A303

by Greg Hancock

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Twelve original tracks from Greg Hancock featuring some amazing musicians. CD will be available from September 15th. If you order before, you will at least have the download version to keep you going till then! Orders before the 15th will also receive FREE a lyric songbook that after the 15th will cost £2

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  • A full colour, illustrated booklet with all the lyrics, notes and full creditsfor the album "A303" by Greg Hancock.
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1.
A303 06:34
A303 Deep up to my elbows in Victorian shit Trying to remember why I got involved with this Then finding my first Roman coin at the bottom of a pit And getting into trouble for going home with it Weeks and months spent learning How to tell the tell-tale signs Of hand-flaked flint from Neolithic mines And hours spent marking out medieval boundary lines When you’re driving on the A303 I wonder if you’ve ever had the same thoughts as me Fascination mixed with irony Taking pictures with my mobile phone Of piles of ancient stone Walking through the landscape noting every bump and ditch Picking up an old bone and kind of knowing which end is which Sifting through soils and sending samples to the lab Analysing the final meal some long-dead person had Cataloguing every little detail of the past Continually in denial that everything crumbles at last And constantly reminded life is fragile.... and fast. And so Palmyra’s mainly standing still – but the people are all gone Herded off like cattle – too exhausted to run After months between the psychopaths and the barrel bombs The streets are all deserted now as the media circus comes. But I can’t help wondering what it must be like for those Who turn one final time to face the ruins of their homes To know the world’s more interested in piles of ancient stones When you’re driving on the A303 Perhaps next time you’ll have the same thoughts as me. At the coach-loads of Americans, French, Japanese and you and me All taking pictures with our mobile phones of piles of ancient stones.
2.
BUTTER SIDE DOWN How many angels dance on the point of a pin? Can I confess my sins and then just go and do them all again? Is this wine or is this blood? What did Noah do with all the fish in the flood? You want to eat meat? On Friday? Eat a beaver -– it’s a fish. Spots on your skin? Burn your neighbour as a witch. Broken mirror? Touch some wood. Thou shalt not kill –... unless the Pope says killing’’s good. A Universe created with a word Celestial spheres encircling the Earth And holes in the spheres letting Heaven’s light through... And there’’s a place in Paradise for you. But first you have some suffering to do. Which came first – the chicken or the egg? Why are cat’s noses dry and dog’s noses wet? Could monkeys, given time infinite, really write Romeo and Juliet? Does a tree in the desert fall without a sound? If everything always travels half the distance, how does rain reach the ground? And still nobody knows Why the toast falls butter-side down. A Universe with no beginning and no end You head off in a straight line and then you come back round again. And there’’s a hurricane that’s born on a butterfly’s wing And a box with a German cat within That’’s both dead and alive .... Till you look in A Universe both benign and depraved Light that’s both a particle and a wave And all of us – from the cradle to the grave Find that the ground on which we stand... The ground on which we choose to take our stand... Feels less and less like safe solid land
3.
She uses her feet to feel for the ledge And then she opens her eyes and peers right over the edge Somewhat surprised at the ideas running round in her head When just a few hours ago, she was safe and warm in bed She’s not the kind to go dicing with death And she knows this is something she might live to regret As she leans forward and takes the step He hears his own voice over and over again saying “There’s always a choice – at least till you get right to the end. And when you get there, there’s no point in trying to pretend That you were never aware that it was always in your power to mend” Words are not set in stone. Meanings twist and bend. And it’s nobody’s fault but your own if the message didn’t get sent. Promises are like ropes: they can always bee untied When you find that all your dreams and hopes all lie on the other side.
4.
Joni Mitchell’s Guitar White lines on the road keeping travellers apart – moving two directions Some have maps – others are just following their heart. There are lines in my life radiating from one place Where I keep returning just to find out that I still need to escape. “The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey” is playing in my car And the crazy chain of chords reminds me of places near and far Where I’ve lived and loved, to the background of Joni Mitchell’s guitar. Shining lines of atoms linking up to sing While fingers press and pluck and slide up and down those strings Like the lines in your hand – some say they can read the plot Looking forwards to the future and back to things that even time forgot. Marlene, under Foster-Grants, still shimmers into life As steel and vocal chords combine to cut through like a surgeon’s knife That heals – but leaves a scar. Joni Mitchell’s guitar. Don Juan’s reckless daughter wished for wings to fly over this raging water But this time the river is too wide. And we’ve all heard the last of Joni Mitchell’s guitar.
5.
