Blackhill​.​.​. and Back

by Chris Swinney

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about

Ten tracks inspired by the Blackhill Campaign near Berwick-upon-Tweed during 1958/1959, where the workers at the Blackhill Colliery tried to save their coalmine and their livelihoods.
Also, five more tracks from Chris Swinney.

credits

released August 19, 2013

All tracks written, recorded and produced by Chris Swinney.
Copyright © 2013 Chris Swinney

Thanks to Miranda Parsons and the Northern Region Film and Television Archive, for their kind permission to use images from "The Blackhill Campaign", which was produced, directed and edited by the late Jack Parsons.

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license

all rights reserved

about

Chris Swinney Wooler, UK

Chris Swinney is a singer, songwriter and producer from the north of England. He has released five albums and one EP since 2000. He has also recorded lots of individual tracks for download. All of these are now available from Bandcamp.

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Track Name: 1959
I just don’t believe it
Have you heard the news
Seems they’ve told everyone
What we’re going to lose
And the chill of December
It turned into ice and snow

They’re pulling the plug
On the life that we made
And though we’re not alone
It still feels that way
Looks like they decided
That we’d be the last to know

As we raise a glass to our friends
And we pray for a better time
There’s a way we’ll remember the end
Forever more
Fifty nine

They made their decision
And just closed their eyes
But we still have a vision
And the means to survive
If only they’ll listen
We’ll keep this whole place alive

As we raise a glass to our friends
And we pray for a better time
There’s a way we’ll remember the end
Forever more
Fifty nine
Track Name: We Can Make It Ours
The mountain’s getting higher
Like the one we need to climb
They say there’s less demand
And now we’re only marking time
So why without a warning
When they must have had a clue
Did they have to wait until our fate was overdue

Let’s get our heads together
Show them what we’re gonna do
We’re running out of time
But there’s the will to see it through
Everyone’s behind us
Except the powers that be
They’ll try to bind us
And remind us it’s too late
We can’t escape bureaucracy

We can make it ours
We can turn it all around
Make it pay in this old town again
We can make it ours
Take a look at what we’ve found
A plan that has to save us from the end

One cold night in The Borders
So many people came
To listen to the rescue plan
And help us fight our claim
Everyone’s behind us
Except the powers that be
But now the press have got it wrong
For everyone to see

We can make it ours
We can turn it all around
Make it pay in this old town again
We can make it ours
Take a look at what we’ve found
A plan that has to save us from the end
Track Name: New Horizon
I stood and watched as the wheels went round
Another shift heading underground
A silhouette of a landmark of our time

Everything that we have revolves
Around a world where the light dissolves
Into the shadows we all will leave behind

But it looks as though a change has come
And our days are numbered one by one
‘Til the lights go out across this town

We’re looking at a new horizon
Beneath the cooling towers
They’re giving us a new horizon
And telling us the future will be ours

We stood in line on the final day
And watched our world as it slipped away
There’s nothing here to take its place

Everything that we have revolves
Around a world where the light dissolves
Into the shadows we all will leave behind

And it looks as though we’re moving on
Though it’s not goodbye to everyone
As the lights go out across this town

We’re looking at a new horizon
Beneath the cooling towers
They’re building us a new horizon
And telling us the future will be ours

This time next year
Not a clue where I’ll be
But I’ll carry on
Just as long as you’re waiting there for me

(Instrumental)

And it looks as though we’re moving on
Though it’s not goodbye to everyone
As the lights go out across this town

We’re looking at a new horizon
Beneath the cooling towers
They’re giving us a new horizon
And telling us the future will be ours


A new horizon
Beneath the cooling towers
They’re building us a new horizon
And telling us the future will be ours
Track Name: There For You
Looks like it’s over
We did our best
But it was us against the rest
It was cut and tied up
Right from the start
Now here we stand
Against the hardest part

