War Baby: Hope And Glory [1984]

by Tom Robinson

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1.
Give me all of your money and I won't kill you Sound like a straight-up, fair enough deal to me I want your cash card, watch, your wallet and car keys My trigger's getting itchy - gotta empty my magazine You've got a way... a way with words You've got a way with ladies, baby You've got a way... to get rich quick But you'll never get away with murder - And it's murder at the end of the day And you'll never get away with it Give me all of your money - maybe I won't kill you But you'd better not hold anything back from me I want your wallet and I won't take no for an answer My trigger's getting itchy just to empty my magazine You've got a way... a way with words You've got a way with ladies, baby You've got a way... to get rich quick But you'll never get away with murder - And it's murder at the end of the day And you'll never get away with it All at sea... all at sea Out at sea, Steve and me In the wreckage of a lifeboat Wreckage of a burnt-out lifeboat... We were washed ashore in the dawn of a Monday morning Got back to the flat, it was shattered And black with the roof stowed in Look out, Lusaka and London There's a hurricane blowing tonight Highball and firewater rising Gonna see this beauty Shoot Give me all of your loving and I won't kill you But you'd better not hold anything back from me I want your body and I won't take no for an answer My trigger's getting itchy - gotta empty my magazine You've got a way... a way with words You've got a way with ladies, baby You've got a way... to get rich quick You'll never get away with murder - And it's murder.... You've got a way... a way with words You've got your ways with ladies, baby You've got a way... to get rich quick But you'll never get away with murder - And it's murder at the end of the day And you'll never get away with it Just murder at the end of the day And you'll never get-a, never get-a Never get away with it
2.
Prison 04:14
Chained to the table, stuck in a rut Drinking tea with sugar in a plastic cup I know every brick in the wall outside Never been so bored in all of my life I'm sitting in a prison D-d-down in a dungeon That's what I am I listen to the rattle of the railway track Wanna leave this place and never come back I'm sat here looking at the fire escape I just can't wait till visiting day (on a Friday night) Just sitting in a prison D-d-down in a dungeon Sitting in prison D-d-down in a dungeon I know this prison like the back of my hand How can I make you understand There's bars on the window, neon light Electric fencing, dogs outside I'm sat here watching you talk to me Through a plate glass window you can't see I wanna come out and make love to you Oh but I've got another ten years to do Sitting in a prison D-d-down in a dungeon - that's what I am Sitting in prison Down in a dungeon
3.
We hear you're leaving, that's OK I thought our little wild time had just begun I guess you've kinda scared yourself, you've turned & run But if you have a change of heart... CHO: Ricky don't lose that number You don't wanna call nobody else Send it off in a letter to yourself Ricky don't lose that number It's the only one you'll want You might use it if you feel better When you get home (Home home, when you get home) I've got a friend in town, he's heard your name We could go out riding on the Slowhand Road Or we could stay inside and play games, I don't know... And you could have a change of heart CHO: Ricky don't lose that number You don't wanna call nobody else Send it off in a letter to yourself Ricky don't lose that number It's the only one you'll want You might use it if you feel better When you get home (Home home, when you get home) I can tell you all I know The where to go, the what to do And you can try to run but you can't hide From what's inside of you... You tell yourself you're not my kind But you don't even know your mind And you could have a change of heart... CHO: Ricky don't lose that number You don't wanna call nobody else Send it off in a letter to yourself Ricky don't lose that number It's the only one you'll want You might use it if you feel better When you get home (Home home, when you get home)
4.
Been collecting pennies In a hat and a mask On a cold November evening Before the fireworks start Woodsmoke drifting into the trees Crackle of bracken and burning leaves At the height of the season I'm looking for bonfire See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire Well we found our matches And we started a spark Now we're touching the paper And standing back in the dark Hot potato - better for some But I've burned my fingers And bitten my tongue I can never remember... I'm looking for a bonfire See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire Ooh - I don't want to turn away We've been on the wheel Now we're watching it burn away Burn away... See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire
5.
Old Friend 04:16
