Giving Up the Ghosts

by Ribbon Road

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    A 25 minute piece based on work into social haunting
    Songs by Brenda Heslop, Films by Carl Joyce, performed by Ribbon Road

    This song/image piece has been produced as part of a research project called ‘Song Lines to Impact and Legacy: Creating Living Knowledge through Working with Social Haunting’ - made possible by Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities funding. The project has been led by Dr Geoff Bright of the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, and co-produced by a team of artists, academics and community partners including Unite Community and the Co-operative College. Working in community Ghost Labs in Staffordshire and across the north of England, it has used the idea of a ‘social haunting’ and a range of arts methods to inquire into how difficult feelings, carried into community life from contested pasts, can be harnessed as energies for benevolent and productive change.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Giving Up the Ghosts via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
WAVING LIKE THE PALM TREES Bb Waving like the palm trees back home F I’m waving to the distance I know F7 I’m lonely for my family Bb I’m lonely ‘cos there’s only me Bb F F7 The days are long and the nights are slow Outside on the edges I hold on I’m not allowed to work or to belong The things I say are thrown away And this is not a holiday The sun won’t shine, I’m only half alive Chorus Eb And if I close my eyes and dream Bb Then peace would come and I’d be free F7 My neighbour would still talk to me Eb F Bb And I would live in harmony with you I live within my means in Stoke on Trent The roof above my head was heaven sent When I become a refugee They’ll take it all, look down on me I long for home and how it used to be I take the bus to Burslem and I smile To be with friends around me for a while Where kindness chases fear away And love can light the darkest day A jubilee is waiting there for me Chorus And if I close my eyes and dream Then peace would come and I’d be free My neighbour would still talk to me And I would live in harmony with you I put away my broken heart – I try I turn away from hurting days – I don’t cry I search to find the better times I look for hope to make it mine I want to live, I’ve got a lot to give Shining like the brighter sun back home Climbing up as high as I can go Sometimes I fall before I start But that’s the way with broken hearts Across the sea, will they remember me Chorus And if I close my eyes and dream Then peace would come and I’d be free My neighbour would still talk to me And I would live in harmony with you X 2 Waving like the palm trees back home Rpt
2.
SHE WALKS THROUGH THE RAIN Intro - C Am7 Dm G 2 C She walks through the rain in Rochdale Am7 Like a queen in a foreign land Dm C With beautiful skin of caramel cream D G She’s taking her children’s hands C She’s calling this place her home town Am7 Her mother’s across the sea Dm C She keeps to him only, she’s married and lonely F G C She’s a lot like me She lives in the streets of Rochdale Sometimes you can see the hills In the rain they’re all shining like her silver lining She covers her head and the pain She moves with her friends through this town Like everyone has to do She tries for the future and fights the computer She’s a lot like you F C There’s the best fish and chip shop called Habi’s F C There are books and the radio plays F C It’s not easy, but she seems to manage D G She learns English and keeps to the faith Down by the canal in Rochdale Past the railway and under the trees She walks in the sun when the wok is all done ‘cos everyone needs to dream She’s longing for peace and plenty With argument far away That time couldn’t hold her She could cry on his shoulder It’s a brand new day C She walks through the rain in Rochdale
3.
MY HEART’S EYES My heart tells me, my cat helps me Stars are looking down Maybe someday, Friday, Sunday I’ll get there somehow Broken scattered on the ground Leaves like lives are turning brown Don’t look down See through my heart’s eyes Frightened, worried Confused, awake in the night Put down, lonely Hurt, humiliated Words go by me like the wind It’s whistling down the street Quiet with my pen I fly But I’ve no wings, just feet Someday I’ll unlock this door Somebody will ask for more An open door See through my heart’s eyes Fixed, tied Messed up, hiding inside Hoping, knowing Silent, staying alive I am young and I keep smiling Someday I’ll be me It’s on the tip of my tongue but I am shy And no-one seems to see Side by side just as you please On this shelf like chalk and cheese Smile for me See through my heart’s eyes My heart’s beating, my cat’s sleeping Stars are looking down Maybe sometime, Autumn, Springtime I’ll get there somehow I’ll get there somehow - It’s a sunny tomorrow - Tomorrow’s my day
4.
THE BROKEN PARTS There’s nothing left, I feel bereft They’ve put a fence along the railway Silence grows and God knows we need some peace But there’s no rest, grassed over left To pay the price and it’s not nice The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts There’s nothing here, I’ve cried me tears I lean against the harbour wall The waves come in It’s closing in, I see it all I say the words, it’s never heard I cannot make them understand The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts Chorus If I could have a moment longer What I’d give to see me Dad Or see me Mam where we belonged And touch the life we used to have When times were good When we were loved There’s nowt to start, her Dad was hard It’s set in stone and she’s come home Where she belongs Where she was wrong and trying hard She went away to get away There’s no escape from Seaham and pain The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts There’s nowt to see, just memories There’s tins and cups and Sunday tea And tags and lamps And gran looking after me There’s photographs, a marra’s laugh The better times are in the past The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts Chorus If I could have a moment longer What I’d give to see me Dad Or see me Mam where we belonged And touch the life we used to have When times were good When we were loved It’s all away, and it’s today Half a lifetime, yesterday The ground was shaking Coal was breaking at the seam And in the evening Sometimes light will catch me breath I’ll feel just right The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts The broken parts yer never see The broken hearts
5.
SOME BREAKING, SOME TRUE I’m watching, I hear I listen and see Big hearts are talking to me It’s a church, it’s a hall It’s a place for them all And I know it’s a good place to be They tell of the past And the growing, the years That settle on faces that care These women of life Take the dark and the light They empty me out when I’m there Chorus So roll out the barrel And bang on the drum There’s hope for tomorrow If today ever comes And I could cry now For the things they’ve been through Families like trees Some breaking, some true I know they don’t say it Some times have been hard They pass it off, laugh it away What use is a hard word When kindness will do And love will chase shadows away They don’t suffer gladly They don’t suffer fools They’re strong when they stand unafraid These women of living With spark in their eyes The strength to their arm And their days Chorus So roll out the barrel And bang on the drum There’s hope for tomorrow If today ever comes And I could cry now For the things they’ve been through Families like trees Some breaking, some true And I could cry now For the things they’ve been through Families like trees Some breaking, some true
6.
THE STARS LOOK DOWN ON HORDEN Things are bad now Things are sad now It brings a feeling over me I’ve been happy all me life here Now I live on memories Me daughter tells me I should leave But I’d be lost without me heart Me future’s here where pigeons feed And I’d be lost without me heart There’s a voice cries in the night I count the stars until it’s light They’re setting fires off in the yard But I can’t leave, it breaks me heart The streets of Horden lie so quiet Houses leaking in the rain And no-one mends them And no-one listens There’s no ending to the pain I ring the council again There’s been a fight at No 10 The police are at the door There’s trouble out there at 24 There are lights on still in Horden And I’m dreaming in the dark And the moon shines on the water Silver linings break me heart There’s a railway but no station Every day trains come and go Where the pit was there’s a wasteland To remind us who we are But I won’t tell you and I won’t say it We’ve breathed the dust and work was hard We had wor pride, I try to save it They broke wor backs, I hide me heart There’s a sunrise every morning Reaching down for you and me It’s a hard one in the morning Loving Horden by the sea

credits

released October 14, 2017

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Ribbon Road UK

Ribbon Road are:

Brenda Heslop
Jill Heslop
Geoff Heslop

For the last 26 years, Brenda Heslop has been one of the undiscovered talents of songwriting. Only now is she starting to get the attention she has so long deserved, with singers taking up her lovely songs and spreading the word.
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