Dynablob

Originally released 1994.
Rereleased on WOW/DRT 2003.

Produced by John Wesley Harding
except #7 produced by Kenny Craddock and 12 produced by Andy Paley

Track selection assistance: Peter Straus and the members of the RSPCJWH
Executive producer: Martin Hollander
Compilation mastering: Chris von Sneidern

All songs written by John Wesley Harding and published by Plangent Visions Music Ltd. (ASCAP)

This record is dedicated to the RSPCJWH.

John Wesley Harding
Leigh Foxx
Bruce Thomas
James Blennerhassett
Colin Gibson
Paul Bass
Pete Thomas
Jody Linscott
Roger Hubbard
Steve Donnelly
Elliott Easton
Kenny Craddock
Geraint Watkins

All tracks previously unreleased live recordings of otherwise unreleased songs.

Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue And Me

At night, he sits alone and he’s looking at the stars He listens to them playing guitars Him and Phil go back a long long way They talked about marching and dying all in one day They played songs together, they sit up past the dawn I wonder why this dream goes on You know Bob was there last week as well He’s a quiet guy but he’s got stories to tell Our hero sits and listens without asking why And teaches Bob A minor with a glint in his eye Bob used it on Hollis Brown, but that was some time ago When is this dream gonna stop? Heaven knows Then our hero picks up his guitar To play them the only tune he knows He played it to me once He said ’Wes, it’s short, but this is how it goes…’ And then he sings ’This is the only thing that really matters Keeps me going, retains my sanity The nights I spend alone when there’s just Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue and me Stevie died and David died But only to the papers that live outside Last Thursday they were in the room where he sits The three of them making jokes about the meager obits Steve and David smiled and they left quite soon He wonders about that dream as he looks at the stars and the moon Sometimes he has a party for him and the crew They turn up on time just cos they always do And Phil plays I Ain’t Marching, it’s his favorite song And Bob plays harmonica but he plays it all wrong And Steve harmonizes like he did with John Prine David just sits and looks blue all the time Then the time comes round again They all sit and listen to our hero playing He says ’You’ve heard it all before’ But they like it so they shout ’encore’ And then he sings, it’s a dream come true ’This is the only thing that really matters Keeps me going, retains my sanity The nights I spend alone when there’s just Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue and me And me Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, David Blue and me

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Man With Two Surnames

When I ask you where you’ve been You look suicidal One day I’m gonna lock you in a room With a bed that creaks and a bible Gonna wait 'til the wallpaper cracks I asked you for the truth We mean different things by that Maybe my attitude was lax But oh honey, I want you back To back with the guy Who couldn’t lie About circumstances extenuating A little bird told me you’ve been mating Said nothing ’bout a man with two surnames Said nothing ’bout a man with two surnames How come you sold your new flat Can’t you pay the rental Or maybe possessions mean nothing at all When you’re getting transcendental Gonna make you an offer you can’t resist Try to refuse me eye to eye It’ll mean a good deal But not a goodbye I’ll let you off the day I die 'Til then and there’s no knowing when You look real good in his blue Ferrari Like Sylvia Kristel, Mata Hari And I’m haunted by a man with two surnames I’m driven round by a man with two surnames Get your name stuck on his windscreen Barclaycard and Visa I’ll think of a girl I knew back when Said money could not please her Is his name double-barreled like my gun Or does he have a pseudonym for fun I’m stunned by your logic of all for none Maybe he’s a rich man’s number one son But he’s made me number two No credit to you I’m sitting here freezing in this cold overdraft Last time I phoned you You both laughed And I’m haunted by a man with two surnames And I’m haunted by a man with two surnames And I’m haunted by a man with two surnames Get him off my back

