[ O/P | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]

Ocean Rising

The song:
The sea is one of Justin Sullivan's favourite subjects (cf. Happy to be Here, Marry the Sea, North Star, Southwest, Wipeout, Big Blue, Sun On Water, and Twilight Home).

The spoken word at the beginning:
. . . are the English shipping forecast, predicting the weather on the sea around Great Britain and Ireland.
- Read more: BBC -

Either Finisterre, a rock-bound peninsula in the uttermost west of Spain, or Finistere, the most westerly part of France.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on Finisterre and Finistere -

James Caird:
Possibly a ship named after Sir James Caird of Glenfarquhar, Baronet (1864-1954), a shipowner and the principal donor in creating the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. More likely it is an open boat named after Sir James Key Caird, 1st Baronet (1837-1916), a jute entrepreneur and philanthropist, who financed Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic espedition on the Endurance (1914-1916). After the Endurance sank in the pack ice in 1915, Shackleton and his 27-man crew went on in three lifeboats from the ship, Shackelton himself and five men in the James Caird. After four months (!) they hit on an uninhibited island. Shackleton and a small crew again set out on the James Caird to get help. For fourteen days they crossed one of the most treacherous seas in the world before they finally succeeded.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on James Caird of Glenfarquhar,
James Key Caird and James Caird (boat) -

In 1922, Ernest Shackleton died on another Antarctic expedition and was buried on South Georgia, an island in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
- Read more: Wikipdedia -

[ Back to Ocean Rising ]

One Bullet

The song:
Some songs are very easy to write: you meet someone, they tell you their life story, you write it down - finished. It takes ten minutes. Aimless Desire on the new album was written like that, and so is this. This is about my next door neighbour but two.
- Source: Justin Sullivan, 21/08/98, Sumpfblume, Hameln -

Gypsy kings:
Perhaps this event also inspired Joolz's story "Joey and the Gypsy King":

"In the end, all the talking came to nothing.

Joey knew, without Uncle Benny even saying anything, that he had to fight the Gypsy King. That was his job - that was his life. The family expected him to do his duty. He was not ashamed, neither was he afraid. The Gypsies had overstepped the mark, tried to take what wasn't theirs. They were foolish not to back off - so now, Joey would make things even again.

In business, negotiation was always best; but the Gypsies were angry and wouldn't hear reason. They'd been greedy and got caught cheating. This alone was enough to make them furious, but add to that the little matter of one of their women running off with Joey's cousin Rafe, well... This was the only way. Their King against Joey. It was fair, in his opinion.

He went to the site in the afternoon, to look at the ground picked for the fight. The screaming racket of the rock music was already beginning, though the Festival wasn't due to start until the next day. The area was dottet with scruffy fans, doped and foolish - at least in Joey's eyes. He and they were of the same age, on the whole. But Joey's twenty-five years had been spent in a way these people could never understand. He sighed. Had he been missing anything? No - he thought not. He was a man, with responsibilities, with a life. This lot, they wanted to stay kids forever - he could have no respect for them.

The concessions - the stalls - food, drink, and the cheap, ethnic trash the festivalgoers loved so much, traditionally brought the family a great deal of money in site fees and security work. The Gypsies knew this, but had still tried to take over."

I'm sure I'm violating copyright already, so I better finish after half of the story. It goes on with Joey fighting the much older Gipsy King and winning easily.

- Source: Joolz, "Joey and the Gipsy King". In: Errors of the Spirit. Hexham: Flambard, 2000, pp.14-15 -

Gone to ground:
To go to ground: "1. ([. . .] especially of an animal
[. . .]) To escape into a burrow, hole, etc. when being hunted. 2. (idiomatic, by extension) To hide from public view or sequester oneself, especially when authorities, members of the news media, or others are looking for one."
- Source: Wiktionary -

[ Back to One Bullet ]

