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Carlisle Road

The song:
The song "describes the aftermath of the 2001 race riots in Bradford from the point of view of a riot cop coming home in the early hours, still unable to believe what he has witnessed, standing over his children's beds and wondering how he will ever be able to protect them from the world."
- Source: Cathi Unsworth in 3 am Magazine -

'Brother' refers to earlier riots in Bradford. The 2001 riots have been labelled 'race riots', but in March 2009, Joolz on the old NMA noticeboard insisted that "after the events, politicians and religious leaders from various communities saw an opportunity to promote themselves and their various causes by hi-jacking what was a pretty varied youth riot and attributing it to whatever suited their agenda. Interestingly there were more than a few young women involved but they are never mentioned, nor when the government ran around throwing money at the area after the 2nd riot in the guise of various youth projects, were the young women invited to become involved and all that came out of it was a number of surly youths were paid a weekly wage to learn how to be rappers by 'experts' imported from London who did not even address said youths illiteracy because they were afraid of them (I am quoting). That project culminated in one of the most cringe-worthy performances I have ever witnessed held at the Studio Theatre. I need not say the whole ill-judged nonsense was a debacle."
- Source: Joolz Denby on NMA Noticeboard on 23/03/2009 - Read more: Wikipedia -

Carlisle Road:
A street north-west to the centre of Bradford, part of the Outer Ring around the centre and leading into Whetley Lane.

[ Back to Carlisle Road ]

Carrying On

The song:
Around 1993, when Justin started to play this song solo, New Model Army had split. I have always felt that this was Justins comment on the breakup.

Ringing in your ears:
This supposedly signifies bad news.

[ Back to Carrying On | Back to Queen of My Heart ]


Backwards the title of this song reads "Nelsac", which is short for Nelson Acoustic.
- Source: Noticeboard of official NMA website -

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The Cause

Silver screen:

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A Change is Gonna Come

The song:
This is the best song perhaps that Sam Cooke ever wrote. He wrote lots and lots of brilliant pop songs, and then he felt that he - because of the civil rights movement he had to write a song that related to that, and he wrote this brilliant song that later Otis Redding had a hit with. And it applies to everyone, all the time, everywhere.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, 21/08/98, Sumpfblume, Hameln -

[ Back to A Change is Gonna Come ]

Changing of the Light

The song:
We were driving today through the lovely rain and looked up at the trees. This time of the year is my favourite time of the year actually, the end of summer when it goes into autumn, September is the greatest month. You feel everything changing, it gets colder, and I love this. This is a song that I wrote in Luebeck five years ago at this time of the year - in Luebeck, but not about Luebeck.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, 21/08/98, Sumpfblume, Hameln -

Wise men:
The Three Wise Men or Three Kings are biblical figures. They followed a star from the east to Jerusalem to worship the newborn Jesus.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Changing of the Light ]

The Charge

The song:
Based on a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson called "The Charge Of the Light Brigade". This event happened during the Crimean War in the 1850s, when a Brigade of British cavalry charged down a valley and were all but wiped out by Russian artillery, after a typical cock-up by British Army officers.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
Not tho' the soldiers knew
Someone had blundered:
Theirs was not to make reply,
Theirs was not to reason why,
Theirs was but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air,
Sab'ring the gunners there,
Charging and army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunging in the battery smoke,
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not -
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that fought so well,
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of the six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
Oh, the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble Six Hundred!

- Source: Robert S. Tuckey in Nobby's Stupid Questions - The New Model Army FAQ -

There are also two films of the same title which refer to the same event: the first one, an American production of 1936 directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and David Niven, is an adventure movie that glorifies the "heroic" death on the battlefield, but the second one, produced in the UK in 1976, directed by Tony Richardson and starring Trevor Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, David Hemmings and John Gielgud, depicts the senselessness of the soldiers' deaths and blames the failure of the army leaders.