These will be the days That we'll remember in days to come The years slipped by so quickly Now we're none of us so young I'm frightened by emotions Too wild for my control Sometimes I've tried to hurt you And at times I hurt us both I cry out loud thinking back about How I've been so blind and dumb And I'm still shaken by your grace and innocence After all we've been and done But if I should dream, it'd be of you Of you old friend, woa yeah No one I know has the power to move me The way you move me Oh and you do... Loving you has never been easy Oh but maybe I've been trying too hard Cos at last I can start to see you As you really, really are You walk ahead with a spring in your step And a twinkle in your eye I'm so weary and I'm aching all over But I finally feel alive If I should dream, it'll be of you Of you old friend, oh yeah No one I know has the power to move me The way you move me And you do... Loving you has never been easy And I never thought I'd get this far But at last I can start to see you And to know you as you really are I'm a bit of a cynic and too long in the tooth To try and overstate the case But I don't want to embarass us both tonight By saying this to your face But if I should dream, it'd be of you Of you old friend, oh yeah You're the one I know with the power to move me Move me - the way you move me And you do... Think I'd better go Think I'd better go now Somehow I think I'd better go now Think I'd better go Think I'd better go now Old friend, I think I'd better go now
6.
War Baby 04:05
Only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof Hanging out with the boys, all swagger and poise I don't even care what other people are there I just stare and stare and stare I see your shadow in the swimming pool I see your face in the shaving mirror Time and time and time again I follow your footsteps so quietly up the backstairs And I hope and I pray you ain't never going to find me there Smooth skin and tenderness long ago on a dark night Wish I could see you once again just to remember it was true I wanna be still beside you - quiet and still beside you Listening to your breathing and feeling your warmth again War Baby - you were a War Baby - this means War Baby - I'm scared, so scared Of whatever it is you keep putting me through I don't think I could stand another ten years of this fighting All this stabbing and wounding - only getting my own back I don't wanna batter you to your feet and knees and elbows When I'm kneeling by the candle at the foot of my own bed Corresponding disasters every night on the TV Sickening reality keep gripping me in its guts All my friends talk and joke and laugh about Armageddon But like a nightmare it's still waiting there At the end of each and every day War Baby - you were a War Baby - this means War Baby - I'm scared, so scared Whatever it is you keep putting me through I don't think I could stand another ten years of this fighting All this stabbing and wounding - only getting my own back But later that same evening we were out in the car talking I suddenly wondered who the hell it was we were trying to fool Cos you were the first one I ever wanted And it's you I come home to at the end of every day Like a mother-sucking baby, demanding and so helpless A little old balding man, all wrinkles and bulging eyes War Baby War Baby - this means War Baby - I'm scared, so scared Whatever it is you keep putting me through You were a War Baby Talking 'bout the Third World War, baby War Baby - so scared
7.
Leave the bureau in the snow Catch a tram to Onkel Poe Early evening ring around the moon Slip in by the concierge By the bikes and up the stairs Snap the latch and creep into the room Throw off your coat, pick up the post And put a coffee on Lie down on the bed, lay back your head Smoke a cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio In the city late tonight Double feature, black and white 'Bitter Tears' and 'Taxi to the Klo' Find a bar, avoid a fight Show your papers, be polite Walking home with nowhere else to go You throw off your coat, pick up my note Put another coffee on Lie down on the bed, lay back your head Smoke another cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio Atmospherics after dark Noise and voices from the past Across the dial from Moscow to Cologne: Interference in the night Thousand miles on either side Stations fading into the unknown... So throw off your coat, butter some toast Put another coffee on We'll lie down on the bed, lay back our heads Smoke another cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio We'll listen to the radio... Listen to the radio All night long...
8.
Cabin Boy 03:28
I wanna go to 'Frisco bay Drink my liquor and spend my pay Sling my hammock and hoist the boat Knuckle under and learn the ropes Action stations, all correct Trim the rigging and swab the deck Hard to starboard - man ahoy I wanna be your cabin boy All night... all night All night long Cabin boy work night and day Cabin boy goes all the way Man the capstan, work the pump Cook and carry and fetch and hump Set the sextant, strip the guns Wanna bite the biscuit, beat the drums Do the hornpipe - jump for joy I wanna be your cabin boy All night... all night All night long I wanna be your cabin boy all night I wanna be your cabin boy all night All night long... Set the sextant, strip the guns Wanna bite the biscuit, beat the drums Do the duties I enjoy I wanna be your cabin boy all night (I wanna be your cabin boy) (I wanna be your cabin boy) Yeah - yeah I wanna be your cabin boy all night I wanna be your cabin boy all night All night.
9.