One of the Chosen

The song:
Strangely enough, it's not written about the Muslim community at all. It was a lyric I wrote a long time ago, and actually it was written about a fundamentalist Christian group. But the thing is, when I was a kid, I used to religion-hop a lot, among all sorts of different religions, actually, and I remember the glory of just surrendering yourself to some great truth. And being right: "we're right, everybody else is wrong" - that kind of thing. But of course it applies quite well to fundamentalist anything. [. . .] The thing about "One of the Chosen," it's not a criticism. [. . .] it's about how good it feels. [. . .] what I try very hard to do is not to write about myself. It's not all my views, do you know what I mean? The character in "One of the Chosen" is not me. Well, it could be me - but it's anybody, in that particular situation. [. . .] it's told from the inside, told about how exciting this feels.
- Source: Allan MacInnis: "New Model Army: Tribal Warfare and Western Civilization. Telephone interview on May 18th, 2008 -

Christian fundamentalism is also the subject of Christian Militia. Islamist terrorism is also one of the topics of Bloodsports; other songs on terrorist acts are All of This, The Attack, Breathing, Far Better Thing and Flying through the Smoke.

Holy Fools:
This seems to be significant since it is written in capital letters. However, the only reference to "Holy Fools" I found is to a Holy Fool in the Russian Orthodox (a form of Catholicism) tradition. The Holy Fool acts intentionally foolish in the eyes of men, is often homeless and is believed to be a prophet.
- Source: Wikipedia -

[ Back to One of the Chosen ]

Orange Tree Roads

The song:
This song is about embracing change.
- Source: Justin Sullivan during the European NMA Tour Spring 2000 -

Inspired by the novel Corazon by Joolz Denby
- Source: Offical NMA @ Twitter - Read more: Official Joolz Site -

Corazon (2001) is Joolz's second novel. It is about a young women who after the break up of her marriage takes refuge in Spain, where, despite doubts, she becomes fascinated with a cult.

The words spoken in the background are from the Spanish translation of Joolz's poem about Spain, 'Corazon'. Seems that Justin and Joolz found a place in Spain where they feel at home. Here's the complete original poem:

There is a fire burning on the hillside -
the smoke, a gauze-pale drifting ghost of the flames
rising against the long drop of the cliffs behind
like a memory of battles fought and forgotten.

The smell of wild thyme; of rosemary
and the ochre dust of the red earth desert . . .

In the old house, cool and shadowed, only the
thick white walls are warmed by the savage light outside;
in the rooms, walk barefoot on terracotta tiles
stratified and crumbling with the wear of years.

The smell of eucalyptus branches burning in the
stone hearth; night jasmine; the velvet silence . . .

In her niche by the door the plaster Virgin
cradles El Niņo
; his robe rose-pink, her gown in the blue
of the midday sky, the folds all patterned with gold;
her gleaming crown is heavy, the Queen of Heaven bows under its weight.

The scent of bitter oranges; of trees; of the flinty well-water;
of sweet vanilla cakes and red, oaky wine; of sleep . . .

Of sleep in the silent fortress-house; the ancient stone
Strong with the procession of generations,
stepping like a long, sun-filled dream through
summers and autumns, winters and springs.

Each morning, the great herds of goats pour down the valley,
sounding like a river of bells.
And like the animals, we move towards the light;
Like the animals we are - through the seasons, to the light.

- Source: Joolz, Errors of the Spirit -

This is one of many songs that uses driving as subject matter or metaphor, like After Something, Happy to be Here, Headlights, 125 MPH, The Price, Stormclouds, Sunrise, Tales of the Road, Vagabonds, or Wipeout.

Plaster Virgin / cradles El Niņo:
A statue of the biblical virgin Mary holding her baby son, Jesus Christ. This is a very Catholic motif.

A road with two lanes.

