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Song lyrics by Jim King
Blood Red Roses

Blood Red Roses album

There's no such thing as 'just a domestic'. Violence is violence, excuses are unacceptable.
Do you remember when the passion turned to pain?
When did the sunlight first get shrouded by the rain?
Has your home become an empty house, where every doorway closes?
Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses?

Has your drinking turned your wounded heart to stone?
Does a bottle stop you feeling so alone?
Are you always blaming them for the trouble that life poses?
Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses?

Blood red roses, blood red roses,
There was a time when blood red roses used to mean a lot
But now it’s roses when your sober
And it’s only tears and bruises
Only tears and bruises
Only tears and bruises when your not

When you’re left with only what you can recall
The spring and summer leading to your fall
Will you deny the pain you cause, seek another diagnosis?
Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses?

Blood red roses, blood red roses,
There was a time when blood red roses used to mean a lot
But now it’s roses when your sober
And it’s only tears and bruises
Only tears and bruises
Only tears and bruises when your not
Beautiful Swimmers

Views From The South album

Inspired by  William Warner's wonderfully evocative book of the same name.
The sail canoe cuts like an eel through the water
We slip the dredge in the four fathom lay
The wind fills the jib and we head up to Tangier
To catch the big Blues on Chesapeake Bay

This bay has been giving me my way of living
Was my father's before me and his father's too
They sold in Virginia and up into Boston
Then New York and Philly when the railroad came through

Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
The Chesapeake Blue is the sweetest of all
Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
I'll catch the big Blues when the Chesapeake calls

This boat that I sail my grandfather bartered
For a horse that he 'borrowed' on his way out of town
She's patched and she's wheezing, she's re-rigged each season
She skims through the shallows, the fastest around

Now there's so little left for the crabs and the oysters
The city folk came with their toy boats to play
The noise and the traffic and the smell of the diesel
They scared off the Blues from most of the bay

Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
The Chesapeake Blue is the sweetest of all
Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
I'll catch the big Blues when the Chesapeake calls

I have no sons to take on the dredging
But I'll shed no tears for I think it's as well
There's so little to catch now I scarce fill a barrel
And apart from who's listening there's no one to tell

The sail canoe cuts like an eel through the water
We slip the dredge in the four-fathom lay
The wind fills the jib and we head up to Tangier
To catch the big Blues in the Chesapeake Bay

Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
The Chesapeake Blue is the sweetest of all
Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers
I'll catch the big Blues when the Chesapeake calls
Eastland Disaster

Views From The South album

Based on a true story. Further details  here
I was born and raised near Plymouth Quay
A miller’s son, no life for me
When I turned fifteen I went to sea
On the steamship Aureole
A stoker’s shovel replaced my toys
Twelve hour shifts in the heat and noise
Sorted out the men from boys
'Til we berthed in Montreal

There I signed on board a Great Lakes tramp
Shipping lumber from the logging camps
The winters got so cold and damp
I looked for a job on the land
Learned the linesman’s trade and travelled around
Then I found work in Chicago town
Hired by Western I settled down
Life started looking grand

July 24, 1915
The biggest party there’d ever been
Western’s workers filled the scene
Five thousand, maybe more
At the Eastland berth by Whacker Drive
We started boarding at 7:05
She was moving like she was alive
And tugging at the shore

And I never felt so cold,
If I think about it still it makes me shiver.
When the Eastland rolled,
In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.

To the Eastland we all joined the race
Five other ships but she was the ace
Nothing on the Lakes could match her pace
The star of the cruiser queens
By 8:15 we were crammed on board
At least two thousand, maybe more
Plenty others still on the shore
And we started to feel her lean

Up on deck a dance band played
She leaned again and then she swayed
Someone screamed, I think I prayed
As she spilled and threw us down
In the minutes that followed eight hundred died
The Eastland settled on her side
You couldn’t see the river for the tears we cried
It’s a miracle I didn’t drown

And I never felt so cold,
If I think about it still it makes me shiver.
When the Eastland rolled,
In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.