What will we do now?
There’s nothing else
And we never brought it on ourselves
This world we worked in
Will turn to rust
They just don’t care what becomes of us

And when the lights go out
We’re on our own
But we’ll find another way
Some other place to stay
Tomorrow brings a better day

I will be there for you
We’ll make it through the night
I will take care of you
It’s hard to see
But it’s gonna be alright

Looks like it’s over
But it’s just begun
We’ll do our best for everyone
This world we’re leaving
Holds nothing but doubt
But I still believe it’ll all work out
Track Name: Screamers Town
Everyone gather round
Have you heard the news from a northern town
They’re making a stand and a plan to deliver

They’re gonna take their cause
To the men on high
Who plan on leaving them high and dry
In the blink of an eye
They’ve been sold down the river

It’s very clear
That something special’s going down
I have an idea
To put this on the screen
I’ll capture it all on this machine
When I’ve worked out what it means

I’m gonna make my way to Screamers Town
And find out for myself
I’m gonna call them up and write it down
We’ll show it all in light and sound

What will they think when I turn up
With my reels of film and a different voice?
What will they say around the town
When I’m driving around in my old Rolls Royce?

So everyone gather round
Have you heard the news from a northern town
They’re making a stand and a plan to deliver

They’re gonna take their cause
To the men on high
Who plan on leaving them high and dry
In the blink of an eye
They’ve been sold down the river

It’s very clear
That something special’s going down
I have an idea
To put this on the screen
I’ll capture it all on this machine
When I’ve worked out what it means

I’m gonna make my way to Screamers Town
And find out for myself
I’m gonna call them up and write it down
This story we will tell

I’m gonna make my way to Screamers Town
And find out for myself
I’m gonna call them up and write it down
We’ll show it all in light and sound
Track Name: This Journey
God how I hate this journey
Will it ever end?
A day in the deep and dark
Then back again
It’s so hard to shift this black cloud
When each day is the same
Tonight I’ll try and wash away the pain

There’s light at the end of this road
So I’ll keep holding on
But it feels like a million years
Before we’re gone
And God how I hate this journey
It’s so hard to see past
To the place where we’ll be settling at last

So wake me as we’re arriving
And again when we’re home
I’ll try to dream it’s the last time
I’ll make it alone
Just waiting for the day to dawn
And flood this endless night

They’re building us a new home
We’ll be leaving soon
There’s nothing else that I can do
So it’s a new tomorrow
I know that we can see it through

So wake me as we’re arriving
And again when we’re home
I’ll try to dream it’s the last time
I’ll make it alone
Just waiting for the day to dawn
And flood this endless night
Track Name: The Life We Were Given/Coming Down
A warm summer’s evening
The church bells would chime
We stood around waiting for opening time
Just five more minutes
And we’ll drink our worries away

The life we were given
Is the one we have kept
It’s a whole way of living
You learn to accept
Bring in some money
Then do this all over again

But oh
Isn’t it strange
How overnight changes occur
And then you’re the stranger
Visiting where you once were

We used to stand gazing
Out over the fields
Now covered in concrete
It looks so unreal
Suppose I feel grateful
That now I’m not part of the deal

This was a dead-end street
The day that we moved in
Strange neighbours either side
And either side again
Seemed pretty normal then
It was all I knew
Some nights a crazy bitch
Would put our windows through

I made the grade that paved the way to something good
But couldn’t wait to see the day I really understood
Why those dreams they seemed so sure they’d realise
Got no assistance from the dreamer to survive

Coming down
Coming round
Coming to your senses
Growing old
Growing wise
Whatever your defence is
You can’t say
You really wanted it this way

This was a dead-end street
But even then we tried
Risking a life and limb
To see what’s on the other side

Coming down
Coming round
Coming to your senses
Growing old
Growing wise
Whatever your pretence is
You can’t say
You really wanted it this way
Track Name: The Dream Was Real
Driving through the old town
And I’m looking for a sign
Of a life that used to be
Long ago