Well you know how the last seven years Haven't been all that easy Times I'd feel so weak Cos I can't seem to speak When I'm angry All those things that they say When they stand in your way Just seemed to eat me up deep down inside Well they force you to crawl till you make it And then they all want to own you Blond and blue... you fight like a tiger Blond and blue... you'd better come home All that smiling and lies All that long-swallowed pride Used to make me choke up All those high-flying friends Keeping up with the trends They couldn't wait to get the blade in For your own peace of mind Try and give me some sign And show me you still want me After so many years can you take it Now it's here for the asking? Blond and blue... you fight like a tiger Blond and blue... you'd better come home So for both of our sakes won't you give me a break So I can prove that I won't use you When you're so terrified I can't stand to stand by yet again. You're blond and blue... you fight like a tiger Said, blond and blue... you'd better come home
10.
One destiny in store for us Our day will surely come No nation more victorious Our islands in the Sun Some hope, some glory Some future before me Some day before the glory fades away The glory fades away Yellow skies in strange formation Warm wind and blinding rain High seas and strange contagion Our nation great again Some hope, some glory Some chance, some story Some hope before the glory fades away The glory fades away We fade, fade away The glory fades away Our boys so brave and glorious Our fathers' will be done Our lady pray for all of us Amen in kingdom come Some hope, some glory Some faith, some dawning Some days of hope... Before the glory fades away The glory fades away We fade, fade away The glory fades away Fire on the hillside Smoke on the waterfront Wreckage in the harbour Rats in the basement
11.
Had dinner with a softcore pornographer At a mansion in Earls Court He wore a dressing gown and a short fat beard He showed me pictures of balding cowboys And a chicken with false teeth All those horseflesh hustlers stood around looking weird I met a Sid Vicious lookalike and he was six foot four Had spikes on his dog collar made of solder He wore a dirty old gaberdine mac and a ring with a rat He was 17 but he looked about ten years older... that was Back in the old country, back in the old country Back in the old country, back in the old country 10am one Sunday, Herman hadn't been near a bed And he was knocking back rum and tea just to keep awake He had a black string tie and a gleam in his eye He look so wired and wicked it made my day Headed up to Edinburgh on the Great North Road In a lefthand German Rabbit with no brakes We took a two-room tenement flat but we soon got rid of that When it was our turn to wash the common And pay the rates... it was Back in the old country, back in the old country Back in the old country, back in the old country 10am one Sunday, Herman hadn't been near a bed And he was knocking back rum and tea just to keep awake He had a black string tie and a gleam in his eye He look so wired and wicked it made my day Back in the old country, back in the old country Back in the old country, back in the old country Flooded drains on a hot dark night in Kreuzberg Taxis splashing by in the neon light We got halfway across the red and white concrete blocks When a telephone rang And the major said 'Tut mir leid'... wish I was Back in the old country, back in the old country Back in the old country, back in the old country
12.
Hell Yes 03:50
(instrumental)
13.
Well the way he treats you Makes you feel so small I've seen him cheat you And try to make you crawl I've had to watch him hurt you With the things he says I see you standing stranded When he goes away I'm beg - beg - begging you baby Come over to my side Forget - get - get about everything He's putting you through I hate to see you running Each time he calls Hate to see him beat you Everytime you brawl Why don't you leave him - oh yeah Come over to me You'll be warm and welcome And that's a guarantee I'm beg - beg - begging you baby Come over to my side Forget - get - get about everything He's putting you through Why don't you leave him - oh yeah Come on over to me You'll be warm and welcome And that's a guarantee I'm beg - beg - begging you baby Come on over to my side Forget - get - get about everything He's putting you through
14.
Day after day I've been living in dread Cheating at work and lying in bed There's no hard feelings, just a little regret I could have been lying in your arms instead I'm glad that I married and I love my kids I wish I'd never met you, but I'm glad that I did So I'm sitting in the middle Trying to fit in more lives than one Day after day I've been slipping away Playing the games I don't wanna play Sooner or later there's a reckoning day I'm so, so sorry - but what can I say ? I feel like a heel but I can't decide Between the life I always wanted And the loving that I like It's a bitter situation overtaking More lives than one It's a bitter situation And it's taken more lives than one
15.
Well you know how the last seven years Haven't been all that easy Sometimes I'd feel so weak Cos I can't seem to speak When I'm angry All those things that they say When they stand in your way Just seemed to eat me up deep down inside Well they force you to crawl - and when you make it Then they all want to own you Blond and blue - you fight like a tiger You're blond and blue - you'd better come home All that smiling and lies, all that long swallowed pride Used to make me choke up All those high-flying friends keeping up with the trends That couldn't wait to get the blade in For your own peace of mind Try and give me some sign And show me you still want me After so many years can you take it Now it's here for the asking? Blond and blue - you fight like a tiger You're blond and blue - you'd better come home So for both of our sakes Won't you give me a break So I can prove that I won't use you When you're so terrified I can't stand to stand by yet again Blond and blue - you fight like a tiger Blond and blue - you'd better come home
