Mermaid Avenue Demo’s

Billy’s solo demo’s for the Mermaid Avenue project. Birds and Ships/She Came Along To Me/ I Guess I Planted/Eisler On The Go/The Unwelcome Guest.

Free with Man In The Sand VHS

The birds are singing in your eyes today
Sweet flowers blossom in your smile
The wind and sun are in the words you say
Where might your lonesome lover be?

Birds maybe singing in my eyes today
Sweet flowers blossom when I smile,
But my soul is stormy and my heart blows wild,
My sweetheart rides a ship on the sea

Ten hundred books could I write you about her
Because I felt if I could know her
I would know all women
And they’ve not been any too well known
for brains and planning and organised thinking
But I’m sure the women are equal
And they may be ahead of the men

Yet I wouldn’t spread such a rumor around
because one organises the other
And sometimes the most lost and wasted
attract the most balanced and sane
And the wild and the reckless take up
with the clocked and the timed
And the mixture is all of us
And we’re still mixing

But never, never, never,
Never could have it been done
If the women hadn’t entered into the deal
Like she came along to me

And all creeds and kinds and colors
of us are blending
Till I suppose ten million years from now
we’ll all be just alike
Same color, same size, working together
And maybe we’ll have all of the fascists
out of the way by then
Maybe so.

I guess I planted some long lonesome
seed of a song
Way down inside me long ago
And now I can’t remember when it was
But it joined up with the rest of them and grows
It’s such a little song it don’t compare
With all your big ones you hear everywhere
But when it dawns way in the back of your mind
The big ones are made up of the little kind

Union song. Union battled.
All added up. Won us what we got now

I can’t even start to look around me here
Without hearing this song
And seeing all of us first separated,
Hurt, apart and afraid
And hungry for the union
And so we kept on
Singing and working, fighting till we got it.
And this is the big union song I guess I hear.

We fought there at your place
We fought there on your ship
And I guess if you missed out on
the fight for our union,
You missed out on one awful big step
Us people took.

Eisler on the go, Eisler on the move
Brother is on the vinegar truck
and I don’t know what I’ll do

I don’t know what I’ll do,
I don’t know what I’ll do
Eisler’s on the come and go
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler on the farm, Eisler on the town
Sister in the tickly bush
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler on the boat, Eisler on the ship
Daddy on the henhouse roof
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler in the jailoe, Eisler back at home,
Rankin scratch his head and cry
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler him write music, Eisler him teach school,
Truman him don’t play so good
and I don’t know what I’ll do

To the rich man’s bright lodges I ride in this wind
On my good horse I call you my shiny Black Bess
To the playhouse of fortune
to take the bright silver
And gold you have taken from somebody else

As we go riding in the damp foggy midnight
You snort, my good pony, and you give me your best
For you know, and I know, good horse,
‘mongst the rich ones
How oftimes we go there an unwelcome guest

I’ve never took food from the widows and orphans
And never a hard working man I oppressed
So take your pace easy,
for home soon like lightning
We soon will be riding, my shiny Black Bess

No fat rich man’s pony can ever overtake you
And there’s not a rider from the east to the west
Could hold you a light
in this dark mist and midnight
When the potbellied thieves
chase their unwelcome guest

I don’t know, good horse,
as we trot in this dark here
That robbing the rich is for worse or for best
They take it by stealing and lying and gambling
And I take it my way, my shiny Black Bess

I treat horses good and I’m friendly to strangers
I ride and your running makes my guns talk the best
And the rangers and deputies
are hired by the rich man
To catch me and hang me, my shining Black Bess

Yes, they’ll catch me napping one day
and they’ll kill me
And then I’ll be gone but that won’t be my end
For my guns and my saddle will always be filled
By unwelcome travellers and other brave men

And they’ll take the money and spread it out equal
Just like the Bible and the prophets suggest
But the men that go riding to help these poor workers
The rich will cut down like an unwelcome guest

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© Billy Bragg 2021