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

The Wrong Goodbye

The time on the clock on the wall in the bedroom Tells him it’s time to leave Last glass of wine drowns the changes She wipes her eyes on her sleeve She’s not crying she tries to persuade him No-one really believes No-one really believes He holds the gun hard to her forehead He’s given her his best shot She cleaned the barrel while they made love It was the bullets that he forgot One day when he stopped lying next to her That was when the lying stopped That was when the lying stopped And it’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye But it’s the wrong goodbye The telephone rings for an alarm clock Wakes her out of her latest nightmare The light bulb goes as she gets turned on Where the hell did she leave the spare Make up in a mirror that’s been cracked six years One more left 'til she falls down the stairs Falls down the stairs It’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye But it’s the wrong goodbye He’s sitting on a windowsill looking out Even the laundromat is shut He’d write her a poem but he doesn’t know how He smokes the day down to the butt One day they’ll meet again in a rainstorm But it’s gonna take a lot of guts It’s gonna take a lot of guts It’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye It’s the long goodbye It’s the wrong goodbye

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Peeling Bark

Yesterday he was walking through the park On the way back from work it was getting dark He saw autumn trees with their peeling bark She was sitting on a bench He didn’t think she’d look twice you see But she looked three times or so it would seem The rain started up it began to teem And she was getting drenched She started to run but he caught up quickly And he was wearing sunglasses it was hard to see Then she hit him with a moving plea Could I please share your umbrella Well he just smiled and he let her in And they walked through the rain like Siamese twins He doesn’t normally pick up girls he thinks it’s a sin He just not that sort of fella She told him where she lived and she told him her name And he tried her patience, she tried to play games He wanted to be with her though his excuse was lame I was going that way anyway Her flat in a house it was three miles out Right next to a train track and he had to shout She said I’m a dancer, she twirled about And asked him if he wanted to stay His clothes were really wet he should have taken them off But he was embarrassed cos he thought she’d laugh But then she insisted when she heard him cough She went to make some tea And he was wearing just a towel to keep him warm And he saw that she liked Somerset Maugham She took the Guardian so she could be better informed But she wasn’t interested politically She seemed rather nonchalant Time went fast, time came to leave But in that room he thought he was Adam, she was Eve He wasn’t lying and she wasn’t deceived And neither knew what to say But everything seemed to be going down fine 'Til she gave him a leaving sign And he asked her ’Why?’, he said ’Is the fault all mine?’ She just said ’No, I’ve had a bad day’ So he wandered back to town in the drizzling rain And he wondered if he’d ever see her again He wanted to walk with her down lover’s lane And it started to make him cry Cos his life was turning cartwheels, all his cards were down In the circus of existence, he always played a clown He wanted a slice of forever as he turned into town And he felt her memory die But today he was walking through the park On the way back from work it was still getting dark He saw autumn trees with their peeling bark And she was still sitting on that bench

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Dead On Arrival

They gave me doses of dioxide Started coughing constantly Nursed inside my wounded pride Poisoned arrow in my knee Then they stood around my bed Said I was getting on famously A faceless man in a TV van Reprogrammed my naivety I met you sparring in a corner And you spat right in my face People say it looks like tears Because they’ll have seen the trace And they take it as their job of work To put me right back in my place And I pretend that I wanna be A contender in the human race Now when you hit me I don’t cry The only thing that remains for me Is to learn how I can say goodbye Cos I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival You know I thought that this was mist But now I guess it is pollution Caused by an economy of half-truths And the resulting confusion You sign a form the day you’re born That commits you to collusion With society’s special standards And its optical illusions Someone says you’re still alive Gives you great expectations But now you know you’re dead inside Cos you feel no shock vibrations Now you must control yourself You can always cheat at patience Soon I’ll be right in the dog house Food for FBI Alsatians Now when you hit me I don’t cry The only thing that remains for me Is to learn how I can say goodbye Cos I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival I’m ready, steady, dead on arrival Dead on arrival

