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Navigating by the Stars

Boeing 747, a large passenger aircraft.

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The song:
After much consideration I came to the conclusion that this must be about the British Miners' strike in 1984. I'm probably the last person in the world who has noticed this. Anyway, The Charge is also about that strike.

Meden bridge:
Apparently there is a river Meden in the west of the county Nottinghamshire, near Mansfield, where a big miners' demonstration took place during the strike.

By calling the striking miners "the enemy within" Margaret Thatcher used war terminology, and so it is only appropriate for Justin here to call the confrontations between miners and police "battle" and "war". A major event during the strike was a violent confrontation between 3,000 police officers and 10,000 miners near Sheffield which came to be known as the Battle of Orgreave.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Green and pleasant land:
A phrase often used for England. I think it is based on William Blake's poem 'Jerusalem' (1809):

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among this dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire.

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

1984 is a quite symbolic year, as it is the title of George Orwell's dystopic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (written in 1948): In 1984 (duh) Great Britain is the centre of Oceania, one of three world powers that are constantly at war with each other. The people of Oceania are controlled by a small elite around a mysterious 'Big Brother'. By means of constant surveillance and spying, poor living conditions, a simplified and manipulative language, propaganda, openly falsified history and news, and torture, the ruling party controls not only people's actions, but even their thoughts and feelings.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Two nations:
In his novel Sybil, or The Two Nations (1845) Victorian politician and writer Benjamin Disraeli describes England as divided into two nations: the rich and the poor. As the root of all problems he sees the selfishness of factory and land owners, his solution, however, is not the abolition of the Capitalist order, but a return to Christian values.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

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No Greater Love

While kings are in their counting houses:
Reference to the English nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence":

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing.
Now, wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money.
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird
and pecked off her nose!

- Read more: Wikipedia -

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No Man's Land

No man's land:
The phrase originates from the Great War (1914-1918) and was used to describe the narrow ribbon of muddy, bloody land that lay between the German and British trenches. Since that time, the phrase has been used as a vivid and lyrical metaphor by many different writers.
- Source: NMAFC Newsletter 3 -

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No Mirror, No Shadow

The song:
"I don't have any interest in the past things, what is gone is gone. There is a song (No Mirror, No Shadow) on the record that says : 'I meant what I said by the time that I said it'. I think everybody thinks that. It's like when you have a row or an argument with your lover or something and they say: 'but last week you said that'. We all think, you know, last week I meant that but now I feel different. Everything changes, people must change. The saddest thing in life is when you find people that refuse to change".
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Rock-Interviews.com -

At the Between Wine and Blood tour in 2014 Justin introduced the song saying he felt sorry for the young people of today, because every mistake, every foolish thing they ever did was now on record for ever.

In the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches people may confess their sins to and have them absolved by priests. Priests are obliged to keep the confessions a secret under any circumstance.

This family thicker than blood:
Blood is thicker than water is an English proverb meaning bonds between family members are stronger than other relationships. Apparently, here bonds between members of a chosen group are even stronger. Other songs about family are
BD3, Dawn, Familiy, Family Life, Home, Inheritance, March in September, My People and Twilight Home.

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No Pain

Nails and cross:
Perhaps a reference to Jesus Christ who died nailed to a cross.

Another twisted version of a biblical story. This is how it really goes: Abraham and his wife Sarah had remained childless until they were very, very old. Then God told them that Sarah was pregnant with a son, and when the boy was born they called him Isaac and were really happy and grateful for this miracle. But God wanted to test Abraham's loyalty and asked him to sacrifice Issac: "[3] And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. [4] Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. [5] And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you, [6] And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. [7] And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? [8] And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. [9] And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. [10] And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. [11] And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. [12] And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."
- Source: The Bible. Genesis, 22.312 - Read more: King James Bible -

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No Rest

No rest for the wicked:
In the bible it says: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt".
- Source: The Bible. Isaiah, 57.20 -

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No Sense

The song:
"We recorded this at Jam Studios and then broke into Wessex in the middle of the night to use their Hammond organ. Originally it had the biggest, weirdest drum sound ever, but we were told that it couldn't be cut into vinyl so unfortunately we had to change it."
-Source: B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks booklet -

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North Star

The song:
" 'North star' was written after Tommy died, for Tommy, about Tommy. Everything else [the songs on Today is a Good Day] was written in October."
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Altsounds -

Tommy Tee started as New Model Army's tour manager and later became the band's manager and close friend. He died unexpectedly on 23rd December 2008.
- Read more: Official New Model Army Site -

The song uses seafaring imagery, which links it to songs like Happy to be Here, Marry the Sea, Ocean Rising, Southwest, Wipeout, Big Blue, Sun On Water, and Twilight Home.

A person who steers a ship or boat.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

North Star:
Polaris, the brightest star in the Ursa Minor constellation. It is very close to the north celestial pole. It is also called Guiding star.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Sennen Cove:
A tiny village at the coast of Cornwall, an area in the south east of the UK that Justin Sullivan loves.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

An expression of good wishes to a person starting a journey. It comes from Middle English 'God speed you', meaning 'May God help you prosper'.
- Source: The New Oxford Dictionary of English -

A weather condition in which visibility and contrast are reduced by snow or sand.
- Source: Wikipedia -

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Notice Me

Mainline poisons:
Take drugs.

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16/11/14; last update 17/06/17