Once we were lost but we can be found:
Justin claims that this is a quote from the bible, but I could not find a direct correspondence. However, Luke, 15 contains several parables about things or persons being lost and found again, of which the best known is 'The Prodigal Son'. The point Jesus wants to make is that God is always willing to forgive a repentant sinner, and that one repentant sinner makes God happier than many just persons.
- Sources: Justin Sullivan in an interview with German online music magazine DocRock before the release of 'Eight' - The Bible. Luke, 15 - Read more: King James Bible -

Hale Bopp:
A huge comet that was visible to the naked eye from February to May 1997.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Orange Tree Roads | Back to Gigabyte Wars ]

Over the Wire

The song:
This might be over-interpretation, but perhaps like Here Comes the War, Wars of Purification and Whirlwind this song is partly influenced by William Butler Yeats's poem 'The Second Coming'.

Rusting cranes:
I think this refers to the de-industrialisation of the north of England (which caused high unemployment and a decline in wealth), similar to the 'rusting mills' in
Did You Make it Safe? and the closing mills in Courage and No Greater Love.

Football field.

1914-18 war:
The first world war, primarily between Fance, Russia, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States on the one side and Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire on the other. More than nine million soldiers and civilians died.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

(Coal) mines. Many people lost their jobs when under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher despite massive protests several mines were closed.

[ Back to Over the Wire | Back to All Consuming Fire ]

The Pack

The song:
In a way the lyrics remind me of Modern Times.

New Cross Street:
A street in West Bowling in the south of Bradford. In early years, Joolz and Justin Sullivan rented a house at 166 New Cross street, where a lot of other poets and musicians began to live or hang out.
- Source: Between Dog and Wolf Magazine -

[ Back to The Pack ]

Paekakariki Beach

The song:
We all share an interest in religion, for want of a better word, matters of the spirit, the soul, difficult words, especially in England which is the most unreligious country in the whole world, and not in a good way. The whole thing about spirituality, there's like part of us that wants to live in the spirit world, and part of us wants to live in a very physical here and now world. That contradiction runs through a lot of things that I write. [This] is the stop the world I wanna get off song.
- Source: Justin Sullivan at the Red Sky Coven Tour 2004 -

A town on the south-western North Island of New Zealand.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Paekakariki Beach ]

Part the Waters

The song:
Like Die Trying a song about what around 2014 began to be called the "refugee crisis", i.e. not the fact that according to the UN by the end of 2014 almost 60 million people worldwide were refugees but that more than 1 million of them have dared to come to Europe. Most of them have come from Asia or Northern Africa, fleeing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria, on the land route via Southeast Europe or over the Mediterranean Sea. While the European governments have quarrelled about the distribution of the refugees, many people in every country have volunteered to help the refugees. On the other hand, there has also been a rise in xenophobia.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Older songs about refugees are Another Imperial Day, Higher Wall, and Refugee.

Part the waters:
I think quite often it's useful to use old stories. The bible's great for this 'cause the bible's got a whole load of folk stories that people generally know. And Grimm fairy stories, you can use these or Greek mythology or, you know, these kind of stories that everybody knows. This is our common culture. Then you can take a story and you can twist it or use it. And so 'Part the Waters' is kind of using Moses, only just as a quick sort of reminder to everybody that movement of people is very old, it always has happened, it will always happen, it is not a new phenomenon.
- Source: Justin Sullivan interview with Rock Antenne -

Moses was a religious leader who, according to the bible, led the Israelite people in their flight from slavery in Egypt. When they arrived at the Red Sea God parted the water, the Israelites escaped over the exposed seabed, while the pursuing Egyptian armee was drowned when the sea closed again.
- Source: The Bible. Exodus, 13.17-14.29 - Read more: Wikipedia -

[ Back to Part the Waters | Back to Die Trying ]

Poison Street

The song:
The song is basically having a brilliant time in the face of adversity. It's like Smalltown England, the same attitude. It's not necessarily a carefree attitude. There are so many people that want to grind you down and it's saying 'for godsake, its a beautiful day, lets go out, I don't care what's happening'. There are so many people that want to put you down, just do your thing. It is not based on a real street. It's like 'Smalltown England', there isn't a smalltown England, name wise, but everyone identifies with it. 'Poison Street' is the same thing. Where nothing happens and people dwell on their misery and not the good aspects of life.
- Source: Robert Heaton in an interview with Chris Benn in May 1997 -

