We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Blood Brother (1990)

by Tom Robinson & Jakko Jakszyk

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7 GBP  or more

     

1.
If there's one thing that makes me mad And shed an angry tear It's teen nostalgia TV ads For chewing gum and beer They microwave the distant days When I was just alive And serve us up the golden age of 1955 Where all the boys have flat-top hair And all the girls are slim They're cute and clean with Levi jeans And muscles from the gym They rock and roll to get their kicks And everyone can drive: There's no-one old or poor or sick in 1955 We never had it so good We never had it - no we never had it We never had it so good We never had it - we never had it at all Well I remember early nights And always making do The Pathe news in black and white And refugees at school The whooping cough and polio The cane to make you cry With National Service still to go in 1955 We never had it so good We never had it - no we never had it We never had it so good We never had it - we never had it at all When bubble cars were dream machines And hair, short back and sides When sweets were treats and denim jeans You couldn't steal or buy American Graffiti, as the servicemen arrived Was 'Go back home to Hollywood' in 1955
2.
This is the place I got punched in the face By another boy at school about the age of ten I was a prissy little kid all smug and self-important And too goody-goody by half Having failed as a fighter, I tried to be a lover In my own small way - don't get me wrong These are not the days to be screwing around at all Not if you can help it Spent six years in an overcrowded manor For disturbed adolescents, in my fading teens Haunted by the past and terrified by the future The old man's words, I hasten to add... Driving through the desert as the sun beats down Where would we all have been without him This is the way we used to go to Wenden's Ambo To cool off swimming after evensong The place has hardly changed - only grown a little smaller And quite a bit smarter since the estate agents came And over there's the line of the old branch railway You wouldn't even notice now that the cutting's been filled I can still hear the railbus shuttle back and forward But most of all, we miss the river It was many miles later, just around that corner That I met the King Pistol - as he used to be then He said we had to gatecrash down at the Speakeasy Seeing as neither of us could even stomach the place Driving through the desert as the sun beats down Fucking champagne socialists... Another two hundred kilometers on And the sun's getting higher in the sky... I can't remember when we last ate fresh vegetables Or tasted cold water from a tap Mirages shimmer in the distance But I couldn't give a toss about that anymore Cos we've got enough gasoline to keep us going Well into the next century Still, this road carries on, carries on Must end up somewhere, I suppose And who needs water when we've got Castlemain XXXX And a king-size box of rubbers Driving through the desert as the sun beats down Driving through the desert as the sun beats down Look out for that gully - last thing we need is a busted back axle at a time like this Driving... we are driving home Driving... we are driving home I think this is where I get off
3.
Ben was born in Lincoln County and he grew up in the fens Teased and bullied by his brothers in a family of ten Sociable and easygoing - helping out around the home While his inner life ticked on like an unexploded bomb Just waiting for his moment Going shopping with his mother like a whippet on the leash Always straining at the traces - out of sight and out of reach And anytime the house was empty he would work out on his own Disappearing on his bike in the middle of the night And stealing from the kitchen Open your eyes... Open your eyes... here I am I'm your blood brother Well he saved up his allowance and he studied like a slave Worked his passage to Australia to try and make his getaway I was single when I met him - he was bitter and nineteen And he so reminded me of someone I used to be A long long time ago Open your eyes... I said Open your eyes... here I am I'm your blood brother Now the years have been and vanished and I've lost a lot of friends I do twenty at the pool then take my kid to school Since the party had to end; But at a benefit last Sunday we met again as if by fate I barely recognised Ben when he grabbed me again And whispered in my ear: Open your eyes... he said Open your eyes... here I am I am your blood brother
4.
'They're a dismal miserable bunch of fanatics Pretending to revel in the way they are A destructive evil menace to society Lock 'em all away where they can do no harm There's been too much toleration Now we're knee deep in them year by year It may mean the end of civilisation We'll all catch something from a glass of beer' What have I ever done to you You twist everything that I say and do Half-truths and total lies You know you're always out to get me I don't understand and don't deserve Your vicious whispers and twisted words Why this hysteria - You know you've never even met me 'We see these vile insulting animals Every other night on our TV sets Big ones, little ones, harridans, harpies Catamite sluts that couldn't care less These freaks proclaiming their failings Corrupt anything and everything they've found Kids get molested in their minds and bodies It's high time we stopped pussyfooting around' What have I ever done to you You twist everything that I say and do Half-truths and total lies You know you're always out to get me I don't understand and don't deserve Your vicious whispers and twisted words Witch hunt hysteria - You know you've never even met me 'Shut 'em all away on an offshore island Let's get rid of these repulsive rats Put them in a pit, pour quicklime over them Burning's too good for filth like that' What have I ever done to you You twist everything that I say and do Half-truths and total lies You know you're always out to get me I don't understand and don't deserve Your vicious whispers and twisted words Why this hysteria - You know you've never even met me I clean my teeth and brush my hair And who I love is my own affair I can't believe it's true This can't be really what I'm reading...
