity, Meditation, Poems

Resurrection

A stone flung in a pool makes waves of light

Until, like every life, it sinks alone.

They plunged Him too, into the pool of night,

Today His waves of light fling back the stone

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Filed under christianity, Meditation, Poems

Crucifixion

The cross that holds is held in that embrace,

The world is weighed in Him, the living scales.

From this tree branches out all time and space,

As, from His outstretched hands, blossom the nails.

5 Comments

Filed under christianity, Meditation, Poems

Lost Son

We miss the light, we lose ourselves in lies,

We never reach the heart of anything,

Unless we turn to meet His searching eyes,

Who meets us in the midst of everything

5 Comments

Filed under christianity, Meditation, Poems

Temptation

The Fountain thirsts, the Bread is hungry here

The Light is Dark, the Word without a voice.

When darkness speaks it seems so light and clear.

Now He must dare, with us, to make a choice.

2 Comments

Filed under christianity, Meditation, Poems

Baptism

Let there be light as water spills

Around His head like quickening rain.

The Voice that made the world reveals

The One Who makes it new again.

2 Comments

Filed under christianity, Meditation