Our Streets Are Numbered

by Ribbon Road

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  • DVD + Digital Album

    DVD with a film of Carl Joyce’s photographs taken in Horden Collery, 2015/16 with original songs by Brenda Heslop, performed by Ribbon Road

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  • Digipack CD of ‘Our Streets Are Numbered’ and DVD with a film of Carl Joyce’s photographs taken in Horden Collery, 2015/16 with original songs by Brenda Heslop, performed by Ribbon Road.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Our Streets Are Numbered via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Running strolling rocking rolling Bottles smashed and windows broken Boarded up just like a war zone Wasted like the Sons of Horden Bricks and mortar clash together A coal house in me mam’s back yard Empty now left to the weather Keep out of sight the night’s are hard 1 2 3 the streets are numbered 4 5 6 without a name 7 8 9 I hear the thunder Thirteen streets to take the blame Running strolling rocking rolling Bottles smashed and windows broken Boarded up just like a war zone Wasted like the Sons of Horden One time every door was open Children playing, pigeon’s floating Washing lines a good wind blowing The pit closed down, they all got going 1 2 3 our days are numbered 4 5 6 they have no shame 7 8 9 our lives are plundered Fourteenth street the last to take Running strolling rocking rolling Bottles smashed and windows broken Boarded up just like a war zone Wasted like the Sons of Horden Young and old, the lads of Horden Left to die or made to pay Broken-hearted streets of Horden Prisoners there or moved away 1 2 3 it’s all for sale 4 5 6 this bread is stale 7 8 9 and we can’t leave it Thirteen streets to be set free Running strolling rocking rolling Bottles smashed and windows broken Boarded up just like a war zone Wasted like the Sons of Horden
2.
Be there for me they told us tales as tall as trees Be there for me the breaking day is breaking me me rent is paid, me head is laid upon the block of damp and cold and numbered housing stock Be there for me for I am all alone and cold In hungry streets the rats all live on 9 days old And if at school they say that I’m a fool It’s just the price you pay for living poor Look out to sea I wish that I was out there free Far away from Horden’s prison colliery They said they’d mend and make the houses dry But politicians hate the miner’s cry Be there for me They say in accent loud and clear that money is to make And not for buying beer It’s not for us but just the chosen few They bite the given hand that much is true Be there for me I cannot feel the stars tonight That glimmer in the sky above the dimming light Me dreams are boarded up, the people’s hands are tied They will not let us live and love has died Be there for me The walls are going higher now They’re not for me to try And I can’t show you how The day has come and gone before we speak There is no mercy for the poor and weak Be there for me they tell us tales as tall as trees Be there for me the breaking day is breaking me me rent is paid, me head is down and I don’t sleep behind the blinds in Horden’s Numbered Streets
3.
Chorus Daddy for you Take it, it’s for you All the money in the box You and Mam can have the lot To make you smile for a while Like you used to do I miss you in the morning, waking us for school I miss your dirty duds about And you playing the fool I miss me Mam singing, brushing out her hair I miss us all laughing When you catch her unawares Chorus Daddy for you Take it, it’s for you All the money in the box You and Mam can have the lot To make you smile for a while Like you used to do I miss you being at work, feeling safe and sound Knowing you’ll be coming back That you’re just underground I miss the sun that shines on me out through your eyes It’s dull and grey on strike today And sometimes Mam just cries Chorus Daddy for you Take it, it’s for you All the money in the box You and Mam can have the lot To make you smile for a while Like you used to do I miss the life we had before it all went wrong I even miss the washing day With the tumble drier on Me uncle comes around to help us all get by But when he cannot cheer us up A tear runs in his eye Chorus Daddy for you Take it, it’s for you All the money in the box You and Mam can have the lot To make you smile for a while Like you used to do Daddy for you Take it, it’s for you All the money in the box You and Mam can have the lot To make you smile for a while Like you used to do To make you smile for a while Like you used to do
4.
When you haven’t got much, you’ve good days and bad days When you haven’t got much to make the sun shine Well, we’re not asking much for wor good days and bad days We just need enough to get by And if I had money I’d fill up me fridge And I’d buy us a bottle of wine And just for a minute I’d put up me feet And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye When you haven’t got much, you’re worried and trying When you haven’t got much, you’ve to watch the kids cry You can’t go to the vets with your pets that are dying And you haven’t the heart to lie And if I had money, I’d give them it all To see them all happy and not let them fall I’d look into the mirror to see meself smile And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye When you haven’t got much, your T-shirts are shabby When you haven’t got much, you lose all your pride And you can’t pay your bills, the electric or telly It’s a red letter day all the time And if I had money I’d buy us new clothes I’d have Sky Sports and Netflix, yes I’d have all those I’d switch on the heating and leave the door open And kiss all me troubles goodbye And kiss all me troubles goodbye When you haven’t got much, you’re alone and you’re frightened When you haven’t got much, you’ve not many friends When you’ve sold all your jewellery to buy the potatoes Your memory of love’s at an end And if I had money I’d sleep for a week And nobody nowhere could hurt us or speak I’d buy back wor memories and your wedding ring And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye And if I had money, I’d hold up me head And if I had money we’d all be well fed And if I had money the kids wouldn’t cry And I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye I’d kiss all me troubles goodbye
5.
There’s more to life than meets the eye There’s more today to make you cry And I have seen the lads in torment I have watched the lights go out And people need a life to live And people need a place to live And people need a helping hand A place where they can go Chorus And me arms are covered in love and death And a map that’s right across me chest And I thank god for all that’s left Me tattoo studio There’s more to life than hurt and pride There’s more to life where I have died And I have seen the families break It’s more than any man can take I draw the pictures on the skin To say the stuff that’s kept within When all wor hearts are caving in We need a place to go Chorus And me arms are covered in love and death And a map that’s right across me chest And I thank god for all that’s left Me tattoo studio There’s more to life than food to eat There’s more than feeling just dead beat And I see all the faces grey With worry hollowed from the day They come to me for mercy’s sake It’s a party then it’s a funeral wake We never know which road we’ll take But it’s just the place to go What’s under the skin is kept inside What’s under the skin is real and live And we can draw the dark and light And give it some expression Chorus And me arms are covered in love and death And a map that’s right across me chest And I thank god for all that’s left Me tattoo studio And me arms are covered in love and death And a map that’s right across me chest And I thank god for all that’s left Me tattoo studio
6.