5.
Your twenty years of adulthood Have left you well and looking good And fitter than you've ever been before And though you're more resigned to life With little children and a wife It seems to me you've fought a private war The kids we used to be turned into you and me With the baby raging on inside You force yourself to swim and work out at the gym With the baby raging on But the iron discipline is only paper thin And the baby's raging on The baby's raging on... Inside The way you laugh, the things you said The rueful way you shake your head, Remind me just how little things have changed It's always hard to act your age When choking back a baby's rage And savage jokes can never ease your pain I feel like I'm alone with a prisoner, in your home And the baby's raging on inside You've done the best you can to impersonate a man With the baby raging on But the streak of anarchy's still fighting to be free And the baby's raging on The baby's raging on... Inside Fascinated by the faces That we knew when we were young Distrusted and disgusted By the strangers we've become Though I'm laughing as I'm marching To the sound of my own drum Never told you - wanna hold you Like a mothering son... Our younger days have gone with the winters rolling on And the baby raging on inside I'm sad but not ashamed of the people we became With the baby raging on But I swear I felt the knife as I kissed your kids and wife With the baby raging on inside... I climbed back in the car trying to cover up the scar With the baby raging on The baby raging on... Inside
6.
Tomboy 03:29
Call me crazy, I don't mind I'm all shook up but I'm feeling fine What's been has been, I ain't ashamed If I had time I'd do it again... But I've met someone I want so I need to leave the devil I know She's a motorcycle rider I don't know anybody like her She's a teaser and a fighter And I've got to get beside her Tomboy... I want you (I want you so badly) Tomboy... I want you (I want that Tomboy) Be my sister, be my brother Love me like no other lover She's a demon and a tiger I don't know anybody like her She's a teaser and a fighter And I've got to get beside her Tomboy... I want you (I want you so badly) Tomboy... I want you (I want that Tomboy) Lived all my life with a wandering eye - Happy to be that way Never imagined I'd finally find Here I would stay... Tomboy... I want you (I want you so badly) Tomboy... I want you (I want that Tomboy)
7.
Circling the earth in free rotation High in the atmosphere Space walking, space stations We're all alone out here Now is the time to kiss and roll over, Lying awake at night Above the curve of Mother Earth Lock into orbit now Over the oceans and rolling tundra Pillows of nimbus spread out beneath us We gravitate... Won't you come home with me - why should we stay here? What will become of us - where shall we go? Who will look after us - when we get older? Who'll be here when we're gone - how shall we know? Now is the time to kiss and roll over Lying awake at night Meeting up together In a way we never do on earth (We never meet this way) Meeting up together In a way we never do on earth (The way we do in heaven) Won't you come home with me - why should we stay here? What will become of us - where shall we go? Who will look after us - when we get older? Who'll be here when we're gone - how shall we know? Now is the time to kiss and roll over Lying awake at night
8.
Hard Cases 03:55
I was a fighter no-one could scare away Hard and fast... hard and fast Fancied myself as a bit of a tearaway Hard and fast... hard and fast The harder the cases, the faster the race is The harder and faster we fall As we get older the world becomes stranger I don't understand any more Hard and fast... hard and fast Each time I try to act like a man again Hard and fast... hard and fast Finish up busted, back in the can again Hard and fast... hard and fast The harder the cases, the faster the race is The harder and faster we fall As we get older the world becomes stranger I don't understand any more Hard and fast... hard and fast They use you and bruise you and strain you to breaking Be glad if you leave here alive You wish you could run but you're trapped in a corner And duck as the punches arrive Hard and fast... hard and fast The harder the cases, the faster the race is The harder and faster we fall As we get older the world becomes stranger I don't understand any more
9.
Every night I'm getting flak For being lazy, talking back It's murder keeping up the act I never live my own life Fooling people for a while Charm the bastards with a smile Wishing I could run a mile I never live my own life Behind my back you made the plans you had for me You're aiming at a future that will never be... cos I'm Fighting for the right to live the way I like You've taken everything I ever owned But nothing you can ever do will hold me I'm fighting for a life to call my own Going crazy in my room Suffocating, in a tomb Can't say what may happen soon I've got to live my own life You try to keep me in your debt Rob me of my self-respect And crush me till there's nothing left I've got to live my own life Behind my back you made the plans you had for me Still aiming at a future that will never be... cos I'm Fighting for the right to live the way I like I feel like I'm a stranger in your home But nothing you can ever do will hold me I'm fighting for a life to call my own Can't stop... got to keep on Can't stop... got to keep on