Sixteen hundred survived that day
I kinda recovered and I’m OK
It was a hell of a price some had to pay
So I count my blessings still
Sometimes I go by Whacker Drive
I know I’m lucky to be alive
I mind the ones who didn’t survive
And I think I always will

And I never felt so cold,
If I think about it still it makes me shiver.
When the Eastland rolled,
In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.
Colour Of Chameleons

Blood Red Roses album

Sometimes, having integrity is a challenge
I have always found it hard to believe
I have always longed for a sign I could perceive
I have always worn my doubts upon my sleeve
But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons
I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried hard to make the grade
I have always watched others join the big parade
I have always stood behind the barricade
But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons
I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

One day maybe I’ll cross the desert plain
One day maybe I’ll stand in the hurricane
One day maybe I’ll find the truth again
Then I’ll see the real colour of chameleons
I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

I have always found it easy to begin
I have always found it easier to lose than win
I have always tried to take it on the chin
But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons
I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

One day maybe I’ll cross the desert plain
One day maybe I’ll stand in the hurricane
One day maybe I’ll find the truth again
Then I’ll see the real colour of chameleons
I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons
West Coast Days

Blood Red Roses album

A tribute to my favourite bit of the planet - admitedly, I haven't seen all of it yet.
When there’s a warm wind blowing in August
Cuts the air right out of the day
Carries the scent of the shore line
‘Cross the lowlands on its way
I’ll take train out of Central
Ride down to West Kilbride
Stand on the beach at Seamill
Where the ocean meets the Clyde

Gaze across at the smoky hills and the islands in the haze
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days

Standing outside Nardini’s
With a flavour to make you smile
Catch a ferry and rent some wheels
Cruise the island for a while
The day cools down and the sea lights up
With a thousand neon signs
I’ll head home with a hot fish supper
Wrapped in yesterday’s Evening Times

Gaze across at the smoky hills and the islands in the haze
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days

When I hear stories people tell
Recalling summertime dreams
Sailing down the water to Rothesay
Sand castles in the Bay at Wemys
Maybe those times will come no more
Forgotten good old days
No more steamers going down the Clyde
Just sleepy west coast ways

Gaze across at the smoky hills and the islands in the haze
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days

When there’s a warm wind blowing in August
Cuts the air right out of the day
Carries the scent of the shore line
‘Cross the lowlands on its way
I’ll take train out of Central
Ride down to west Kilbride
Stand on the beach at Seamill
Where the ocean meets the Clyde

Gaze across at the smoky hills and the islands in the haze
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days
Just another one of those sleepy west coast days
Roots and Wings

Blood Red Roses album

It started so very long ago six days then one for rest
Man arrived and turned it sour the cuckoo in the nest
Brought greed and hunger fear and pain the list’s as long as time
Was the young and innocent made to pay the victims of the crime

And no matter what the future brings
Give them roots and give them wings
Give them hope but above all things
Give them roots and give them wings
Give them roots and give them wings
Give them roots and give them wings

Many are the ways of man there’s evil and there’s good
We teach our children what we can though seldom what we should
It’s from example that they learn not from the things we say
So let them see us caring for tomorrow’s kids today

And no matter what the future brings
Give them roots...

There are those who sing and those who play and those who bring us joy
Their message is so plain to see help every girl and boy
The third world is not far we stole their present for our past
So help the children of today build a future that can last

And no matter what the future brings
Give them roots...

The world is so much smaller now than it’s ever been before
History has taught us much that we’ve chosen to ignore
Poverty is with us still though there really is no need
It’s not enough to teach our children how to work and how to breed

And no matter what the future brings
Give them roots...

Hungry kids can walk like kings if you give them roots and give them wings
Psalm 9:11

Views From The South album

When we see that someone needs help, why do we often end up giving them a kicking?
I’d like to send this message to our leaders everywhere
You’ll know if this applies to you, you’ll think it’s a prayer
I hope you receive it well, and my words are not in vain
Please stop your righteous daydreams, wake up and smell the pain

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own
The lights are on...  but there’s nobody home

You disregard so many views because these views aren’t yours
You claim they’re irresponsible you damn them and their cause
You tie them down with legal chains and gag them with your laws
Then you tell the world you mean so well, do you think the world ignores?