When you’re hurting and it’s hard And you need somewhere to be And your friends are in the yard But they just don’t seem to see When you have to go to school But there’s trouble left at home There’s no-one you can talk to There’s no money on your phone Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be When you’re happy and forget Just children playing in the sun It can do that for you sometimes Teasing teachers just for fun When you’re tired, shadows fall And you wish you could let go And be like all the others But you never let it show Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be When you’re wandering home from school And you’re dreaming of the day When people wouldn’t argue And throw their lives away And wishes could be changes You wouldn’t need to ask Not burning up with shame ‘Cos the windows would be glass Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be When there’s noises in the night From the empty house next door Then someone’s in a fight And you’re hiding on the floor It’s confusing in the day As you think about the night You can’t be in the wrong But you never get it right Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can find Understanding of the passing Where you won’t be left behind It’s a place where you can wrestle With the questions and the answers In quiet, you can settle All the monsters of your mind Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be Chorus There’s a place beyond the classroom Somewhere safe where you can see Understanding of the passing Just a place where you can be
7.
The Ghost 03:11
Chorus There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock There’s a ghost knocking at me door And I wish he was passing by There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he says get up and try There’s a ghost knocking at me door And it makes me cry He’s always there behind the mirror He’s always there and I can’t keep him in Sometimes I’m free then he’s there getting bigger Oh this life I’m living in He’s on me shoulder in the street He thinks that I can’t hear his feet Shouting threats to bring me down Oh my God, this mining town Chorus There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock There’s a ghost knocking at me door And I wish he was passing by There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he says get up and try There’s a ghost knocking at me door And it makes me cry He’s on the buses sweeping past With a blacklegs cover and a blacklegs mask And then it’s now all in a flash Oh me heart must break at last He’s in the kitchen, the cupboards bare He stands in the Welfare Hall and stares I’ve had me tea but he doesn’t care Oh my God I’m running scared Chorus There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock There’s a ghost knocking at me door And I wish he was passing by There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he says get up and try There’s a ghost knocking at me door And it makes me cry He’s always coming through the walls The picket lines and police cat-calls The kicks and cracks at our expense Oh leave me alone to rest He’s in the school yard with the kids Poor little souls with shoes that skid Cold at nights and hungry days Oh save us from Tory ways Chorus There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he’s asking – knock, knock, knock There’s a ghost knocking at me door And I wish he was passing by There’s a ghost knocking at me door And he says get up and try There’s a ghost knocking at me door And it makes me cry There’s a ghost knocking at me door And it makes me cry
8.
Here they come again Dirty politicians Cannot wash it off their hands Cannot get it dead and buried Picking at the bones Stealing all our money When they think nobody’s home Don’t they love the easy pickings Here they come again Houses empty shuttered up Just like the Accent men They know when their bread is buttered They weren’t born to care Never tried or shared their winnings Never stayed around just legged it Don’t they love the easy pickings Chorus Watch these trees that keep on bending Shifting sand, it’s never ending Here they come again With their private educators Horrid bully yes-men With their canes and caps and blazers Breaking all the rules Stealing all the public land Driving on till we’re all sickened Don’t they love the easy pickings Here they come again Telling us we’re scroungers, wasters Heartless to the end Slap their sanctions on and hate us They don’t want to know Driving us below the footfall Don’t they love their easy pickings They don’t even know their football Chorus Watch these trees that keep on bending Shifting sand, it’s never ending Here they come again They won’t keep us safe at nights Neglected on the edge They don’t know their wrong from right They’ve left us here for dead They just look the other way Cut us up and close us down Don’t they love the easy pickings Here they come again There’s nothing good around the corner They don’t feel the pain They refuse us law and order Stretching the divide Opening up a can of worms Dumb us down with all their lying Don’t they love the easy pickings Chorus Watch these trees that keep on bending Shifting sand, it’s never ending Watch these trees that keep on bending Shifting sand, it’s never ending Here they come again
9.
There’s a girl in the Numbered Streets Out there with nothing on her feet And her Mam doesn’t know she’s missing ‘Cos her Mam wasn’t really listening And her sister’s looking for her now She’s the one who shows her how Well, we’ve all got troubles of wor own And I’ve heard they’re both safe home Chorus When times are tough A little’s got to be enough When love is thin You’ve gotta live the life you’re in There’s a woman on the Numbered Streets And she hasn’t got much to live on And her chair’s out in the yard Well, they’ve seen more times than hard There’s a man in a second-hand shop Who says twenty-five pounds for the lot It’s a lovely three-piece suite She’s gonna pay me back next week Chorus When times are tough A little’s got to be enough When love is thin You’ve gotta live the life you’re in There’s a boy in the Numbered Streets And he hasn’t got much to eat He’d like a saveloy dip from Peterlee He’d like something good from somebody He plays poker in an empty house Playing cards with his teenage friends And he wished he was in Las Vegas With money not copper pipe ends Chorus When times are tough A little’s got to be enough When love is thin You’ve gotta live the life you’re in There’s a man in the Numbered Streets And he used to work down the pit Then he worked in the Welfare Park And he loved not living in the dark He spends time on his allotment And he’s happy with his lot in life But nobody lives next door And it’s hard living in a war Chorus When times are tough A little’s got to be enough When love is thin You’ve gotta live the life you’re in When times are hard You never get a winning card And when you try It’s love that’ll make you cry
10.
Someone was kind to me I felt different, I felt free Someone looked to me And saw that I was frightened Someone listened to me I felt something shift inside Someone heard the words And knew that I was crying Chorus It makes all the difference In a world so cold We could make a difference For others I’ve been told Someone talked to me I stopped running, I stepped down Someone understood And saw that I was losing Someone touched me arm Ah was broken, I felt warm Someone spoke my name And knew that I was lonely Chorus It makes all the difference In a world so cold We could make a difference For others I’ve been told Someone came along Felt better, I felt strong Someone walked with me And saw that I was tired Someone’s loving me I feel different, I feel free Someone cares for me And now I’m not so frightened Chorus It makes all the difference In a world so cold We could make a difference For others I’ve been told Chorus It makes all the difference In a world so cruel We could make a difference For others, me and you