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Build Me A Coffin

When there’s not enough rigor but there’s too much rigor mortis
You’ve got to ration love because you know that there’s a shortage
She’ll take you with a pinch of salt
And she’ll give you no quarter
She’s the queen of the short order
And you’re a one-armed bandit
Gambling on a crash
Wearing a pair of silly glasses and a baby’s wax moustache
In disguise
Like a schoolboy playing superspy
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
What’s happening around me

Given the fact that you’re losing, someone has already won
If you’re finding life a bastard, someone somewhere’s having fun
You’re hooked and lined and sinkered but she’ll
Throw you right back in again
A game of pool would do your head in
You know that Hell just isn’t some kinda bottomless pit
It’s a chair in a long white corridor and you’re sitting in it
With clenched fists
The lifestyles of the rich and hopeless
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
What’s happening around me

And they say that a change is gonna come
So just perhaps you’re not the only one
They say that a change is gonna come
Why the hell are you acting deaf, blind, dumb
They say that a change is gonna come

Troops are camping at the border and of course they’re champing at the bit
The concert’s all security, you’ve bought your seat so sit in it
New features in the market square, it’s just behind the porn exchange
Free executions here so all change
You know this town is a free for all, so please flash your cash
There’s a big sale at the supermarket, garbage, pills and trash
Mind that ash
Big sister’s missed the boat again
So I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in
Sometimes it’s too much to see what’s happening around me
What’s happening around me
What’s happening around me
I’m gonna build me a coffin and get right in

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Idiot’s Delight

The world is turning upside-down, no-one’s in the black
The king is on the balcony, the queen is in the sack
He’s lying through his golden teeth, she’s lying on her back
Beneath the handsome soldier and the family coat of arms
The lady she’s affected by the soldier’s obvious charms
And the king sweats quite profusely and says we should stay calm
I can see his brand new suit but I can’t see the man
He’s here to cover up his so-called economic plan
But his voice dwindles to nothing, he strikes up the royal band
It’s alright
It’s alright
It’s alright tonight
It’s all performed for the idiot’s delight

The trains are almost empty since the crash of 89
They built a brand new station but forgot about the lines
They built a brand new human but forgot about the spine
Everything gets cut to bits, no-one sees it bleed
It’s not the way you play the game but how you can succeed
Put the bastards in a new town and watch the rabbits breed
The king he’s got a stepson in return for foolish pride
The queen had her mad moment’s glory, then of course she dies
The soldier planned the revolution right from the inside
It’s alright
It’s alright
It’s alright tonight
Because it’s all performed for the idiot’s delight

The soldier’s executed, he’s mistaken for the king
Who said he was from somewhere else and hadn’t done a thing
And made off with the crown jewels but misplaced his wedding ring
Power’s aphrodisiac, addicts die of thirst
The new El Presidente saw his bubble finally burst
And the king returned from exile, by request to break the curse
He fulfils election promises with temporary cures
And everything’s worse than it once was without the same allure
And his stepson is on squad inspection making overtures
It’s alright
It’s alright
It’s alright tonight
Because it’s all performed for the idiot’s delight
It’s all performed for the idiot’s delight
Because it’s all performed for the idiot’s delight

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Eating Each Other’s Babies

She flares up, they start to fight A chemical reaction late into the night Once they’re out of love, now they’re outta sight That’s alright When silence reigns, it’s strange weather Why do you have to leave me for a man Who couldn’t tie his shoe-laces together? He’s had the last laugh but the joke’s on him He could’ve had a final bang but drags on with a whimper When dogs bark And when cats meow Two humans are the animals they knew they could be now Sniffing round each other’s dirt Fighting 'til it starts to hurt And eating each other’s babies Paperback’s get thrown, the story unfolds Two lost sheep who couldn’t find the fold They got no common sense, couldn’t catch the common cold I’ve been told She fights tooth and claw, he starts to abuse her You show me someone who takes losing well And I’ll show you a loser He’s a very small man wearing very big clothes There’s no room for expansion but there’s plenty of room for growth When dogs bark And when cats meow Two humans fighting middleweight, instead of middlebrow Picking on those little things Tearing off each other’s wings And eating each other’s babies We’re stuck here in this cage Playing out this prison game Committing all these war crimes Time after time after time after time after time Something clicks, time to get soft She’s getting on, he’s getting off On the way she splutters with her little cough That’s enough They’re so adept, he used to spoil her Sometimes we get so see through Think I’m living out some potboiler Remember me forever in your gallery When all your past is catalogued and filed alphabetically When dogs bark And when cats meow We don’t have to say anything final now Let’s kiss and make up Put off the break up Let’s eat each other’s babies Let’s eat each other’s babies Let’s eat each other’s babies

