Warhorse

by dwarf band

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about

THE dwarf band / KELLAWAY SAGA (continued from 'Took A Shine' )

This album continued the divergence from the early Kellaway production process. John was out of the loop for many of the sessions, but Ken and Alf ploughed on. So, most of the recordings set out without any particular sound in mind, often with the rhythm section as the starting point. The songs, too, did not lend themselves so much to the acoustic treatment and thus an album emerged with quite different arrangements.

Warhorse did introduce a potent new player on the technological block: digital capture and sequencing through Logic Audio, the short-lived King of Windows ‘affordable’ music software (soon to be gobbled up by the Apple-Mac mob). The Fostex reel-to-reel , grand old servant over many years, was retired and the band entered a new era. No more bouncing down to 7 effective tracks, the sky was the limit. But, as ever, Ken was judicious and this is not a cluttered album. In recognition of the changing paradigm, dwarf band was now into its last production and the band name would subsequently be retired (along with Fossie) in favour of a new moniker.

credits

released February 15, 1998

Songs and vocals: Alf Davies

Backing vocals, acoustic 6 & 12 string Matons, mandolin, percussion & patented soft whistle: John Dean

Electric guitars, keyboards, stand-up snare, backing vocals, engineering & arrangements and all aspects of production: Ken Stephenson

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The Kellaways Melbourne, Australia

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Track Name: Warhorse
WARHORSE

I’ll tell you a story, for that is my role
May be a tall one, may not even fit into the whole
I am a warrior, an ancient of fame
Fought with the Trojans, Goths and Vandals trembled at my name

A war-weary general, mercenary pure
In every battle, I participate and I endure
I’m propaganda, constant of war
Say it again now, I have said it many times before

And I can justify any action, any lie
I can dress the Devil up so fine
Name the place and time, and who it is must die
I can make arrangements down the line
Among my kind

I travel on wires, and work from behind
I make the myths now, I have redefined the real front line
Adaptive to changes, cowboy of tech
Guided by lasers, weakness I am certain to detect

I’m propaganda, timeless and great
You think you control me, I have appetites you cannot sate
I’m propaganda, deceitful and bold
Give me a run-down, then you do exactly as you’re told

And I can justify any action, any lie
I can dress the Devil up so fine
Name the place and time, and who it is must die
I can make arrangements down the line
Among my kind
Track Name: It All Fell Down
IT ALL FELL DOWN (Now and Then)

We had a blue and I blamed it on you
Then it all fell down
A stupid sick row when I think of it now
But it all fell down
And I think of you now and then
Think of you still, as a friend
We shared a love but were baying for blood
When it all fell down

We had it wired but we seemed to grow tired
Then it all fell down
We’d never flirt then you suddenly hurt
And it all fell down
And I miss the occasional look
Glancing away from your book
Then the eyes went so vague, barriers raised
And it all fell down

Down, like the Berlin wall
Foundered, on the siren’s call
Now and then I feared a fall
But the wall came down

Now in a dream a familiar old scene
As your hair fell down
Calm and so warm with no sign of a storm
Then the rain fell down
And I think of you now and then
Think of you still, as a friend
We shared a love but were baying for blood
When it all fell down

We shared a love but were baying for blood
When it all fell down
We shared a love but were baying for blood
When it all fell down
We shared a love but were baying for blood
When it all fell down
Track Name: The Spreader
THE SPREADER

He was a handsome dude, with a one-track mind
A piece of tail, wasn’t hard to find
When the morning came, they were cast aside
A minor sleight to his boundless pride

She was a lonely girl, in a foreign place
When the morning came, a smiling face
Though cast aside, a fast joyride
She couldn’t hide, she didn’t mind

And some called him a sinner
Most thought he must be bad
This man was close to saintly
The best friend that you could have

And the secret’s in the eyes I see - he treats all people equally
His attention comes for free, the only way he can be

It was a crowded train, on a two day haul
When Benares came, he’d had the call
In the morning shade, not a promise made
A ghost is laid, a path repaved

