No Redemption Songs

by Ribbon Road

supported by
MR PAUL S ROBERTS
MR PAUL S ROBERTS thumbnail
MR PAUL S ROBERTS Just listened to Mike Harding's better than excellent folk music podcast #86. One song Ribbon Road's "No Redemption" all about the miners strike in the UK. I am not ashamed to say that it brought me to tears. My father in law was a miner, a lovely honourable gentleman who went down the pit at the age of 16 with the pit ponies. My sweet mother in law, who kept her miner's house like a palace. Favorite track: Poor Jossie.
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  • DVD + Digital Album

    DVD with a film of Keith Pattison's black and white photographs of the 1984/5 Miner's Strike in Easington with original songs by Brenda Heslop, performed by Ribbon Road

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  • Digipack CD of 'No Redemption Songs' and DVD with a film of Keith Pattison's black and white photographs of the 1984/5 Miner's Strike in Easington with original songs by Brenda Heslop, performed by Ribbon Road.

    Includes unlimited streaming of No Redemption Songs via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

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about

After 30 years, the events of 1984/5 are now a matter of history, I suppose, but history is a funny thing, so much of it comes from accounts written and massaged by the hierarchy of the day, filtered and changed to suit their agenda. This makes history as written and remembered by the ordinary people through songs, poems, stories and dances a vital resource.

These songs and the photographs that accompany them tell a little bit about happenings during those years in the coalfields of Britain, seen from the point of view of the working people of Easington in Co Durham, They are written and performed in the hope that these events, what led up to them and what resulted from them won’t be forgotten, for the echoes still sound very loudly in the present day.

This is the story of a Prime Minister and her government who planned and plotted against one of the main industries in our country for a period of at least 5 years. The attack was mounted against what she called ‘the enemy within’ - the working people of Britain and the union that legally represented them - not for economic or social reasons, but in order to get rid of a large body of strong opposition to their future policy plans.

credits

released August 23, 2014

Brenda Heslop - Vocals, guitar
Jill Heslop - Vocals, piano, accordion
Geoff Heslop - Vocals, instruments

with
Anna Heslop - Vocals on ‘Dad and Me’ and ‘Be Good To Each Other’
Ian ‘Walter’ Fairbairn - Electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin
Stu Luckley - Acoustic Bass
Added Vocals by ‘The No Redemption Singers’ - Ingrid Temple,
Di Henderson and Ragged Glory (George Archibald, Charlie Milne, May and Jim Weatherston)

Spoken words by Di Henderson and Jez Lowe
Sound Pieces by Martin Heslop
All Songs by Brenda Heslop and published by Ribbon Road Music
All Rights Reserved
All photos copyright Keith Pattison, used with the kind permission
Arranged and Produced by Geoff Heslop
Recorded at Shipyard Studios, Northumberland
Ingrid’s vocals recorded by Barrie Temple at Shoebox Studios,
Newcastle
Mastered by Steve Cunningham at Boomchang Records, Newcastle
Spoken words based on interviews recorded by David Peace
Sleeve Design by Geoff Heslop

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about

Ribbon Road UK

Ribbon Road are:

Brenda Heslop
Jill Heslop
Geoff Heslop

For the last 20 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.
... more

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Track Name: Letting Love is Hard
LETTING LOVE IS HARD

It seems like yesterday
I can feel the place around me
I keep putting it away
But the memories have found me
Some were good and some were bad
Whatever it was it breaks your heart
Faces shift like moons adrift
Letting love is hard

It’s just like yesterday
Looking in and not belonging
Where they just throw life away
Not caring where it lands
And I still feel the lonely cold
The longing for a hand to hold
Where every touch is bought and sold
Letting love is hard

Chorus
Letting love, letting love
Be a friend to you
Letting love, come again
Letting love come through

It seems like yesterday
When a shilling was a fortune
And a smile was more than cash
You could count upon a friend
But friends are few, some let you down
Twenty-five pence for half a crown
And bankers run this country now
Letting love is hard

It seems like yesterday
I can feel your arms around me
The wind would slow and still
I sheltered from the world
And all the feelings tumbling out
We never spoke our hearts would shout
We cannot live and never doubt
That letting love is hard

