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Releasing The Sheep

by Latin Quarter

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1.
MANDELA’S GHOST (SKAITH & JONES) Saw Mandela’s ghost up on Table Mountain I was wondering what hurts him most, what hits him harder. Is it the ANC in their limos and palaces While the townships drown in violence and poverty? Promises broken. Saw Mandela’s ghost up on Table Mountain I was wondering what hurts him most, what hits him harder. Or does his gaze go long to the West Bank and Gaza Or the Nation State Law that brings apartheid to life again? Apartheid to life again. Saw Mandela’s ghost up on Table Mountain I was wondering what hurts him most, what hits him harder. Mandela’s ghost remembering the past Branded as a terrorist Mandela’s ghost how long’s it gonna last? We are led by fools and criminals. Saw Mandela’s ghost up on Table Mountain I was wondering what hurts him most, what hits him harder. Does he despair at London or cry for Washington Lies of war, a world in flames?
2.
Mersey Tales 04:36
MERSEY TALES (JEFFRIES / MACNEILL) Looking from Port Sunlight, where they make the soap Across the Mersey where they used to make rope 2000 miles of cable, morse code enabled The Great Eastern and stories told You’ll never walk alone You’ll never walk alone Many thousand miles from home You’ll never walk alone Staring out from Port Sunlight in the driving rain Across the Mersey where they used to make chains And the building of an empire on a workforce of slaves Monuments of trade For those that settled, those that remained. If the Mersey told the stories it sent to sea There’s more than just a flagpole outside Liverpool FC As the world sits down to the Premier league Looking back at Port Sunlight through sugar and cotton Across the Mersey, the Liver Bird forgotten See it in the photos, the faces, the whips Every three days the ships Leaving and arriving to ticker tape. You’ll never walk alone You’ll never walk alone Many thousand miles from home You’ll never walk alone We cannot walk alone
3.
EQUALITY NOT REVENGE SKAITH Stolen lives, maybe 12 million To the Americas transported But not all - 2 million overboard Sick or refusing orders Then the mills or the fields Do as you’re told or there’s a flogging 12 hours a day, except the Sabbath of course The master’s got to thanks his Lord An awesome woman in a righteous rage To those who say ‘move on , let’s just turn the page’ Imagine a different way that this could end. Oh thank God it’s for equality and not revenge. Can seem strange to talk of ‘white privilege’ When it’s just pay check to pay check. What you get always the minimum And that is all you’ll ever leave your children But never lynched as the good folk brought their kids to watch While a black kid walks to school through a howling mob Never had to get up and give up your seat And a cop would probably move if you said you couldn’t breathe. Song inspired by seeing this: ht tps://youtu.be/2aZHrJoT1jE
4.
ANOTHER DAY WITH YOU SKAITH, JEFFRIES & MACNEILL Clearing a desk, papers to one side “I’ll be five minutes more”, the oft-repeated lie Dragging up from the chair, to grab a case Attaching a smile, a going-home face Withholding a sigh, pulls the door to Wondering if it will be another day with you Car full of clothes, life’s discarded heap Where are the dreams of travel? Dreams of sleep The unspoken worry, the solitary shifts The regular callers and broken-down lifts Absence of affection, those moments as two If only they’d wanted another day with you Dishwasher done, washing on a line Cleared away breakfast, Gardner’s Question Time The kids are growing, the lawn needs mowing Another day with you Unanswered phone, uniform all dry Washing up alone, ironing piled high Kids’ll be going, never knowing Another day with you Sunday morning awake, alone A dog, a cat but one less person home No visitors call , not expecting the knock The music of ‘You and Me’ over a clock Loud stirring of tea, one sugar or two Whoever wanted another day with you?
5.
Nightschool 03:22
NIGHTSCHOOL SKAITH & JONES You settle the 7-year old down with a neighbour She’s as good as gold. Then you get caught on the step You always vote Labour won’t they ever be told? They’re holding you up you’ll miss night school Oh it is eerie to wander again The chalk dusted classroom especially when What you left them to get Gave out like an old loom unthreaded again You tug at the spool of this night school. The teacher’s enjoying his role The fount of all knowledge his eyes are like coal You’ve started to drift Get back to the college for your years of control Don’t be a qualified fool from this night school Sometimes you can’t help thinking You’re all treated like asses To be led and fed and buried by this idiot in glasses Who has made it very clear That he’s in charge of all the passes Even as he guides your footsteps By the light of his night classes What to do with this pecking inside? Let it take wing or leave it untied Or be caught in his snare Be snagged in his gold ring, it’s yours to decide The lessons are cruel in this night school
6.
GROWING MY SHADOW SKAITH/JEFFRIES/MACNEILL As I put on the lipstick on, I see your face Gathering behind me Determining my place Forming the focus for the day For my day As I shape my brows To a mild surprise A questioning arch Over dancing eyes I catch a corner, a hint of light A fractured display Growing my shadow, painted day after day Reflections from you Deflections from me Growing my shadow, painted day after day I’m growing my shadow A portrait, a frame As I add rose to my cheeks Colouring a ghost I see a tear streak Ribbons of words I cannot say As is my way Darkening lashes reflecting the light Blockaded in flashes, they flicker for flight Growing my shadow, painted day after day I’m growing my shadow A portrait, a frame I’m growing my shadow Face made for the day
7.
KEEPING MY HEAD SKAITH & JONES Your telephone is ringing, it’s playing you my song One that seemed so special way back when Now there’s a million on your playlist, just cents to sing along Manhattan’s gone for pretty beads again. Manhattan’s gone but the penny drops for people now and then. Oh oh oh oh I’m keeping my head right down Just look at me now, my eyes to the floor Oh oh oh oh I’m keeping my head right down Oh someone’s tied a wolf to the door. Here’s a crumb of comfort for the wretched of the earth Here’s the greatest story ever told It’s got the Jordon river and a virgin giving birth Wood and nails and pilgrim trails gone cold And a simple but so enterprising kiss that got him sold. The world we used to know is now a world of risk We watch the chaos from the safety of this disk But oh no oh no, the firewall’s paper thin Oh no oh no the government’s breaking in Oh no oh no we haven’t got a prayer Oh no oh no, they’re selling off this air we breathe.