There’s no familiar faces
Or the traces of a time
When we cast our hopes and fears to the wind

But I remember summers
Looking out across the fields
At the burning sky that took our breath away
I remember how I held you
And the way you made me feel
How the nights went on forever
And the dream was real

Where’s the chapel, where’s the drive-in
The old club where it once was thriving
And they took away the view down to the coast
The wasteland where we played for hours
Now holds up all the walls and towers
The sky gets smaller every year
As the old world starts to disappear
Into the mists of time

Driving through the old town
But I’m just a stranger here
And the cold wind says it’s time for me to leave

And I remember summers
Looking out across the fields
At the burning sky that took our breath away
I remember how I held you
And the way you made me feel
How the nights went on forever
And the dream was real
Track Name: This Is...
This is where it all began
When everything was changing
A reason why we stand together now
The cold north wind across this land
Was in the right direction

Carry me, carry me, carry me home
Carry me, carry me, carry me home

No one would have had a clue
If something else was calling
There only seemed to be one path to take
The one I took it led to you
When I knew that I was falling

Carry me, carry me, carry me home
Carry me, carry me, carry me home

This is the way it all turned out
Much better than we could have dreamed about
This is the road that wound its way to you
This is the reason
This is the rhyme
You stood there before me at just the right time
Just when I thought my lucky days were through

Yeah this is where it all began
When everything was changing
A reason why we stand together now
The cold north wind across this land
Was in the right direction

This is the way it all turned out
Much better than we could have dreamed about
This is the road that wound its way to you
This is the reason
This is the rhyme
You stood there before me at just the right time
Just when I thought my lucky days were through

This is the way it all turned out
Much better than we could have dreamed about
This is the road that wound its way to you
This is the reason
This is the rhyme
You stood there before me at just the right time
Just when I thought my lucky days were through
Track Name: Light My Way
I was stumbling through the darkness
And trying to make it home
Only heading in one direction
Into the great unknown
I wondered if I should turn
But with all of my bridges burned
This place only has sad memories

I’ve been leaning on you forever
You never turned away
Time to stand on my own beside you
And Face the day
There’s nothing that’s at an end
And plenty of time to mend
This damaged and broken path I lead

Out of the night your words of wisdom
Are coming to light my way
I’m ready to fight and find my way home
And that’s where I’m gonna stay
You opened up my eyes
And everything came alive
I know that our day will arrive

Yeah I was stumbling through the darkness
And trying to make it home
Only heading in one direction
Into the great unknown
I wondered if I should turn
But with all of my bridges burned
This place only has sad memories

Out of the night your words of wisdom
Are coming to light my way
I’m ready to fight and find my way home
And that’s where I’m gonna stay

Out of the night your words of wisdom
Are coming to light my way
I’m ready to fight and find my way home
And that’s where I’m gonna stay
You opened up my eyes
And everything came alive
I know that our day will arrive
Track Name: Let Me Go Home
I just got back from the city of darkness
I’m trying to make it home
I’m in my car but there’s nowhere to park it
Nowhere to call my own
The radio station is losing location
And songs are all out of key

I look at my face in the rear-view mirror
I haven’t slept for days
Trying to look around for something familiar
But it’s all a haze
Round and around this strange little town
But none of it stays the same

Give me a sign
Throw me a line
‘Cause every time I try to make my way
I just end up in a no-win situation
I’m here all alone
Let me go home
I can’t put my numbers in my telephone
I’m just living in a world of sheer frustration

I just got back from the city of darkness
I’m trying to make it home
I’m in my car but there’s nowhere to park it
Nowhere to call my own
The radio station is losing location
And songs are all out of key

Give me a sign
Throw me a line
‘Cause every time I try to make my way
I just end up in the same old situation
I’m here all alone
Let me go home
I can’t put my numbers in my telephone
I’m just living in a world…