And some called him a sinner
Most thought he must be bad
This man was close to saintly
The best friend that you could have
And some called him a sinner
Most thought he must be bad
This man was close to saintly
The best friend that you could ever have
Track Name: Never Say Never
NEVER SAY NEVER

Her husband left, he just disappeared
Her little boy was only four
He gave her strength, from year to year
Every night she held him to her breast
Whispered words which blossomed into threats

Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Never, never run away
And the rest of our days
Will be sunshine and showers, never rain

The young man woke, in a fit of pique
Looked at his girlfriend lying there
She’d been out three times this week
He polished off his TV snack
Woke her with a poke, hard in the back

Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Never, never run away
And the rest of our days
Will be sunshine and flowers, summer haze

He looked down, with his wise warm gaze
All of his followers were there
Prepare yourself, for the coming days
Drink deep and thus be spared the wrath
Alone we’ll climb the stairway up to God

Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Never, never run away
And the rest of our days
Will be sunshine and flowers, on our graves

Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Never, never run away from me
Never, never go astray
Track Name: The Battle Of The Sisters
THE BATTLE OF THE SISTERS

She wandered alone in the courtyard
She thought of her love gone afar
Banished to wait, for she was just a woman
The tide of our times was astir
The rights of each side soon to blurr

And they suffered into suffrage
And the sisters carried on
Utterly against the odds
Still the sisters carried on
Through their liberation
The sisters seemed so strong
But none foresaw the turncoats
The shoulder pads and fur coats
None believed that it could happen to them
The turncoats proved better at being men
Than men, at being men
Better than men, at being men

She wanders alone in the unit
She thinks of her love on the rig
Banished to wait, for she is just a woman
The scream of the child flips her lid
The pressure, the bills and the kid

They have suffered through their suffrage
Yet the sisters carry on
Utterly against the odds
Still the sisters carry on
Through their liberation
The sisters seemed so strong
But none foresaw the turncoats
The shoulder pads and fur coats
None believed that it could happen to them
The turncoats proved better at being
Turncoats prove better at being
Turncoats prove better at being men
Than men, at being men

Better, than men, at being men
Better, than men, at being men
Better, than men, at being men
Better, than men, at being men
Better, than men, at being men
Better, than men, at being men
Track Name: Rat Race
RAT-RACE

Any one of many cities
Summer heat and dust and fumes
Sun is baking without pity
Expressionless, a blank face
Urban jungle forms
Fighting for their small space
On the long march - of the rat-race hordes

Any bus or train or tram-car
Nearly splitting at the seams
People milling in a stockyard
Straining for a hint of air
Grabbing at the cords
Wanting to be anywhere
But not a part - of the rat-race hordes

Marching to the rhythm of the moguls in the wings
Encouragement is given for the progress that it brings
Rats don’t know the wheel goes round
But they don’t change their place
They say it’s done with mirrors
It’s a real rat-race

There’s the boss, you hardly ever see him
He’s the keeper of the cheese
He will feed you when you weaken
Morsels of stale cheddar
Furtive, small rewards
Never getting better
On the long march - of the rat-race hordes

Marching to the rhythm of the moguls in the wings
Encouragement is given for the progress that it brings
Rats don’t know the wheel goes round
But they don’t change their place
They say it’s done with mirrors
It’s a real rat-race

They say it’s done with mirrors - it’s a real rat-race
They say it’s done with mirrors - it’s a real rat-race
They say it’s done with mirrors - it’s a real rat-race
Track Name: Your Secret
YOUR SECRET

I can see you hurting, I know you’ve done it hard
I can’t help observing, the way you’ve dropped your guard
I don’t have the answers, I can’t set you straight
But I can see some chances, if you can learn to wait

And tell me your secret, I’ll lend you my ear
I hope you will trust me, you’ve no need for fear

I have caught a glimmer, of what you see as real
In my world it’s a sliver, of life’s ironic deal
I see the injustice, and all she’s done to you
But the tango is for partners, and you are one of two