An Arbitrary Line I was pretty good at school, but I was nobody’s fool All my friends were that much thicker Cos you need people who can fight, and stand by your side When you’re “sensitive” ... and your Dad’s a vicar. When the jocks picked the teams, they never picked me Or the fat boy we called Twiggy. But they soon came round when later on they found It was always me who had the ciggies. They try to define some arbitrary line using logic that’s paper-thin If you’re strong or weak, cool or a geek – and if you’re out or in. I was singing in a club, in a room above a pub where the people loved tradition Where they thought original songs were intrinsically wrong And guitars – pure sedition! It soon became clear that I wasn’t even near to their idea of folk So I stuck my finger in my ear, and gave them Britney Spears... But they didn’t like the joke. They try to define some arbitrary line using logic that’s paper-thin If you’ve got the right type of harp, or the nod from Cecil Sharpe – and if you’re out or in. Arriving on a beach that’s taken weeks to reach. Hungry cold and frightened. To be met by walls and populist calls for the borders to be tightened. And then to turn the police on refugees and try to send them back Is a crime, and a stain on the country’s name And there’ll be consequences to that. They try to define some arbitrary line using login that’s paper-thin How an accident of birth decides the ownership of earth And who gets out or in.
6.
12 05:28
12 If I’d done what my father did All those years ago Any child of mine would now be 12 years old. And I would do no better – I wouldn’t have a clue My Daddy didn’t help me He didn’t show me what to do And yet I always knew That he wanted to. I wonder what my father thought Back when I was 12 Round about the age I found a new name for myself. Did he think that I could fight it With God and good? My Daddy didn’t speak to me In words I understood. And yet I always felt That if he could he would. And when I see my father now It’s like looking at myself I’m more like him now Than like myself at 12 Does he look at me and see A life he never knew? I couldn’t help my Daddy. I couldn’t show him a way through. God, I hope he knew That I wanted to.
7.
Aleppo 03:33
8.
Elizabeth 04:20
Elizabeth Elizabeth believes that if she prays hard enough She will never be parted from the people that she loves Though it’s not like many still stay in touch But then, Elizabeth doesn’t pray all that much. Elizabeth’s alarm goes off at half past six And she shuffles in her slippers to get the Weetabix And then she flicks through her Google Mail Elizabeth is proud of the company she founded With the £20 000 her grandmother endowed. She’s expand if the banks would allow But business isn’t great just now. Elizabeth expects a level of respect That in her humble opinion, she very rarely gets From her employees in their bright saris And their minimum salaries. Elizabeth meets friends at loose ends at weekends And she has a Christmas card list of all the people that she sends Her What I Did This Year letter to. And she doesn’t think it’s nice to call it sacrifice When in a heartbeat she’d do the same thing twice And although she’ll admit She’s had to pay a price Elizabeth lets down her hair... And lets early Joni Mitchell fill the air.
9.
Actors 04:10
Actors We thought they’d turned a page. It’s hard to believe we could be so naive In this day and age. The dice were loaded. The cards were stacked. Two steps forward and three steps back As they moved across the stage Like actors With delusions of free-will While from the wings The ones pulling the strings Were the usual suspects With their hands in the till. Where they’ve always stood And where they’re standing still. Like actors We repeat the same lines Taking all our cues and tips From the ones writing the scripts While the monsters they created To keep us true to the cause Have set fire to the theatre And bolted all the doors.
10.
The Longest Night Yes I think I do OK I work pretty hard but I still find time to play. And when I hear bad jokes I laugh anyway. Because it’s no skin of my nose... And it might make someone’s day But as the nights draw in The leaves fall and the birds take wing And we turn back the clocks... On the longest night of the shortest day Moon out of sight behind the clouds and rain I wish that somehow you’d been able to stay For the longest night and the shortest day. Yes I think I doing fine I fill my days to kill my time. I’ll meet up with old partners in crime And we’ll share a joke And a bottle of wine. But as the world falls asleep And the road ahead seems so long and steep And we turn back the clocks... On the longest night of the shortest day Moon out of sight behind the clouds and rain I wish that somehow you’d been able to stay For the longest night and the shortest day.
11.
Fremington Beach If you take a walk on Fremington Beach There’s a patch of ground that the tide doesn’t reach And a pile of stones like a pterodactyl’s nest In the spot where Kenny like to rest And where those who loved him most Gathered on this stretch of coast. Wooden hearts and plastic toys All bleached in the sun Unprotected and exposed, and untouched by anyone A teddy bear and an old fir-cone Silver bells and a garden gnome All transformed by this work of art To melt this hardened cynic’s heart. And as if our lives had somehow merged I found his name with a Google search. A sudden stroke at 62 Took this husband, father, grandfather too. And the hole he left in their lives is shown By this little pile of stones.
12.
You and I never ever tell the truth to each other, cease to hide (undercover) behind smiles You know I will recover soon enough And find another If I can be bothered After all these miles You and I never seriously Thought that we Could ever really fall in love Through these trials You and I Never had a hope in hell Of winning through against the odds After all these miles

credits

released September 1, 2017

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Greg Hancock Exeter, UK

Singer/songwriter and guitarist based in Devon, England.

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