Friday, 28 September 2012

This Jericho Road

(click for link to soundcloud)

I actually wrote this in the mid-1980's, during the depths of Thatcherism, when I was an angry young man. Now I'm cynical and jaded, and things are as bad - if not worse - now as they were then. It was originally based on the village where I lived in County Durham, which had been a pit community, but was struggling in the aftermath of the decline of the coal industry. Now there seems to be a deeper sense of desolation, not just in the old industrial heartlands, but right across the board. 

Welcome to the New Third World.

…And God sees this neighbourhood
the run-down houses, the dead-end streets
the doors need fixing, the weather’s been blowing in for weeks…
broken windows, plywood curtains
in the darkness a starving hound
howls for Joshua to blow his trumpet
and make these walls come tumbling down

…And God sees the factory
the girls all wishing the hours away
and Maurice in his convenience store
changing the years on the sell-by dates
and down at the bakery, Yvette’s packed her bags
she’s gone again –
‘think I’ll head for the library –
anything just to get out of this rain

The sun comes up and the sun goes down
another day slides away
so we take in our arms all the dreams we can hold
there’s no tomorrow – just another day after today
and a long walk down
this Jericho road

We’re just small people
small people leading dead small lives
we wake up in the morning,
we move around, then go to bed at night
and the time in-between – that’s the time we try to forget
we count every minute of every hour of every day
and at the end of it all, we’ve run out of time
that’s it, it’s over, there’s no time left

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