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own
The lights are on...  but there’s nobody home

I see through all the tricks you play with mirrors and with smoke
All the demons and familiars you keep tucked inside your cloak
You preach your rules and doctrine like a true evangelist
But you’re the one who does the kissing, you’re not the one who’s being kissed

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own
The lights are on...  but there’s nobody home

God knows I’ve tried to tell you year after bloody year
You can’t win the peace with bombs, you can’t win hearts with fear
But you smear your shiny leader’s grin across your front page views
And you scribble out your lies and spin wrapped up in greasy news

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own
The lights are on...  but there’s nobody home

So scrap your tanks and gunships, build hospitals and schools
Build houses for the homeless, give your soldiers useful tools
I’m not asking for Utopia that’s really not my aim
I just want all the players to get a chance to play the game

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own
The lights are on...  but there’s nobody home
Acceptance Speech

from the Views album

Written for a young man of my acquaintence who has more than his share of challenges. It's also a simple plea for tolerance.
If I accept you for what you want to be
If I accept you and everything you say to me
If I accept you unreservedly
Will you accept me just for what I am?

If I accept the world is yours to see and hear and feel
If I accept that I’m excluded from the deal
And if I accept that I have no right of appeal
Will you accept me just for what I am?

My voice is joy in how I am
My choices aren’t the ones I’d plan
Put together altogether different
There are flaws in my design
But who’s to say yours is a better one than mine

So if I accept you for every part you’ve ever played
If I accept there’s no-one ever hears a word that’s prayed
And if I accept it’s just the way we are made
Will you accept me just for what I am?

My voice is joy in how I am
My choices aren’t the ones I’d plan
Put together altogether different
There are flaws in my design
But who’s to say yours is a better one than mine

If I accept you for what you want to be
If I accept you and everything you say to me
If I accept you unreservedly
Will you accept me just for what I am?

Will you accept me just for what I am?

Please accept me just for what I am?
As Long As TheMemories Glow

from the
Views album

I've met quite few 'Mrs. Haggertys'
Old Mrs. Haggerty lives in a home with a room overlooking a square
She sits at the window describing the scene
At breakfast and supper, sometimes in between
To someone who’s not really there
Mrs. Haggerty knows but she doesn’t care

Old Mrs. Haggerty seems to spend much of her day in a world of her own
Of the places she visits and the times that she goes
If anyone asks, she may well disclose
But she’s happy to be there alone
Mrs. Haggerty simply recalls what she’s known


For as long as the memories glow
She’d have them light up again
While she’s reminiscing, if she can remember
Re-kindle what’s missing, some spark or an ember
Of what happened so long ago
For as long as the memories glow


Old Mrs. Haggerty keeps track of time with a calendar pinned to the wall
She ticks off the days with the greatest of care
Tuesday it’s bingo, Thursday it’s hair
And on Friday someone might call
Mrs. Haggerty doesn’t miss much at all.


For as long as the memories glow
She’d have them light up again
While she’s reminiscing, if she can remember
Re-kindle what’s missing, some spark or an ember
Of what happened so long ago
For as long as the memories glow
Father And Son

From the Views album

Echoes of conversations I had, and others I could so easily have had, with my own dad
Won’t you tell me what you did in the war Dad
And what was it that you got your medal for Dad
Did you fly in dogfights up above the clouds
Did you lead your men to battle marching proud.

Did you send a U-boat to a watery grave Dad
Did you take a gunpost with your last grenade Dad
What’s the matter is there something in your eye
You looked just like you were about to cry...
   It’s just a bloody shame
   It’s always been the same
   Generals and politicians talk about the gains
   They forget to mention all the pain
   They forget to mention all the pain

Don’t go they’ll have you knee deep in the mud Son
The noise of all the shells will freeze your blood Son
I was there remember I know what’s in store
We never even knew what we were fighting for.