And tell me your secret, I’ll lend you my ear
I hope you will trust me, you’ve no need for fear

You are disappointed, in what you have become
No-one is anointed, life’s a smoking gun
You may want to wallow, to vacuum your esteem
Pride is hard to swallow, forget that bitter scene

And tell me your secret, I’ll lend you my ear
I hope you will trust me, you’ve no need for fear
You’ve no need for fear, no need for fear
No need for fear, no need for fear
Track Name: Wise Men
WISE MEN

Three wise men were big in dealing opium
Took a flat-top caravan to Bethlehem
Somehow they got caught up in a scene
We don’t know what these crazy people mean
We haven’t got a clue what’s going on
It might be cool if we just play along

Taken to a stable and a gathered throng
Smile and try to look as if you know their song
I cannot pick a single word they say
Soon we will be free and on our way
This isn’t such a hefty price to pay
They think we’re Kings, so we are today

They think we’re Kings, who are we to disappoint them
Think we’re Kings, we’d better bless this baby here
They think we’re Kings, they don’t know we’re frightened dealers
Think we’re Kings, and they think this kid’s a seer
(Ha, look regal gentlemen)

The payment for the hundredweight of opium
Smuggled very carefully into Bethlehem
Leaf of gold, frankincense and myrrh
When revealed created quite a stir
Don’t give too much we need to keep a stash
If the O is cheap we can buy some hash

They think we’re Kings, who are we to disappoint them
Think we’re Kings, we’d better bless this baby here
They think we’re Kings, they don’t know we’re frightened dealers
Think we’re Kings, and they think this kid’s a seer
They think we’re Kings, who are we to disappoint them
Think we’re Kings, we’d better bless this baby here
They think we’re Kings, they don’t know we’re frightened dealers
Think we’re Kings, and they think this kid’s a seer
Track Name: Lore Of The Land
LORE OF THE LAND

They first sent Cookie in a ship
Bligh and Phillip had a dip
Thus began the old land's trip
Far from its primal state

First they were, at first sat back
Tried to bargain, tried attack
Thus began the old land's sack
The forests and the plains
Would never be the same

It's the law of the land, you cannot hope to save
Your old lore of the land , it’s the white law to the grave

First the rivers then the beach
Poisons oozing toxins leech
Forests dying, out of reach
The old land will fight back

First they were, last they'll be
When land is darkened, they’ll still see
Dream and wait 'til land is free
The land will take them back
Their land will have them back

It's the lore of the land, you cannot run away
It's the lore of the land, and she has the final say
It's the lore of the land, you cannot run away
It's the lore of the land, and the users, are sure to pay
It's the lore of the land, you cannot run away
It's the lore of the land, it will always rule the day
It's the lore of the land, you cannot run away
It's the lore of the land, she has the final say
Track Name: Underdog
UNDERDOG

They rode into Glenrowan after weeks on the run
These were the boys of Ned Kelly
Everybody knew, their time it had come
A feeling deep within the belly
Hart says to Byrne, this is it mate
Seasons have turned, this is our fate
Now come what may, I hope and pray
I'll show the courage of Ned Kelly
We'll need the courage of Ned Kelly

Simpson had a donkey bringing men from the line
He didn't give a damn 'bout Johnny
Every day they saw him, their spirits soared high
Life on that ridge wasn't funny
He says to the sapper, she's right mate
We'll have you at home in quick shakes
On Anzac Day, you'll hear them say
He had the courage of Ned Kelly
A man who could stand with Ned Kelly

Tall, tall poppy, underdog - our Ned Kelly next to God
Tall, tall poppy, underdog - our Ned Kelly next to God

War and fighting ended and the lamb became fat
Diggers did battle with the mortgage
Enemies were friends, the budgie and cat
Hats were the only place for corkage
Heroes were made on a big ground
Stand in a shirt front, don't go down
And in the end, a blood-spattered win
Won with the courage of Ned Kelly
Men who could stand with Ned Kelly