Singing in the rain:
There is a song from 1929, and an "old time movie", a musical from 1952 called "Singin' in the Rain". NMA covered the song on their Thunder and Consolation Tour in 1989.
- Read more: Wikipedia entries on the song and the movie -

[ Back to Poison Street ]

Prayer Flag

Moko man:
A moko is the permanent body and face marking by Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. It is distinct from tattoos in that the skin is carved by chisels rather than punctured. This leaves the skin with grooves, rather than a smooth surface. Joolz said that "Justin has a traditionally done tattoo (in the manner described above) of a Frigate Bird on his hand, by the Maori artist Inia Taylor the Third. The 'Moko Man' in question is Tangaroa Tuane, also a tattoo artist."
- Source: Wikipedia - Joolz on the New Model Army Noticeboard -

Prayer flags:
In Buddhism, colorful panels or rectangular cloths often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

Prayer wheels:
A wheel on a spindle. On the wheel are written or encapsulated prayers or mantras. According to the Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning such a wheel will have much the same effect as orally reciting the prayers.
- Read more: Wikipedia -

More and more the world resembles a medieval carnival or fair. Everything gets mor colourful, emotional, mixed up and chaotic. The more you know, the more chaotic the world seems to be. At least that is how I feel: I know nothing any more, the more I know.
- Source: Powermetal Interview with Justin Sullivan, where he actually refers to the title of the whole album - Translated back into English by me -

[ Back to Prayer Flag ]

The Price

The song:
The first relationship song that I ever wrote, way back when, way back. . .
- Source: Justin Sullivan at the Red Sky Coven Tour 2004 -

One of many songs that uses driving as subject matter or metaphor, like After Something, Happy to be Here, Headlights, 125 MPH, Orange Tree RoadsStormclouds, Sunrise, Tales of the Road, Vagabonds, or Wipeout.

Every mile takes a minute:
60 miles per hour equals 100 km/h.

[ Back to The Price ]


Holy shrine:
Pilgrimage to a sacred place and devotion before a sacred object is a major means of religious healing.

[ Back to Prison ]


The song:
"It's in the nature of youth to think in opposites; everything is either black or white. Very often the worst or most brutal regimes in this world have been led by younger people, because the youth still has this sort of blindness. In their kind of way they try to force through a kind of purity; the Hitler Youth is an example for this. I certainly don't say that all youth is terrible, but they tend see things in black and white and this way they can easily be used for political purposes.
The song is a rejection of the idea to establish a pure society, I don't believe in this anymore. Many people think New Model Army represent a form of purity, so we wrote this song in order to deny this."
- Source: Justin Sullivan in an interview with German magazine Zillo 10/90; my translation -

"Purity is a warning against ideologies, religions and absolute truths. 'The song is truer than any other song I wrote', says Justin. 'In my youth I jumped from religion to religion, and in the end, all gurus had disappointed me' ".
- Source: Justin Sullivan in German Online Magazin Uncle Sally's; my translation -

Gospel of the truth:
A gospel is a record of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. The term usually refers to one of the four books of the New Testament in the bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), but there are also gospels, partly incomplete, partly of unknown origin, in the New Testament Apocryphal writings (writings that don't belong to the standard version of the bible because they are not considered to be genuine). One of these is called Gospel of Truth.

Also, the word 'gospel' is informally used to mean 'the truth', and 'gospel truth' means 'absolutely reliable'.
- Source: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English -

Immaculate conception:
Justin uses a phrase for in vitro fertilization (test-tube conception) that normally refers to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. According to Christian faith, she was still a virgin after she conceived him, because his father is the Holy Ghost, one part of God.

[ Back to Purity ]

[ O/P | Introduction | Song Index | Updates ]

16/11/14; last update 09/07/17