Chamberlain Road – Stoke-on-Trent

An updated version of my music video ‘Chamberlain Road’, with some video scenes from around Stoke-on-Trent:

 

Chamberlain Road

D                                             A
The incinerator’s burning late tonight
Hanging a cloud over all that I’ve known
The voices are calling out united
As they’re singing they’re victory home
D     C      Em
And I’m running down Chamberlain Road
D   C                Em
I’m running down Chamberlain Road

Walk with the old man to the Commercial
Sunday afternoon and a drink with the boys
They all wonder now if it was worth it
All those years of blood, sweat and toil
And I’m running down Chamberlain Road
I’m running down Chamberlain Road

We stood and watched in mourning
As they tore the old stadium down
No more Saturdays in the Victoria
When you’re queuing for the bus out of town
And I’m running down Chamberlain Road
I’m running down Chamberlain Road

The doors of the the Spode are all boarded
The factory’s a museum of what it used to be
They took all our coal and they burnt it
What did they leave for you and me?
And I’m running down Chamberlain Road
I’m running, I’m running down Chamberlain Road

 

Ghosts Of The Night

I was looking through some folk tunes the other day for some ideas for a chord progression that I might use for a new song. I was feeling a little stale with my usual combinations and thought this might be a great way to springboard an upbeat song rather than my usual doom-laden minor chord accomplishments. I came across ‘The Hesleyside’, a tune I hadn’t heard before, which had an interesting chord progression in it’s A part:

GG GG CG AmD
GG GG CG DG

The Am to D change in the 4th bar and the D to G change in the 8th bar had me hooked and I played around with the chords for a week or so without thinking too much about words or melody. I sat down a couple of days ago and words started to bubble up for me for these changes and a melody and a nice little structure too:

Ghosts Of The Night

G G G G
C G Am D
G G G G
C G D G

As I was out walking the
Moors late one night
I spied a black stallion in
The bright moon light

And there beside him stood a
Grey dapp-led mare
And then I decided to ride them
To Ban-bury fair

But I’m no fine lady with
Rings on my toes
For that wild stallion fair
Blood-ied my nose

So just the mare for
My ride ho-me
But she kicked up her heels and
Left me all a-lone

Instrumental Break

I wandered those moors until
Ear-ly day light
Saw no more of those two
Ghosts of the night

C G Am D
Ghosts of the night

C G D G
Ghosts of the night

PDF copy of the chords & lyrics here: Ghosts Of The Night

Pony Songs – Bo

Bo is a rescue pony, rescued from a pharmaceutical test laboratory, and was the inspiration for this song. Unfortunately he was a bit camera shy for the video and so has Crumble here standing in for him.

V = Am C Dsus2 Am
C = Am Am Am C

Dreaming of a blue sky
Inside gets me down

Blinded by the neon lights
I can barely see the ground

Here you come again
Lead me by the hand

Take me now, I’m waiting
For the promised land

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Dreaming of the blue skies
And those golden plains

I know I’m never going to leave this place
Come stay with me a while

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Where you gonna run to?
Where they can’t find you

Thinking On

Every day I walk these streets I try to take them in. Every detail, the pall of smog from the incinerator smokestack separating the oily black of the night sky from the neon glow of the streetlights lining the A50 below. The football stadium stands like a citadel in the middle of the middle distance and the drone of the traffic rises up to meet me.

Chamberlain Avenue draws up from London road in a exponential steepness dragging its way upwards from the kebab shops and oatcake shops, broken windows and broken paving slabs. The discarded sweet wrappers, beer cans and broken glass are suddenly gone and fallen leaves take their place in piles of brown and gold. Council workers blow and sweep the leaves into the back of their pickup but they don’t pick up the rubbish in London Road. Chamberlain Avenue leads to Penkhull, London Road is Stoke. Stoke Town. One of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

I take in these details, because one day when I have left here and find my peace, these things, these memories and sights and sounds will become words and stories and songs. But for now they weigh heavily and it is the best I can do to take them in at all.


January 2019 and these thoughts did distill into a song carrying the essence of some of my Stokie experiences:

Chamberlain Road – James Laurie / Pony Folk – Stoke-on-Trent version 2

https://youtu.be/Rj10g1D3CX8