10.
I grew up on the Gaza strip A pirate and a clown And no-one in authority Could ever grind me down Been upside down and inside out More cynical than sinning And if you think you know me well I'm only just beginning... Hey, hey... I can't stay I'm gonna go my own sweet way Living life from day to day No matter what you do or say Hey, hey, hey... my own sweet way Society has lied to me I grew up and believed That men were men and never cry Or show the way they feel You filled me up with prejudice And tried to waste my time You won't get any more of me The rest is strictly mine Hey, hey... I can't stay I'm gonna go my own sweet way Living life from day to day No matter what you do or say Hey, hey, hey... my own sweet way I wish I'd seen it all before I wish I'd wondered how to smell the rain and see the trees I'm glad to have it now And looking back on everything I've undergone and known It's funnier than words can say And way too close to home Hey, hey... I can't stay I'm gonna go my own sweet way Living life from day to day No matter what you do or say Hey, hey, hey... my own sweet way
11.
My name's Duncannon and I used to deal As a radar rigger on the Forties field But in my face you'll see the scar Of the petrodollar and the German car Oh, no no - Rigging it up Duncannon Oh, no no - Rigging it up tonight Worked on a pipeline pumping crude And lived with the shiftwork, gales and food But the greatest danger, near or far Were the boardroom barons with a German car Oh, no no - Rigging it up Duncannon Oh, no no - Rigging it up tonight They'd save on safety maintenance They were mean and underhand They'd maximise their bottom lines In shelter on the land... It was 0300 on the brig When the nightmare happened on our sister rig I can see the fireball in my dreams As the dot disappeared from the radar screens Oh, no no - Rigging it up Duncannon Oh, no no - Rigging it up tonight They sent for their insurance men They sent for Red Adair They sent the rescue services To the rig that wasn't there... You whizzkid cowboys of the range As you make your killing on the Stock Exchange Remember the men you pressed too far For the petrodollar and a German car Oh, no no - Rigging it up Duncannon Oh, no no - Rigging it up tonight
12.
See the shattered man of war Standing off a foreign shore Straining under sail and oar To break off the engagement Shrouds and rigging on the deck Mizzen split, her rudder wrecked Men and timber shot to shreds Abandoning her station... For you the war is over Defeat is no surrender for the brave We'll meet again in peacetime It's time to live and fight another day Aboard a fortress in the flak A daylight raider limping back Starboard engine burning black... Freezing in the ether Ammunition running low Another hundred miles to go A hostile continent below... Looming up to meet her For you the war is over Defeat is no surrender for the brave We'll meet again in peacetime It's time to live and fight another day Tonight I'm trying to fight my way back home to you I feel as if I'm sinking like a stone The friendly lights of freedom seem so far away I feel like I'm a hundred miles from home... For you the war is over Defeat is no surrender for the brave We'll meet again in peacetime It's time to live and fight another day The war is almost over The lights of freedom seem so far away We'll meet again in peacetime Just trying to survive another day The war is over... The war is over...
13.
Sometimes my memories Lead down this broken road Alongside all the casualties and losers And though the details Barely matter anymore One night of darkness still pursues us She wore that face No-one could penetrate I smiled that smile I never could hide Somewhere in Jonestown My childhood disappeared One final showdown That burned away the years No-one leaves Jonestown Unless they leave in tears Don't go to Jonestown - It's everything you feared Someone once told me What glittered wasn't gold But I was too enlightened to believe him I tried to find you As I stumbled through the night But couldn't look behind as I was leaving She'd worn that face No-one could penetrate I'd smiled the smile I never could hide Somewhere in Jonestown My childhood disappeared One final showdown That burned away the years No-one leaves Jonestown Unless they leave in tears Don't go to Jonestown It's everything you feared Hey Joe, get out of the way Somebody's got a hold on me Go on, get out of my way Somebody's got a hold On me
14.
There is red in the sky tonight And in the aftermath of morning Of what is wrong & what is right Their bravery & courage Or just platitudes for sin I'm not sure... Which country I am in Did you think they'd last forever Happy in the homelands Would you be so righteous if you knew How it feels to live forever Happy in the homelands Who could blame their anger if you do ? Oh Lord, tell me what to do With these feelings of frustration And this déjà vu If we're all in this together With our patience wearing thin Let's all make sure... Which country we are in Did you think we'd last forever Happy in the homelands Would you be so righteous if you knew How it feels to live forever Happy in the homelands Who could blame our anger if you do ?