about

When Horden pit closed in 1987, the houses were passed on to a Housing Association who, despite many promises over the years, have not seen fit to invest in keeping the properties in a good state of repair. Most of the houses are now empty, many of them vandalised – plumbing and electrics stolen. The few owner/occupiers are surrounded by empty houses and many social problems, issues of alcoholism, drugs and anti-social behaviour. People talk of how friendly and clean the streets used to be. The Housing Association are now selling off the properties at auction, with no interest in who it is that buys them, resulting in further feelings of insecurity about the future.

In this ex-mining area it is easy to see the results of lack of investment coupled with the government housing policies over the years. They are called The Numbered Streets because they have no names, just numbered from 1 - 13, 14th Street is the cemetery.

‘Our Streets Are Numbered’ is the result of our Leverhulme Artist In Residence post in Durham University Geography Dept. in 2016.

Thanks to everyone in Horden, Co. Durham and Durham University Geography Dept. for all the help they gave us during this project. In particular Pat and John Barnett, Maureen and Billy Leek, Paul Stradling, Edna Connor, Jean Spence, Eddie Hardiman and family, Ian Blevins, Jane and the staff of the Heritage Centre, all at Horden Youth and Community Centre and at Cotsford Junior School, and to Terry for the story of ‘Daddy For You’. A special thanks must go to Rachel Pain who shepherded us through the choppy waters of academia with such a kind and gentle hand, and to Carl Joyce, our eyes and ears of Horden.

credits

released September 11, 2016

Brenda Heslop – Vocals
Jill Heslop – Vocals, piano, accordion
Geoff Heslop – Vocals, instruments

Arranged and Produced by Geoff Heslop
Recorded at Shipyard Studios, Northumberland
All Songs written by Brenda Heslop c and p 2016
Sleeve Photos ( and Films for DVD) by Carl Joyce with additional photos by Patrick Ward.

www.ribbonroadmusic.com
www.carljoyce.co.uk

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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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