16.
Chained to the table, stuck in a rut Drinking tea with sugar in a plastic cup I know every brick in the wall outside Never been so bored in all of my life Been sitting in prison D-d-down in a dungeon I listen to the rattle of the railway track Wanna leave this place and never come back I'm sat here looking at the fire escape And I just can't wait till visiting day (on a Friday night) I'm Sitting in prison D-d-down in a dungeon Sitting in prison D-d-down in a dungeon Pigeon on the window (doing my time) Little old lady in the park outside Watching the clock (doing my time) Every hour of the day and night I know this prison like the back of my hand How can I make you understand There's bars on the window, neon light Electric fencing, dogs outside I'm sat here watching you talk to me (so long) Through a plate glass window you can't see (it's been so long) I wanna come out and make love to you (so long) But I've got another ten years to do (ten long years) Just sitting in prison Down in a dungeon I'm sitting in prison Down in a dungeon Just sitting in prison... I've gotta get out, gotta get out Gotta get out of here I've gotta get out, gotta get out Gotta get out Sitting in a prison
17.
Been collecting pennies In a hat and a mask On a cold November evening Before the fireworks start Woodsmoke drifting into the trees Crackle of bracken and burning leaves At the height of the season I'm looking for bonfire See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire Well we found our matches And we started a spark Now we're touching the paper And standing back in the dark Hot potato - better for some But I've burned my fingers And bitten my tongue I can never remember... I'm looking for a bonfire See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire Ooh - I don't want to turn away We've been on the wheel Now we're watching it burn away See the smoke and cinders fly Feel as if I'm on fire Just another jealous guy Looking for a bonfire Bonfire...
18.
Only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof Hanging out with the boys, all swagger and poise I don't even care what other people are there I just stare and stare and stare I see your shadow in the swimming pool I see your face in the shaving mirror Time and time and time again I follow your footsteps so quietly up the backstairs And I hope and I pray you ain't never going to find me there Smooth skin and tenderness long ago on a dark night Wish I could see you once again just to remember that it was true I want to be still beside you - quiet and still beside you Listening to your breathing and feeling your warmth again War baby War baby - this means War baby - I'm scared, so scared Whatever it is you keep putting me through Sounds like somebody's out there in the night Might just be the voice of someone I once knew Hear me father and mother if I should cry out loud When I'm kneeling like a candle at the foot of my own bed Corresponding disasters every night on the TV Sickening reality keep gripping me in its guts All my friends all talk and joke and laugh about Armageddon But like a nightmare it's still waiting there At the end of each and every day... War baby - you were a War baby - this means War baby - I'm scared, so scared Whatever it is you keep putting me through You were a war baby War baby - Don't wanna live in another world war, baby So scared... Whatever it is you keep putting me through I don't think I could stand another ten years of this fighting All this stabbing and wounding - only getting my own back Cos if it's really true then we're all in this together Something's bound to give soon And it sure as hell isn't gonna be me Co you were the first one I ever wanted And it's you I come home to at the end of every day Like a mother-sucking baby, so demanding and helpless Like a little old balding man, all wrinkles and bulging eyes War baby - you were a War baby - this means War baby - I'm scared, so scared Whatever it is you keep putting me through... So here we all are in the Kino der Jugend On a cold dark Friday night Forgotten by the world outside Out in the houses people finish their dinner and watch TV Get ready for bed and dream about the weekend You and me we're so, so alone In the middle of a crowded room...
19.
Leave the bureau in the snow Catch a tram to Onkel Poe Early evening ring around the moon Slip in by the concierge By the bikes and up the stairs Snap the latch and creep into the room Throw off your coat, pick up the post And put a coffee on Lie down on the bed, lay back your head Smoke a cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio In the city late tonight Double feature, black and white 'Bitter Tears' and 'Taxi to the Klo' Find a bar, avoid a fight Show your papers, be polite Walking home with nowhere else to go You throw off your coat, pick up my note Put another coffee on Lie down on the bed, lay back your head Smoke another cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio Atmospherics after dark Noise and voices from the past Across the dial from Moscow to Cologne: Interference in the night Thousand miles on either side Stations fading into the unknown... So throw off your coat, butter some toast Put another coffee on We'll lie down on the bed, lay back our heads Smoke another cigarette And listen to the radio... Listen to the radio We'll listen to the radio... Listen to the radio All night long...