about

Tracks 1-10 originally released as We Never Had It So Good in 1990

Critically-acclaimed collaboration with Dizrhthmia's Jakko Jakszyk featuring his virtuoso guitar work plus drum guru Gavin Harrison behind the kit. On the strength of this album Jakko went on to play guitar for Level 42. This 1997 reissue includes 'Rigging It Up Duncannon' - an outtake from the original album - plus brand new versions of 'Jonestown' and 'The War Is Over', first featured on Castway Club CD Vol 2.

credits

released August 13, 2013

Tom Robinson: vocals
Jakko Jakszyk: guitar, keys, backing vocals
Gavin Harrison: drums, marimba
Colin Baldry: bass

Additional contributions from
Sam Brown: backing vocals (1, 7)
Pandit Dinesh: percussion (2, 5, 7, 9)
Steve Laurie & Ebo Ross: backing vocals (2, 6)
Dave Stewart: keyboards (3)
Danny Thompson: double bass (3)
Winston Blissett: bass (4)
Jakko Jakszyk: flute (4) marimba (5, 6)
Dan Hartman: backing vocals (6, 7)
Hereward Kaye: backing vocals (7)
Tony Jackson & Colin Jakas: backing vocals (6)
Mark Ambler: keyboards (7)
Nick Godfrey: backing vocals (8, 10)
Mark Ramsden: sax (8)
Ed Poole: fretless bass (8)
Lenny Henry: backing vocals (14)

Produced by Jakko Jakszyk and Tom Robinson
Engineered & mixed by Nick Godfrey
Tracks 5 and 10 remixed by Jakko
Recorded at Turbot Studio, Hammersmith
Vocal direction by Tony Heywood

Artwork design by Cactus
Based on an original photo by Gideon Mendel
from the book Positive Lives
With grateful acknowledgement to Network Photographs/Terence Higgins Trust

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Tom Robinson London, UK

Tom Robinson (b.1950) is a UK songwriter & broadcaster first known in the 70s as an anti-racist and LGBT campaigner. He released 19 albums between 1975-2001 with various bands and has co-written songs with Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. He's an award-winning presenter at BBC Radio 6 Music, and released Only The Now (his first album in 19 years) in October 2015. ... more

contact / help

Contact Tom Robinson

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Blood Brother (1990), you may also like: