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 sometime 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 alsations

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
Everytime 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)