8.
THAT’S WHY I TURNED MY BADGE IN SKAITH & JONES They had me watch for snipers when the president rolled in I booked a doctor’s letter and went back home again.. I watched him on the TV give the truth a little spin I hate to be misled and that is why… I turned my badge in. That’s why I turned my badge in That’s why I quit the team I’m tired of catching flak all day For someone else’s dream. That’s why I turned my badge in That’s why I quit the force Policing farmers’ picket lines And Rodney King of course They handed me an M16 I left behind my kin Half the men who came back home are shooting heroin I’d rather make my peace back then with Uncle Ho Chi Minh I hate to be mis-lead that’s why… I can hear my father saying don’t go leading with your chin Between Uncle Sam and chaos there’s a little star of tin And too many wooden nickels can drive out the genuine You see I hate to be misled that’s why… And black lives matter of course.
9.
THE BEVIN BOYS STEVE JONES - NO RELATION. December 1943 The first ballot was drawn With the optants and the volunteers The Bevin Boys were born. You got £3 10 shillings Plus 25 for your rent Gotta buy your own pick and shovel Now that your days are spent As a Bevin Boy The Bevin Boys. Miles away in Europe Or a mile underground Soldier or miner You longed to be homeward bound Descending in that cage Risking your life everyday Say hello to the pit pony Unlike him at least you get out At the end of every day As a Bevin Boy The Bevin Boys Known as the underground army 48,000 strong But if you think they were treated like heroes Let me tell you, You’d be wrong. Called up- sent down To risk your life underground The war for you it ended late They wouldn’t let you out till 1948 No recognition for 50 years Let’s hear it for the Bevin Boys We owe so much to the Bevin Boys
10.
YOUR LAST SHOW SKAITH & JONES He drank a whisky once with Dickie Henderson One night in Blackpool was a long time ago He sat and laughed for maybe 15 minutes And Dickie told him then You’re only as good as your last show He spent his Christmases in shaky theatres Him shaking agents ‘you can’t kid this old pro’ As Ebenezar or an ugly sister And scrawled on his mirror was You’re only as good as your last show Oh yes he is! Oh no he isn’t! Cos I saw him sweat it out on a hot afternoon For a bus queue in a broken city In his mid-Atlantic best he ran it through Oh no he didn’t! Oh you’re only as good as your last show Yes you are you know. He had an old black magic bummed from Billy Daniels And a vent-act voice he’d forgotten how to throw And ‘she had no hair, just…’ and yes, you guessed it With fingers crossed he’d say You’re only as good as your last show. Oh yes he is! Oh no he isn’t! I saw him sweat it out on a hot afternoon For a bus queue in a broken city In his mid-Atlantic best he ran it through Oh no he didn’t! Oh we took what we wanted and we left him to go back to ‘Have you seen my Brando’ Back to a very old tuxedo Back to him calling bingo Oh you’re only as good as your last show (I think he’s right you know.)
11.
MAGA: A VERY STABLE GENIUS SKAITH/CAREWE How many lies, how many bribes Will make America great again? How many pay-offs for affairs with adult movie stars Will make America great again? Hey, is it too late to make America great again? Hey, we can’t wait to make America great How many photo shoots with the Bible upside down Will make America great again? How many proud boys you going to tell ‘stand by’ To make America great again? How many times you gonna say this virus will just disappear To make America great again? How many hundred thousand deaths add up yo ‘just a shame’ To make America great again? How many years you gonna lie about your tax return To make America great again? How far must Lindsey’s tongue go to where the sun don’t shine To make America great? ht tps://youtu.be/wz1d72IeYWQ
12.
RELEASING THE SHEEP SKAITH & MACNEILL Earned it I have this time to rest Not all perfect but I damned did my best Maybe the idea of Eden set me up to fail And the ark and the animals - For some it was just too tall a tale. I’m checking out now, handing over the reins It’s over to you, I won’t be back again. Open the stockades, I’m releasing the sheep Time for you to wake up, me I’m going to sleep You called out my name and passed round a plate Not my idea to put church into state Parting the seas was even easier to do Than watching you fail To share the land between your neighbours and you. I’ll be resting now, a crossword in my head I’ll close my ears to the shouting, I’ll just turn over in bed. Open the stockades, I’m releasing the sheep Time for you all to wake up, cos me I’m going to sleep It was the meek to inherit the earth But it seems that honour has fallen to the thieves Open the stockades, I’m releasing the sheep. My intention was love but it seems you misread Making up lies, for slaughter instead Now my bags are unpacked I’m settling in Can’t hear no church bells, Barechu or Adhan I’m turning over but not new leaf or cheek I’m resting for good I’m resting for good, releasing the sheep.
13.
KING & CASTLE JEFFRIES/CAREWE/MACNEILL I may not be a king but you can be my castle We’ll hold hands, now and forever after I’ll read your letters and you can read mine And we’ll live again the words that time left behind As our letters shaped a love as long as the Rhein I may not be a king but you can be my castle December 65 at Johannesburg station The seed of a love in an alien nation, From South West Africa with a country to see Where Siggi and Inge, and Lielo made three. The week’s trip was over and on to Cape Town Inge left with her mother, Siggi missed her around So letters were sent, from Jo’burg to a nurse Love lain dormant, growing through words After two years of writing, of breweries and clarinet Siggi returned to the woman he met A year later they married and then came two sons (pause) The last signature written, as the letters were done. And 50 years later, they hold hands in bed Reliving the lines that they heard in their head with a voice that’s familiar, heard every day King and Castle together holding words that say “Sie ist meine Burg” (For a certain MKF with thanks.)