Chorus
Letting love, letting love
Be a friend to you
Letting love come again
Letting love come through

It seems like yesterday
And it’s just like the beginning
When I was young and daft
And all the world was singing
I know it won’t be the same
Cos trust was lost and lost again
Don’t know if I can stand the pain
Letting love is hard

It feels like yesterday
With the sun upon me shoulders
I keep putting it away
Cos the clouds are coming down
But I can’t hide or stay apart
From tears and smiles and broken hearts
But where to land and where to start
Letting love is hard

Letting love, letting love
Be a friend to you
Letting love come again
Letting love come through
Track Name: Poor Jossie
POOR JOSSIE

They’re taking him away
Made a criminal today
Doesn’t matter what I say they hate us
They’ll put him in a cell
They don’t care that he’s not well
‘Cos they wish us all to hell they want to break us

Look - I can see him in the van
I’ll be lost without me man

They’re pulling at his arms
They want to do him harm
Don’t they know he has a heart that doesn’t hold him
His lungs are full of dust
He retired ‘cos he must
They’re the ones who broke the trust it’s on their shoulders

Look - I can see him in the van
I’ll be lost without me man

Chorus
There’s no mercy on this pit street
They won’t let him go
And we’re all shouting off Alma pit street
Screaming let him go

See that look upon his face
It’s out of hand and out of place
Don’t steal the days that still belong to me
They haven’t got a clue
What people like us do
I’m telling it to you
‘Cos they just won’t let us through
Stuck together with the strongest glue
I can see him in the van
I’ll be lost without me man

Chorus
There’s no mercy on this pit street
They won’t let him go
And we’re all shouting off Alma pit street
Screaming let him go

So I’m standing in the yard
And I know he’s fallen hard
And I’m leaning on the gate
Where he knows that I will wait for him to come

(There’s no mercy on this pit street
And we’re all shouting, screaming let him go)
Track Name: Fly the Banner High
FLY THE BANNER HIGH

Look up and be the future
Of a crying generation
Look up and be the light that shines
On our humiliation
And be a mother to our children
Be a father to our hearts
Look up and smile to bring us cheer
Don’t drown in foreign parts

And when the sun sets past the school
The windows lost to shadow
Don’t pretend that we’re all fools
Who went gladly to the gallows
Memorise these pictures well
Be the memory of our hell
Look up, don’t ever let us die
And fly the banner high

Chorus
There’s no redemption yours or mine
No going back, just marking time
For they have left us here to die
So fly the banner high

Two thousand uniforms brought in
Two thousand fists to break us
Two thousand reasons to begin
To hate a world that hates us
Black as coal, our good and true
Black as blood when it soaked through
Cold and hunger took us
And the banner from the sky

Empty as the wasteland grass
Broken bottles as you pass
Stand alone and never ask
A favour from their hand
See the shutters all pulled down
See the blighted village now
Look up and let this story speak
In strength and dignity

Chorus
There’s no redemption yours or mine
No going back, just marking time
For they have left us here to die
So fly the banner high
Track Name: Running Wide
RUNNING WIDE

It’s the fear that gets you running wide
It gets you every time
It gets you speaking out of turn
And dancing out of line
It’s the fear that gets you by the neck
It beats your heart and squeezes breath
And then you know you cannot win
You’ll not be heard above the din

Chorus
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me father left the mine
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me mother sitting crying
The rent’s to pay, then and today

It’s the fear that gets you, you never rest
You stay awake and try your best
But when it’s coming to the test
You know that you’re to blame
They come and live where we belong
They come and tell us we were wrong
To help each other get along
Without a fuss, when we were strong

Chorus
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me father left the farm
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me mother on his arm
The rent’s to pay, then and today

It’s the fear that gets you, breaks your heart
You never really get a start
For waiting for the screws to twist
And bring you down again
They say we’re part of history now
That we don’t count, we’re not allowed
Upon the grass to pick the flowers
For the privileged and proud
The northern accent’s far too loud

Chorus
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me father left the yard
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me mother took it hard
The rent’s to pay, then and today

It’s the fear that gets you, makes you daft
They say we’re shy of work and graft
They’ll never know the hope that died
At sixteen leaving school wide-eyed
They take the bedrooms we lived in
They’re making homelessness a sin
In cardboard boxes for the bin
For hoody youngsters to begin
To duck and dive, its getting thin