Modern days have followed, the cringe is thrown off
A land that God would choose to live in
But is there something missing, a sense of some loss
Times when people still were giving
It's hard now to see when the slide came
Video freeze the precise frame
Though diggers did bleed, there's no-one to lead
Who has the courage of Ned Kelly
None has the courage of Ned Kelly
Who now could stand with Ned Kelly

Tall, tall poppy, underdog - our Ned Kelly next to God
Tall, tall poppy, underdog - our Ned Kelly next to God
Next to God, underdog, next to God, underdog
Next to God, underdog, next to God, underdog
Next to God, underdog, next to God, underdog
Next to God, underdog, next to God, underdog
Track Name: Plainly, Punk and Lonely
PLAIN, PUNK AND LONELY

He came down from Birmingham, to try his luck, a London band
He really didn’t have a plan, he practised looking vague

He went out to buy some drugs, came back with a Persian rug
Passed it off with just a shrug, another loss he’d made

And he’s cool, and he’s punk, and he’s lonely
So cool, and punk, and plain lonely

And it’s hard looking surly, looking tight
You can’t go home early, in the night
Dance in a trance ‘til daylight
Dance on to noon, hey it’s all right
(Nothing wrong with that once in a while, nothing wrong with that at all)

She went to another rave, the mood was wild, real depraved
Pigged out, ecstasy she’d saved, she practised looking wan

She doesn’t eat and rarely sleeps, can’t remember how to weep
Cries or laughs in sudden leaps, a sucker for the con

And she’s cool, and she’s punk, and she’s lonely
So cool, and punk, and plain lonely
And they’re cool, and they’re punk, and they’re lonely
So cool, and punk, and if only
Cool, punk, and plain lonely
Cool, punk, and if only
Cool, punk, and plain lonely
Cool, punk, and if only
Track Name: Make Or Break
MAKE OR BREAK

He’d been married three times before
And three times she’d walked out the door
He’d lost all, of his confidence
But she number four seemed determined
To make it one more (he said)

Make or break, this is my last fling at it
Make or break, this is all I have to give
Make or break, this is what I need to live
Make or break, this is my last fling

He’d been cracking safes for two decades
Been inside for mistakes he’d made
Retired now, to the front bar
He lost a bet and then gambled again
On the debt (one more time)

Make or break, this is my last fling at it
Make or break, this is all I have to give
Make or break, this is what I need to live
Make or break, this is my last fling

And weren’t we all supposed to learn from life
We were bound to find our one-love wife
We were told to keep our noses clean
But thrills are always lurking, sliding out of dreams

A junkie, for too long to think
He’s hovered on the black-hole brink
He’ll try now, for the tenth time
Withdraw, a cocoon, and recoil from the light
Of the moon (this time it’s)

Make or break, this is my last fling at it
Make or break, this is all I have to give
Make or break, this is what I need to live
Make or break, this is my last fling at it
Make or break, this is all I have to give
Make or break, this is what I need to live
Make or break, this is my last fling
Track Name: Morgan's Tale
MORGAN’S TALE

He came out to the gold-fields, from the green hills of old Wales
Suffered on the journey, becalmed and withstood gales
Could scarcely believe where his wish to be free would now lead
Across the sea

Onward past Benalla, saw the mighty Ovens flood
Dug into a valley, spent his heart, his sweat and blood
Who would’ve thought of old Morgan’s Wandilagong reef
Beyond belief

A god-fearing man of the Methodist clan
He hit pay-dirt
A god-fearing man who gave not a damn
For the money, or a new shirt

Sing now Morgan, sing to the warm wind of fate
Sing now Morgan, sing to the sun, the earth, the stars

Esther found it just right, and she headed back to town
Settled into Brighton, where she partied from sundown
She said that Morgan’s rich vein was the first of a few
She said she knew

Morgan stayed a bushman, the lights he loved were stars
A digger in an era of no phones or fancy cars
He knew that one strike was more than enough for his dream
A simple scheme

A god-fearing man of the Methodist clan
That was Morgan
A god-fearing man who gave not a damn
But his poor wife, she was mourning