New Model Army

5 posts


One of the favoured bands of my misspent youth, New Model Army are generally associated with the anarcho-punk ethic of the 'crusty' or 'new age traveller' movement of the 90s. However, their folky (folkish?), Luddite, ecological and regionalist concerns often give their lyrics an ambiguously conservative, almost blood-and-soil edge. Some examples will follow.


Green and Grey

You used to talk about winners and losers all the time - as if that was all there was
As if we were not of the same blood family, as if we live by different laws
Do you owe so much less to these rain swept hills than you owe to your good self?
Is it true that the world has always got to be something
That seems to happen somewhere else?
For God's sake don't you realise that I still hear that call
Do you think you're so brave just to go running to that which beckons to us all?

Ch: No, not for one second did you look behind you
As you were walking away
Never once did you wish any of us well
Those who had chosen to stay
And if that's what it takes to make it
In the place that you live today
Then I guess you'll never read these letters that I send
From the valleys of the green and the grey


A Liberal Education

Take away our history
Take away our heroes
Take away our values
And leave us here with nothing
We were in the garden of Eden
Just as children mess around
We only leant against the tree
And the apple came tumbling down
You gave us what we asked for
But never what we wanted
We were only children
How could you have been so stupid
We went up to the steel walls
That guard the sacred town
We only whispered to ourselves
And the walls came tumbling down
We didn't want a victory
We just wanted to fight
But you wouldn't fight
You just gave in
You went and spoiled every game
You broke an everlasting chain
And nobody respects you for your weakness
Take away our idols
Take away our faith
Take away our hatred
And put us in this vacuum
Then say be yourself, please yourself
Express yourself some more
It's your right to do what you like
Because we can't really be bothered with you at all
We didn't want a victory
We just wanted to fight
But you wouldn't fight
You said it isn't nice to fight
You went and spoiled every game
You broke an everlasting chain
And nobody respects you for your weakness

Drag it Down

They started work this morning down at city square
They're pulling down the statues of our great grandfather's hero
The new books said he wasn't such a great man after all
And anyway remember that the times they are a-changing

Ch: Pull it down, drag it down
Till there's nothing to look up to
But the brand names on the posters all around

They proved on television last night that God was just a lie
He never made the world at all
It was just some sweet old fashioned rite
So melt down all the ornaments, dig out all the graves
And let us build the disco that we need for our young braves

Ch: Pull it down, drag it down
Till the hopes and dreams of all the ages
Past are shattered on the ground

We think we are so clever killing heroes, killing magic,
Until everything that's sacred is brought down to our level
for Mammon is a jealous master, - leaves no room for any other
All the questions left unanswered, all the answers gone forever
So bow to the woman in the finest fur
Bow to the man with the ace street cool
Bow to the woman with all the power
Bow to the man with all the money
In whose sight are we equal now?
Now that we've killed God

The Cause

Headline in the paper tells of fighting in the streets
Teenage battles; six arrested
Mutters in the council chambers, something must be done
Before our city streets become infested
And mummy turns to daddy says "where was our little boy that day
Why can't he just stay at home and watch the silver screen"

Ch: All we wanted was a cause that we could fight for
One chance for the heroes to win the day
All we wanted was a chance to see the world
In black and white instead of a hundred shades of grey

Watch the raving maniacs go carving up the night
See the barmy smiles on their faces
See the crazy bombers going cross their deadly wires
Blow themselves into a million pieces
The bands play it hard and fast go ripping through their sets
Adrenaline going flowing drink and no regrets

What will we tell our grandchildren
When they ask us about the good old days?
Boring empty daytime jobs and frozen up inside
Don't you remember what your daddy told you long ago?
God, how those old men used to fight

This paean to vigilantism is not exactly libfag material. The resident metalheads may note that this was covered by Sepultura.


The Hunt

We went into town on the Tuesday night
Searching all the places that you hang about
We're looking for you
In the back street cellar dive drinking clubs
In the discotheques and the gaming pubs
We're looking for you
You will pay the price for my own sweet brother
And what he has become
And a hundred other boys and girls
And all that you have done

We picked up the trail at the Seven Crowns
One of your cronies, he was doing your rounds
We followed him
Just a silhouette figure up Market Pass
Where the headlamps shine on the broken glass
We followed him
Over the bridge by the old canal
Where the shadows dance on the lighted wall
He stopped to light up a cigarette
And we dived into a doorway

Ch: No police, no summons, no courts of law
No proper procedure, no rules of war
No mitigating circumstance
No lawyers fees, no second chance

There are lasses getting trouble on their own home beat
There are old folk battered in the open street
In this city of ours
There are eyes that see but say nothing at all
There are ears that hear but they don't recall
In this city of ours
So we followed your man back to your front door
And we're waiting for you outside
'Cause not everybody here is scared of you
Not everybody passes on the other side

Ch: No police, no summons, no courts of law . . .

And we could spend our whole lives waiting for some thunderbolt to come
And we could spend our whole lives waiting for some justice to be done
Unless we make our own