The Charge compares the Miners' strike to the charge of the Light Brigade.
- Source: NME-interview on 10th October 1987 -

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, became Britains first female Prime Minister. Thatcher took very restrictive economic and currency measures in order to solve Britain's economic problems of that time, which slowed down inflation but also led to the ruin of many companies and a strong increase of unemployment, especially amongst young people. Thatcher set out to end socialism in Britain by denationalizing nearly every industry that Labour had taken under government control in the previous 40 years as well as some industries, such as telecommunications, that had been in state hands for a century or more. She reformed the union law, taking power away from the trade unions and restricting people's right to strike. 1984 was the beginning of a massive miners' strike, organized by the miners' union NUM, with the aim to prevent the closing of 20 mines. The strike lasted for nearly a year and was accompanied by continuing violence. On 5th March 1985 the miners had to give up without achieving any results. The government was able to use the strike to weaken the trade union movement even further.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

The strike serves as background for Stephen Daldry's movie Billy Elliot (2000) and Val McDermid's novel A Darker Domain (2008). 1984 also deals with this strike.

The gateways to the nation:
This description of the press is reminiscent of the biblical quote "Jerusalem is the gateway to the nations. But the gate is broken."
- Source: The Bible. Ezekiel 26, 2 -

Valley of death:
Biblical allusion. Pslam 23 says:"
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:  he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
- Source: The Bible. Psalm 23, 1-4 - Read more: King James Bible - Wikipedia -

The line "no one needs morality when there isn't enough to eat" reminds me of the famous quote from Bert Brecht's (1898-1956) play The Threepenny Opera (1928): "Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral" - "Eating comes first, then comes morality". Brecht does not mean to say that people are selfish but that you cannot expect people to be noble as long as they have to fight for their bare existence; circumstances determine people's actions.

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Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers:
Its a term for a game that you can play, say if you have ten people in a circle and you whisper something to one person, by the time you get it back, by the time it goes around the circle, it's completely changed. It's like a gossip thing, people pass this bit on to that person and by the time it gets back it is completely changed and the whole meaning of the rumour that started out, or whatever it was that started out, has completely changed.
- Source: Robert Heaton in an interview with Chris Benn in May 1997 -

Natural justice:
A legal philosophy used in some jurisdictions in the determination of just processes in legal proceedings, according to which certain basic legal principles are required by nature, or so obvious that they should be applied universally without needing to be enacted into law by a legislator. The concept is very closely related to the principle of natural law, an ethical theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere.
- Source: Wikipedia entries on Natural justice and Natural law -

Nature's Law:
This could either be natural law in the philosophical sense given above, or an observable law relating to natural phenomena, e.g. if you drop something it will fall down because of gravity.

Christian morals:
There is a book of this title by the English philosopher Sir Thomas Browne, published in 1716. However, I rather think the lyrics refer to a set of Christian values specified in the Bible, such as the Ten Commandmends or the Sermon on the Mount which tells Christians to love and forgive one another (which stands in marked contrast to the biblical principal of retributive justice expressed in the phrase "an eye for an eye").
- Read more: Wikipedia on the Sermon on the Mount -

Methinks the lady doth protest too much:
Slightly misquoted from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In this tragedy the ghost of the Danish King informs his son Hamlet that he was killed by his brother Claudius, who usurped the throne and married his wife Gertrude, Hamlet's mother. Before Hamlet can take revenge he hast to make sure that the ghost is not an evil spirit that lied to him. One way is to show a play to the Danish court that presents the murder. In the play, however, the widowed queen refuses several times to marry the murderer. When Hamlet asks Gertrude how she likes the play she answers "The lady doth protest too much, methinks". "To protest too much" has become proverbial; if someone protest too much they become untrustworthy and will probably do or have already done exactly what they deny.
- Source: Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Act III, scene 2 - Read more: Project Gutenberg -

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Christian Militia

Witch hunt:
In European history, the persecution and burning of alleged witches, mostly women, through the Christian church between 1450 and 1700. The term is also used metaphorically for the persecution of people that differ from mainstream opinions or habits. (Most notably, in his play The Crucible Arthur Miller uses the authentic story of a witch hunt in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 17th century as a parable for the communism hysteria during the McCarthy era in the USA of the 1950s).
- Read more: Wikipedia -

The Crusades were a series of religious conflicts which occurred in the years 1095-1291, most of which were sanctioned by the Pope in the name of Christendom. The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the "Holy Land" (i.e. Israel and Palestine) from Muslim rule. The term crusade is also applied to a war instigated by the church for alleged religious ends and, more generally, an organised campaign concerning a social, political, o religious issue, typically motivated by a fervent desire for change.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Wikipedia -

Christian Militia:
The image of the "Christian soldier" is based on military imagery in the bible's New Testament. Military equipment stands for Christian virtues.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