Give me a sign
Throw me a line
‘Cause every time I try to make my way
I just end up in the same old situation
I’m here all alone
Let me go home
I can’t get a signal on my telephone
I’m just living in a world of sheer frustration
Track Name: Words That She Never Said
So this is how it all must end
You’ll go your way and I’ll be fine
I wait for the darkness to descend
Another day we’ll leave behind
For all of the ones that lie ahead
That hold the memories of the things she said

Suppose I’ll have to live with it
There’s nothing more that I can do
To say that it doesn’t hurt a bit
I must admit would stretch the truth
But oh what a blessing in disguise
Now I realise what might have been

Of all the words she might have said
Of all that could enter in her head
Three were abandoned, left for dead
Never thought I’d be grateful
For the words that she never said

What a strange consolation
But I’ll take comfort from this
‘Cause I don’t think that I could take it
If those words had passed your lips
No, no, no

There’s no way I’d put the blame on you
‘Cause there were one or two things I held back too
One or two things to show I care
That won’t hurt you when I’m not there
So you see we played it safe
And we’re much better off this way

Of all the words she might have said
Of all that could enter in her head
Three were abandoned, left for dead
Never thought I’d be grateful
For the words that she never…

Of all the words she might have said
Of all that could enter in her head
Three were abandoned, left for dead
Never thought I’d be grateful
For the words that she never said
I never thought I’d be grateful
For the words that she never said
Track Name: Words Of Praise
Well we all have a few things that we’d like to say
And they won’t be received in a favourable way
So for most they’ll just shut their lips tightly
And bite on their tongue

There’s a fine line between aggravation and truth
But if you’re not coming clean
Then there’s really no use
For a few empty words ‘cause you don’t want to spoil all the fun

And this won’t be the last time you’ve said it all wrong
But that’s just what they want and you need to get on
So just pucker up and kiss where the sun shines
They can’t get enough of your words of praise

Oh I know what it’s like to be out on a limb
And not part of the hype like the state that you’re in
It’s an easier ride
If you sleep well at night anyway

But they’ll throw you a line and you’ll tug at the bait
And they’ll be reeling you in as they tell you you’re great
But it won’t mean a thing ‘cause they’re saying it all of the time

And this won’t be the last time you’ve said it all wrong
But that’s just what they want and you need to get on
So just pucker up and kiss where the sun shines
They can’t get enough of your words of praise

Well they’ll keep you on track
With a pat on the back
Just in case you’re about to break through
And they’ll keep you advised
With the words from the wise
‘Til you can’t see the lies for the truth
Seems it’s all cut and dried
They’re shining the light for you

And this won’t be the last time you’ve said it all wrong
But that’s just what they want and you need to get on
So just pucker up and kiss where the sun shines
They can’t get enough of your words of praise

No this won’t be the last time you’ve said it all wrong
But that’s just what they want and you need to get on
So just pucker up and kiss where the sun shines
They can’t get enough of your words of praise
Track Name: Everything's Alright
Say those words
Say the words I long to hear
Shout it out
Or whisper softly in my ear
It’s the hardest part
It’s the toughest thing to do
When it all came down
Like it all came down on you

You’ve been hurt
Hurt much deeper than you’ve shown
How could he leave?
How could he leave you all alone?
How could anyone?
How could anyone do that?
Some people never know
They never know just what they have

So take each word as I intend it
Coming from inside
Everything I said I meant it
Let love be your guide
Everything’s alright

I never could be underhanded
You know me by now
Playing safe I understand it
But I’ll get through somehow

So say those words
Say the words I long to hear
Shout it out
Or whisper softly in my ear
It’s the hardest part
It’s the toughest thing to do
When it all came down
Like it all came down on you

So take each word as I intend it
Coming from inside
Everything I said I meant it
Let love be your guide…


So take each word as I intend it
Coming from inside
Everything I said I meant it
Let love be your guide
Everything’s alright