credits

released October 29, 2021

STEVE SKAITH guitar and vocals
MARY CAREWE vocals and backing vocals
STEVE JEFFRIES keyboards, programming and backing vocals
MARTIN DITCHAM drums and percussion
YO YO BUYS bass

Additional vocals on:
“Mersey Tales” and “Last Show”
GRAHAM BICKLEY / HELEN KEMP / LIZ GALLIVAN / ROY VALENTINE
“Equality Not Revenge”
BEVERLEY SKEETE / MAE MCKENNA


Extra Musicians:
SIMON SMALL electric guitar
JEFF MATTHEWS extra bass on “Mersey Tales”

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered
by Steve Jeffries at Riddlesound studios
Drums recorded by Assis Figueiredo at Estúdio Apce, Belém, Brazil
and Filipe Gomes, at Arco Barco studios, Ramsgate

Artwork by Neomania Design
Composing based on iStockphotos by Wojtek Przytula [cover] & Jaroslav Frank [backcover].

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Latin Quarter UK

Latin Quarter first burst onto the scene with their singles "Radio Africa" and "New Millionaires" – songs that stayed for months in the German single charts in the 80s. The band split up in 1998. In 2011 five of the original musicians got together again. Unlike other bands they didn’t rely on previous fame but released two albums with new songs - 'Ocean Head' and 'Tilt'. ... more

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