Roy Harper – One of Those Days in England pt. 2-10 – lyrics of an epic song with a wide spectrum of thought, controversy, history and sentiment.

Roy Harper – One of Those Days in England pt. 2-10 – lyrics of an epic song with a wide spectrum of thought, controversy, history and sentiment.

One of my all-time favourite songs.

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Roy has never been one for producing a short snappy Pop song. Most of his early albums feature an epic song that is far-reaching and has a scope sufficient to cover the gamut of society, the universe and history.

We have been regaled with the poetic visions of McGoohan’s Blues, I Hate the Whiteman, The Lord’s Prayer, The Game, Me and My Woman, Work of Heart and Burn The World.

Each one of those songs is packed with more controversy, venom, social commentary and poetic vision that most of the world’s top singer-songwriters have managed in an entire career.

These are epic songs with a scope that is encompassing, intelligent, perceptive and thought provoking. There is nothing easy-listening about anything Roy does. He doesn’t duck issues or court popularity.

If he feels it then he writes it. You need to have your brain engaged to tackle a song like the twenty odd minutes of concentrated polemic that is One of Those Days in England. It is a song about life, history, the future and the world we are building. Not many people would ever dare attempt such a challenging scope. It’s complexity is daunting. Yet it is not opaque because of that. The variation, melody and drive make it accessible and enjoyable.

Roy is an artist in both music and words and the result is extraordinary.

Not many people come close.

One of Those Days in England pt. 2-10

Every Wednesday morning, at about the hour of ten
I give the queen my autograph, she gives me the yen
The man behind the counter smiles, the door man bows again
Just another day down on the dole queue

But the government must love me ’cause they keep me out of work
They must be saving me for something special
Maybe it’s the job of rolling spliffs for Captain Kirk
Or giving Miss Lovelace a pubic hairdo.

One of those days in England with a sword in every pond
And birds in every garden in the land
One of those days in England when the passion never ends
A slowly moving season by the fire of my friends.

And though the time fast slips away, it’s long enough to laugh and play
Around the fireside making hay, dreaming of tomorrow, you know there’s no today.

One of those days in England with the willow hanging on
I dreamt I met an old man down the road
Whispering the mysteries of patterns up ahead
And stirring past reflections with the sword of lightning said,

Alfred had me made from Albion’s everglade
And I made him to lie with me whence all my troubles fade
You may have read the signs, beware of strange designs
For though the victors write the books, the loser speaks the lines
So let’s now both be gone, ’tis far to Avalon
And though we go our different ways, I’ll see you there anon.

And so I got on board the bird of aeons and I rode
But everytime I met a prince, a fork came down the road
I kept on thinking that I’d stop once everybody showed
Gathered in the myths of our reflection.

But stopping ain’t that possible this far into control
This far beyond the non imagination
No more than I can shed the moving forces of my soul
The time lords of the slowly revolution.

You and me, mother, we’re gonna raise a ship full of kids and slowly lose them
Why does it matter where they’ve all gone, we don’t even have the power to choose them
You and me, father, we’re gonna colonise all of the stars with lots of our madness
Shooting through space with sons on our hips and guns on our lips to play snakes and ladders.

Oh heavens above, I’m coming with love all over, over you.

You and me, sister, we’re gonna plant a bomb in a street to change law and order
And when we’ve killed all who resisted the call, we’ll discover a brand new wall at the border
You and me, brother, wrapped up in silence, brooding for better breathing spaces
Seeing ideals, we were one time a part of rip us apart in our holiest places.

Oh heavens above, I’m coming with love all over, all over you.

Sitting out there with this silvery hair and your thundery look when you really don’t care, but I love you
Dolly blue rivers, foreverness givers, I’ll go without knowing and know without going above you
Stood on the ship in a dream at third slip with Britannica’s tallons on Albion’s grip, do you need me ?
Looking for you when it’s catch 22 and you’ve never been here but it’s always been blue up above me, up above me.

Oh Mrs. Space took her man to the human race
And together they humped over the edge
Nine months later, they were sharing a brand new face
The latest thin end of the wedge.

And baby grew, grew into a space cadet
Legend lives, he screamed under his breath
I’m in the queue, in the queue for the hell of it
Some place inbetween life and death.

Oh Mrs. Space, I love you, with your come home early eye
Don’t ever come between us ’cause times don’t change, they fly.

And it don’t seem long since my life was an endless stream
The future fled into time without trace
I see the end now but I’ve fallen in love again
With a girl who can travel in space.

Oh Mrs. Space, you lead me a wild goose chase
Inbetween, inbetween every line
Well hell, girl, I don’t even know your face
‘Cause you see you’ve been sitting on mine.

Oh Mrs. Space, I love you, with your come home early eye
Don’t ever come between us ’cause times don’t change they fly.

Slowly slipping into history feel us go
With these times another age could never know
See the photos black and white and quaintly dressed
Stood in queues of people smiling, sorely pressed.

Your silent room is the collection of your ways
Every shelf is built of all those different days
And those much younger cannot understand by half
The wireless living room, the faces ’round the hearth.

The ration books of Matthews out there on the wing
The corner shop that sold us almost everything
The farthing in the change, the sirens and the planes
Puffing billies, shunting eras down the lane, down the lane.

You know we’ll soon be gone from here, year upon light year
We’ll take the stories with us there, the memories are dear.

One of those days in England, mum was rustling up the grub
And dad was off out propping up the pub
One of those days in England that you just could not forget
From the mists of secret morning to the golden red sunset.

And though the time fast slips away, it’s long enough to laugh and play
Around the fireside making hay, dreaming of tomorrow, oh you know there’s no today.

Oh you know there’s no today
No, you know, today.

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