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Ask Why

There’s a panic on the streets A reputation on a line A revolution every minute Nothing’s gonna keep time Ask why Ask why The president’s understudy Fluffing his cues He sure must have the self-deception blues Ask why Ask why Ask why No-one ever looks at you straight in the face Ask why You’re never at home but you’re so outta place Ask why Ask why The record’s gotten scratchy And there’s dust in every groove And the needle keeps on jumping Every time we make a move Ask why Ask why They think they’ve caught the killer And they kill him on first sight Another kid gets murdered Later on that night Ask why Ask why Ask why The truth is always hiding between the lines Ask why We’re living it up in kaleidoscope time Ask why Ask why No-one trusts the enemy Right in our midst Don’t know what you did now You’re on the hit list Ask why No-one even cared to look up at the sky Ask why The world’s photogenic and you’re camera shy Ask why The world was in debt the day it died Ask why Life is so short and you might as well try to Ask why

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

The Celestial Shuttle

Not long ago I went through the gate of dreams I came to the famous City of Destruction Where now a shuttle runs to the Emerald City With air miles and big group reductions So I went to the ticket office where Evangelist sat And reserved seats through credit card calls I said ’ How does it feel now they changed your job?’ He said ’Now I don’t feel anything at all’ As we moved off I looked down on the Myre of Despair From a bridge that passed a thousand miles above Its legs were made of books that they’d thrown into the mud And the books were of philosophy and love As we reached the Hill of Difficulty, we waited for a climb They’d dug a tunnel through the center of the stone And with the excess rock, well the valley became landfill Where once you’d had to walk down there alone All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For all those who seek the truth but don’t have the time to get there Don’t have the time to get there The train ride felt so smooth that I put my feet up Barely noticing the motion of the carriage The stewardess was Prudence with her sister Charity For fifteen grand they’d sell their hands in marriage And just as we were entering the Valley of Death I expected to be plunged into the darkness But the company had floodlit the underground gloom Taken care not to make this place seem joyless All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For all those with the money, just tender up the fare Just tender up the fare It looked like we stopped at the mouth of Hell itself But they said it was a now-extinct volcano And if you’d seen the demons seemed to emanate from there You’d have taken the guidebook at its say so But some of my companions they would not get back in They’d heard that heaven it was vastly over-rated The weather here was warmer, and drinking was allowed And they thought they’d see us come back here much later All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle You could be home by now, if you lived there If you lived there After boarding no new passengers we went upon our way Past the place where Pope and Pagan ruled with terror But now the giant Scientology had eaten them for breakfast And bought all the property around her At a city called Vanity we stayed for the night Where one’s every whim was catered for and sated The shuttle brought prosperity and business in its wake And an attitude that never gets outdated So all aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For all those seeing double, just tender up the fare Just tender up the fare So Charming was the city with its profitable fair The inhabitants claimed it was the only heaven And said that only dreamers ever venture beyond its gates And go to that land of Never-Never And in this city an education came without a school The shops sold one alongside praise and honor Reputations and honour went on sale at the fair And conscience could buy almost any of them All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle The most efficient way to go, it’s the best way to get there It’s the best way to get there And I stayed in the city, 'til I became like those Who lived there and abandoned their old questions 'Til I saw some pilgrims who’d walked the journey’s length Standing at the edge of its dimensions ’Friend let me tell you’ said the Speaker to my ear ’The whole concept of the shuttle is a Bubble You can pay the fare and travel for the rest of your life You’ll never get anywhere but trouble Cos the train is only progress and it isn’t a roundtrip And just in case the whole thing should explode The Lord of the Good City he will never let you in And he grants no kind of permit to the railroad’ I got back on the train and my companions they were few My hopes with the suburbs disappearing We saw the Silver Mine and the Castle of Despair And we saw our destination it was nearing Saw the gates of that fair city, beyond a river lay A blinding light shone from the other side A ferry boat was waiting to carry us over It was built of paper and everybody died All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For a journey free of care, for a journey free of trouble All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle For all those who want the truth but have no time to get there All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle Just say what you’ve got, we’ll sell you a fare All aboard, all aboard the Celestial Shuttle We’ll look after you so good that you won’t wanna get there You won’t wanna get there