about

This album - first released in 1984 as "Hope And Glory" - was a Top 40 hit in Europe, but despite glowing reviews its North American release on Geffen proved a non-starter. First, the original Vietnam-inspired cover was suppressed, then the album itself inexplicably pulled from the shops six weeks after release, and Tom was dropped from the label. This re-release of the album as "War Baby: Hope And Glory" is the first time it has been available on CD anywhere in the world.

War Baby, with its cryptic, elliptical lyrics, could have been written in 1974, 1984, 1994, or just about any time. It's one of those magical songs which seems to sit like an anchor while times and styles just flow around it - and hearing it still gives me shivers. As to what it's actually about, Tom Robinson himself couldn't tell you - he just wrote what "sounded right."

I too grew up living in the tail end of the cold war and find much of War Baby is recognisable and familiar in its cold war themes and allusions. Those references also take on additional, deeply personal meanings - mistrust of one's partners and allies (and also oneself), weakness, vulnerability, fear of truth, of the future, of the present... The song is very human, very frail, and very honest - even without a specific meaning or recognisable storyline. Tom Robinson may not have human behaviour figured out any better than the rest of us - but he does know how to put words to that little voice inside our heads.

Many of the songs on this album will be familiar to longstanding Tom Robinson fans - though not necessarily in this form. Some are brought into vivid focus here by the remarkable arrangments - others seem to hide, only to be "rediscovered" at another time, in another form. The 1992 solo album "Living In A Boom Time" for instance featured more recent, acoustic recordings of several of these songs.

Seven bonus tracks have been added to the ten which made up the original album. There's the 1985 single of "Prison" produced by David Motion, plus various contemporary 'B' sides and out-takes. Outstanding among these is the alternate recording of "War Baby". Lost for years after the original 12" single was deleted, this version displays an even more haunting quality than the single we've grown to love. To slow down the tempo and strip away much of the instrumentation was a bold move - and the effect is stunning.

It's a delight to restore Hope and Glory to my collection. The distinctive sound of this album somehow defines a moment in time, and yet - like all great pop recordings - remains utterly timeless.

Adam PW Smith
New York City
October 1997

credits

released January 31, 2013

All tracks written by Tom Robinson and published by Notting Hill Music Ltd except:
3) written by Walter Becker / Donald Fagen, published MCA Music
6), 18) written by Tom Robinson / Mark Ramsden, published by Notting Hill Music Ltd
7) written by Peter Gabriel/Tom Robinson, published by Real World Music and Notting Hill Music Ltd

Sleeve by Rob O'Connor at Stylo Rouge
Photograph of TR by Paul Cox
Other photgraphic material provided by Nick Yates, Popperfoto and Colorific

Special thanks to David Massey, Gary Farrow, Paul Charles, Paul Williams and Anna Turner, Nick Stewart, Carol Childs, Mark Dean, Shamsi Ahmed, Paul Rodwell, Colin Bell, Hiro Arai, Arun Chakraverty, Amin Saleh, John Libson, Robert Allen, Judy Totton, Suzi Gibbon, Peter Powell, Dave Atkey, Tom Ryan, Vicky/Pete/Simon and everyone at Power Plant.

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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

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