Chorus
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me father took the dole
Nothing’s changed since the day
Me mother leaving home
The rent’s to pay, then and today
They’ve gone away, we’re here to stay

It’s the fear that gets you
Track Name: Coal in the Sea
COAL IN THE SEA

Coal in the sea, that’s all we can be
Waves pushing over wor heads
Just bits of black in the gold and the slack
Putting the baby to bed
Put the baby to bed now
It’s all in your head now
Put the baby to sleep

Coal in the sea, edges made soft
From rolling and rattling around
Washed by the tide that breaks a man’s pride
Lost with no ear to the ground
Hush, don’t make a sound now
It’s all in the ground now
It’s all in the ground

Coal in the sea is no friend to me
Bringing it back to the edge
Butter and jam or tinned meat for tea
That’s if we have any bread
If we have any bread now
Not already dead now
If we have any bread

Coal in the sea, lying for free
Left to the mermaids and stones
Nobody knows what people will see
Nobody knows the way home
Don’t know the way home now
We’re left on wor own now
Don’t know the way home

Coal in the sea now it’s all we can be
In summer it sticks in your toes
When your paddling and laughing
And letting it go for the kids
Put the baby to bed
Put the baby to bed now
It’s already said now
Put the baby to sleep

Put the baby to bed now
It’s already said now
Put the baby to sleep
Put the baby to sleep

We’re just coal in the sea
Track Name: Dad and Me
DAD AND ME

I hear the voices singing in the sea
All the young lads are daring to be free
Everyone on holiday everybody’s Dad at home

I hear the voices clear as a bell
Out in the sunshine, laughing at worselves
Who would deny the kids a day like this

Clear as the sea, near as can be
The pit lies still, there’s flowers on the hillside
We all hold wor breath, we’re that close to death
Waves tickle Dad’s feet, there’s not much to eat

Chorus
Sometimes it’s good to be free from the tether
Sometimes it’s good to breathe air and feel weather
Clear as the sea, near as can be, Dad and me

Out for the day, out of the way
Just for a while, some even smiling
And everyone shares, everyone caring
We all get a piece, we can all take a seat

Chorus
Sometimes it’s good to be free from the tether
Sometimes it’s good to breathe air and feel weather
Out for the day, out of the way, Dad and me

Sit by the sea, fishing with me
Dad sets the rods, then he takes a nod
Stretched in the sun, oh we had some fun
Mam loves fish for tea and a big kiss from me

Chorus
Sometimes it’s good to be free from the tether
Sometimes it’s good to breathe air and feel weather
Sit by the sea, fishing for tea, Dad and me

Out on the beach, playing for hours
Swinging and laughing in boats without stopping
Mam in the waves with her skirts up and squeaking
Everyone jumping and Mam and Dad speaking

Chorus
Sometimes it’s good to be free from the tether
Sometimes it’s good to breathe air and feel weather
Out on the beach, playing out, Mam, Dad and me

Chorus
Sometimes it’s good to be free from the tether
Sometimes it’s good to breathe air and feel weather
Clear as the sea, near as can be, Dad and me
Track Name: What Are We Gonna Do
WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO

What are we gonna do
The countryside is through
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do when the weather closes in
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
The council house is dead
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do without a roof over wor heads
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
What are we gonna do
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
The living wage is gone
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do now the dirty deed is done
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
There’s no future for wor kids
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do now none of us exist
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
What are we gonna do
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
The silence rings us wrong
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do now they’ve watered down wor songs
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
They take the work out of wor hands
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do no-one sees nor understands
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
What are we gonna do
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
Politicians eat the cream
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do now they’re living in their dreams
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
The doors on us are shut
What are we gonna do today
What are we gonna do now every line is cut
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away

What are we gonna do
What are we gonna do
And tomorrow takes the life we lived away
Track Name: A Tenner and a Turkey
A TENNER AND A TURKEY

It’s jingle bells and cockle shells
Hanging on the tree
Christmas comes from Russia with love
And friends from Germany
The North East beer is still the best
And the sherry’s sweet from Spain
And we all live on Quality Street
And snap’s me favourite game

There’s holly up and mistletoe
Waiting for a kiss
The bashful lads are hanging back
‘Cos the lipstick lasses are laughing in the corner
Toys from France for the boys and girls
Giving up some joy
The silver bells are ringing out
To make some Christmas noise

Angels come from every realm
Glory shines around
From every face of every friend
That keeps us up from falling down
A tenner and a turkey doesn’t go far
But we’ll all make a wish
And come New Year we’ll start again
With pate on a silver dish and champagne

New Year’s Eve and us on film
Stephan got a shock
Everybody going into everybody’s house
Then everybody coming back
We drank to his health and his health again
Doors all open wide
Trays and trays of sandwiches and cakes
From Myrtle with her New Year smile

So it’s jingle bells and cockle shells
Kindness is for free
Christmas comes but once a year
And that’s enough for me
We all go daft in wor paper hats
And there’s the victory V
The men do the dishes
‘cos the food was so delicious
And the lads are red with bliss
‘cos the lasses got a kiss
So have another drink on me
Track Name: Last Paying Day
LAST PAYING DAY

There’s a place inside where the mists roll down
where wrong isn’t right and a smile’s not a frown
it’s broken up and it’s all in bits
where the square hole isn’t where the round bit fits

And I’ve never been a one who doesn’t work hard
I’ve never been one to take it that far

But to do this to an innocent mind
is a shock to the system
and a blast to the blind
anything can happen if this is true
nothing’s gonna save us if this falls through

And I’ve never been a one not to work all day
I’ve never been one to turn away

But if it’s all they can offer, if it’s all they can do
I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen it through
all these men sitting in this room
it cuts like a knife through the morning gloom

There’s a place inside where the whistle blows
I get up in the morning ‘cos the cock still crows
I see to me pigeons and I see to the dog
but the kids are gone and the fishing rod

And I’ve never been a one for idle hands
I’ve never lived off of any other man
but if this is the deal, if this is the way
then I’ve seen my last paying day

There’s a place inside where everybody goes
where nobody cries, but they all know
what it is to be bullied, to be driven apart
it’s a place they used to call your heart

And I’ve never been a one not to give a hand
I’ve never been one not to understand

But we’re all sitting here black and blue
without any choice of what to do
they hold up their guns and we reach for the sky
everybody knows it’s do or die

And I’ve never been a one not to keep my word
I’ve never been one to make myself heard
but if this is the deal, if this is the way
then I’ve seen my last paying day
but if this is the deal, if this is the way
then I’ve seen my last paying day
Track Name: Don't Give up on Me / Be Good to Each Other
DON'T GIVE UP ON ME / BE GOOD TO EACH OTHER

Just like sisters and brothers
We fought for each other
Mothers and fathers and lovers the same
And who could have told us
The way the wheels turn
Broken forever with memories to burn
Broken forever with memories to burn

Don’t give up on me
I’ve walked along the street with them behind me
I know that you can see
We’re maybe not that smart but we are kindly
Tell them what we’ve all been through
Tell them that wor sky is never blue
Don’t give up on me
Cos you have eyes to see

Don’t give up on us
They block the way and break the ever-lasting trust
They’ve spread us far and wide
So no-one hears the cry
Or has a laugh or sees a smile
Tell them all that we’re still living
Tell them of the Christmas giving in ‘84
Don’t give up on us
Don’t forget the war

Don’t give up on me
You have to hold your ground and stand up counted
And when the hunger bites
It’s then you have to fight and you’ll get clouted
Tell them never mind the pain
Tell them every day for us it rains
Don’t give up on me
It’s all that I can be

Don’t give up on us
The bobbies on the beat will never be a friend
It’s just below the surface
The animal that hurt us, it’s all just pretend
The money in their pockets
The doors are shut and locked
They’ve thrown away the key
Don’t give up on us
Don’t give up on me

Don’t give up on me
Sometimes I hold my head into my hands
We all need a friend
There were times I couldn’t see an end
Tell them we were not alone
Tell them every hunter has a home
Don’t give up on me
Nothing comes for free
Don’t give up on us
Don’t give up on me

Be good to each other
All sisters and brothers
Wipe away tears from the faces you love
And keep yourselves going
In the cruel wind that’s blowing
I think we have suffered enough
Yes, I think we have suffered enough