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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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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Track Name: Waving Like the Palm Trees
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
Track Name: She Walks Through the Rain
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
Track Name: My Heart's Eyes
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
Track Name: The Broken Parts
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
Track Name: Some Breaking, Some True
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
Track Name: The Stars Look Down on Horden
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

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