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Talking Return Of The Great Folk Scare Blues

Well I was born in 1965
That was a hell of a good time to be alive
Except that by the age of ten
The music had turned crap again
Now people say they wanna bring back the 70’s
I say hey give the bad music of today a chance

Punk came round, that was pretty scary
It was like a contemporary Peter, Paul and Mary
Shocking!
And before the 80’s got too far
It was time for me to pick up my guitar
Picked it up
Looked good!

All my friends turned up their noses
At Freewheelin’ and For The Roses
Preferring image over substance
A hairstyle for a musical influence
All those Ultravox records, they’re gathering dust
But me, I’m still listening to Live Rust
And if the 90’s are the 60’s turned upside down
Then the 80’s were the 60’s the right way up
Only with half the top cut off…
If you think about it!

And in the town where I did live
There was no-one I could do hoot night with
So I sat alone with my six strings
And I learned how to play and sing
Woody Guthrie’s guitar killed fascists and crime
But in Hastings, East Sussex, South of England
My guitar killed time…

And I got gigs opening for bands
And things would get outta hand
Cos big men would yell out their derision
So I developed humor as a defense mechanism…
The main band of the night would be…..
And I’d go on first and I’d get carried away…
Literally

And I moved to the big old smoky city
Just after University
And I got a gig opening for a friend of mine
Where I happened to be playing my ace in the right place at the
Right time…
So I gave up my PhD
To become a dustbowl folky
That’s Phil Ochs not Phil Oakey

And then I learned the Folksinger’s Prayer and it goes like this:

Our Father
Who art on Folkways
Ramblin’ Jack be thy name
Thy Folk City come
Thy will be done
On CD as it was on vinyl
Give us this day our daily gig
And forgive us our protest
As we forgive those who protest against us
And lead us not into electricity
But deliver us from commercialism
For Prine is the kingdom
The power of the story
Forever be clever
A minor…

So hey everybody the time is near
The Folk revival’s coming here
But it’s a tough thing to revive today
Cos it never really goes away
That’s cos it’s a good thing
So everyone it’s time to come and claim your share
It’s time to re-iron your hair
It’s time to relearn Scarborough Fayre
And in 5 years time you’re gonna look back
You’re gonna say ’I was there’
At the return of the great folk scare

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Election Night

I met you on Election Night
As we cried over our beer
Nothing you could do would cheer me up
We broke up later that year
How come you and I aren’t winners?
Why weren’t we born the other side?
And it’s raining
And It’s raining
On Election Night

You fight, you fight but nothing changes
And when it does the payback’s worse
We arrived here in the limo
We’re going back home in a hearse
You know we’re leaving none the wiser
I guess that we’re just not that bright
So I’ll see you
I’ll see you
Next Election Night

These balloons look so deflated
As they slowly float on down
It’s been 4 years we’ve been waiting
For those balloons to hit the ground
It looks like you backed a real loser
Who thinks that life is black and white
And it’s raining
Yes it’s raining
On Election Night

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)