This image is used in several church hymns. One of them was written by Sabine Baring-Gould, who might also be a inspiration for The Attack. It is called "Onward, Christian Soldiers", and the refrain goes "Onward, Christian soldies, marching as to war, / With the cross of Jesus going on before".
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Furthermore, in Anglican (i.e. the Protestant English State Church) theology, the Christian Church is divided into the Church Militant, Christians on earth who fight against sin and the devil, and the Church Triumphant, Christians in heaven.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Historically, "an ecclesiastical tribunal established by Pope Gregory IX c. 1232 for the suppression of heresy. It was active chiefly in northern Italy and southern France, becoming notorious for the use of torture. In 1542 the papal Inquisition was reinstituted to combat Protestantism".
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English - Read more: Wikipedia -

Son of Man:
Jesus Christ. Hitler replaced the Christian religion in Germany with a sort of pagan/pseudo-Christian religion and stylised himself as some Jesus-like figure.

Born again:
In Christianity, the term born again or regenerated is synonymous with spiritual rebirth. It means to obtain salvation.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

"Noisy, showy, and exciting activity and display designed to attract and impress".
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

The American Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to own guns. This right is not undisputed because of a high level of gun violence in the United States in comparison to other developed countries. However, many right-wing Christians support a liberal firearms law.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

"A severe or concerted attempt to suppress something"
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

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Coming Up

Black Dyke Ridge:
I could not find a Black Dyke Ridge anywhere. However, there is a Black Dyke Lane in Thornton, Bradford.

[ Back to Coming Up ]


The song:
This was hurriedly recorded in Newcastle for the 'Poison Street' single. Robert and Moose [Jason Harris] put down the basic idea while Justin was writing the lyrics sitting in his knackered car on a snowbound motorway flyover. The song was written for a friend of ours made redundant from the Newcastle shipyards . . .
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

As Justin's hometown Bradford is famous for its textile industry, probably cotton mills. But it can also refer to other kinds of industry or mean 'factories' in general. The decline and unemployment caused by the de-industrialisation of Bradford is also probably mentioned in Did You Make it Safe?, No Greater Love, and Over the Wire.

Whetley Lane:
The only reference to a Whetley Lane I found is not to Newcastle but, hey hey, Bradford. It lies in the northwest of the town, as part of the Outer Ring around the centre, next to Carlisle Road

Crocodile tears:
Insincere expression of grief.

News at Ten:
Famous daily news programme, starting at about 10.00 pm, on British TV Channel 4. The programme ended in 1999.

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Crocodile Tears

Crocodile Tears:
Tears or expressions of sorrow that are insincere.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Microchip on your shoulder:
Pun. a "chip on one's shoulder" is a deeply ingrained grievance, typically about a particular thing, while a "microchip" is a tiny wafer of semiconducting material used to make an integrated circuit. [I had a clearer idea of microchips before I read that definition].

- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

Waving or drowning:
A well-known British poem by Stevie Smith is called "Not Waving But Drowning" (1957):

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Crocodile Tears ]


The song:
The song begins with a reference back to 'Trust' and it was written about the same thing [i.e. about New Model Army's first bass player, Stuart Morrow, according to interviews]. Every member of the band played guitar on it somewhere . . . so did the producer, Pat Collier.
- Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

The perfect hate song.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, Sep.-Oct. 89 Red Sky Coven Tour -

There's an English proverb: "You can't eat your cake and have it" (i.e. keep it at the same time).

1770-1827. Famous German composer. First symptoms of deafness appeared in 1802. It was not until about 1819 that his deafness became total. He continued to compose until 1826.
- Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica - Read more: Wikipedia -

Jesus Christ:
The central figure in the Christian faith. He was a Jew born in Galilee (Israel) who acted as teacher and healer; one of his central messages was to love and forgive one another. Around the age of thirty, he was baptized, found himself twelfe followers or disciples, was accused of sedition against the Roman Empire and crucified in Jerusalem. Christians believe that Jesus is the human son of God, born by the virgin Mary, as the Messiah whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament of the bible to provide salvation and reconciliation with God. They also believe that he performed miracles during his lifetime and was resurrected after his crucifixion, i.e. he came back from the dead
- Read more: Wikipedia -

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30/11/13; last update 17/06/17