When the captain put the whistle to his lip Son
That’s when I felt my heartbeat skip Son
He gave a blast we scrambled over the top
And we ran like hell and prayed that it would stop
   It’s just a bloody shame...

But this time it won’t be like your war Dad
We know what we’re fighting for Dad
It’s all machines now no muddy trench for me
It’ll all be over soon just wait and see

There’s no more strike a match and light a fuse Dad
It’s technology that I’ll be trained to use Dad
They say these skills will stand me in good stead
If I can learn it all and keep my head
   It’s just a bloody shame...

Won’t you tell me what you did in the war Son
And what was it that you got your medal for Son
I can’t read the words they’ve written where you lie
I think I may have something in my eye...
   It’s just a bloody shame...
Puppet Master

Blood Red Roses Album

Cascade economics? The bollocks some people will think up to justify being greedy bastards
When the puppet master pulls your string
And tells you all to dance until you drop
And the wealth that you create is like a spring
The first flow always pours out at the top
The first flow always pours out at the top

For it takes a while to trickle down
It just takes a while to trickle down
Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down
It takes a while to trickle down

When he puts that word demand after supply
When he talks about economies of scale
When he promises a castle in the sky
You know it’s just another fairy tale
You know it’s just another fairy tale

For it takes a while to trickle down
It just takes a while to trickle down
Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down
It takes a while to trickle down

When he talks of wealth to follow by and by
And the sacrifices needed on the way
Be wary of the toungue that tells the lie
You could be looking at your final working day
You could be looking at your final working day

For it takes a while to trickle down
It just takes a while to trickle down
Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down
It takes a while to trickle down

He talks of cuts that may cause some slight pain
If he only knew the fear that slices to the bone
And the threat of never having work again
The flood he stands in then would be his own
The flood he stands in then would be his own

For it takes a while to trickle down
It just takes a while to trickle down
Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down
It takes a while to trickle down

For it takes a while to trickle down
It just takes a while to trickle down
Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down
It takes a while to trickle down
I Turn To You

Blood Red Roses Album


When I’m standing in the shadows and the fat grey clouds go chasing ‘cross the moon
With the morning breaks the dawn and then the twilight always comes around too soon
And I’m aching for the longer days of spring to warm away the haze I’m in
Then summer comes it’s quickly gone and leaves me with an autumn song of what has been

That’s when I turn to you
You always know what to do
You guide me from the darkest night
You take me out into the light
So I can see again, see again

When the wall I built around me stretches up so high it’s blocking out the sun
And climbing’s an endeavour that is ended just as soon as it’s begun
Despite how hard I try to grip I might as well give up and slip behind
For there’s nothing to hold on to when the wall is only real inside my mind

That’s when I turn to you
You always know what to do
You guide me from the darkest night
You take me out into the light
So I can see again, see again

That’s when I turn to you
You always know what to do
You guide me from the darkest night
You take me out into the light
So I can see again, see again, see again, see again
Woodland Waltz

Views From The South Album


Hornbeam and willow, maple and elm
Sycamore, chestnut and yew
Redwood and hazel, rowan and beech
Oak and holly to name but a few.

Can you imagine a world without trees?
Do you think you'd survive it for long?
Put yourself to the test, you can try it with ease
Hold your breath for the rest of this song.

The tropical rainforest burns day and night
In Brazil they need land for the cow.
The Amazon Basin, the lungs of the world
Have a cancer that must be cured now

Can you imagine - etc.

The scale of destruction, to ease the production
Of beef for the hamburger kings
Those meat mafioso, who's motives are oh so
Divorced from the haoc they bring

Can you imagine - etc.

So if you've no objection to making a buck
And you don't think the future looks black
When it comes to the end you could be out of luck
When you have to inhale a Big Mac

Can you imagine - etc.

Hornbeam and willow, maple and elm
Sycamore, chestnut and yew
Redwood and hazel, rowan and beech
Oak and holly to name but a few.