Welcome to the Revolution (1994)

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They’re turnin’ up the heat now
And they’re blowin’ on the flames
They’re tightening the nooses
And they’re callin’ out names
They’re marshalling the forces
So well-behaved and so discreet
Welcome to the revolution
Don’t forget to wipe your feet

It’s not something you can target
Nor even something you can name
It kinda infiltrates the landscape
Till everything just seems the same
It leaves ya feelin’ low and dirty,
Kinda mean and down and out
Dreamin’ dreams of bloody murder
With the taste of metal in your mouth
And you can never see it comin’
It always hits you from the rear
Welcome to the revolution
Have another beer

It’s not a matter of religion
Nor of country or of creed
It’s just a terminal condition
Of unsatisfiable greed
Well it’s strip it down and sell it
Or kill it dead and leave it there
The people cry out for protectors
But the protectors aren’t there
As all the wise and noble leaders
Are out dividing up the stash
Welcome to the revolution
Will that be credit card or cash?

In a bunker in a mountain
It’s written there for all to see:
You Can Lead Them Anywhere
If You Just Do it By Degrees
On the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Somebody’s posted up a sign
Says: Put Your Head Between Your Legs, Boys
And Kiss Your Ass Good-bye!
If you can’t remember who you are
Try to remember who you were
Welcome to the Revolution
How’s the weather down there?



Well that tiny little tyke that they called Little Boy Blue
When he walked in through the door and tracked mud across the floor
Has grown and left home, age twenty-two
Destination unknown, he hitched a ride out to
The outskirts of the city where he wandered ‘neath the stars
In the neon tangle of the freeway cars
And the allnight bars

Mom’s in the bathroom, she’s been in there all day
Before the mirror in her brassiere watching her hair turn grey
Dad’s very busy, he’s got his hands full
Watching TV at the same time as he does a crossword puzzle
Mom says to Dad: “Did you hear the back door slam?”
Dad says: “I’m gonna make a sandwich, did you buy any ham?”
When a news report interrupts Johnny’s next guest
About an all points bulletin for a man wanted for arrest
Somethin’ about a farm and fifteen people dead
But Mom’s gone to sleep
And Dad has gone to bed

Curtis Merton from Alberta called himself Billy the Kid
And always felt offended that no-one else did
He was the kind of guy who spent his life trying to fit in somewhere
And when he finally did he was so surprised that no-one seemed to care
That he left his wife and children and he bought some ammunition
And he drifted ’cross the country like a man on a mission
Afternoons in greasy spoons where he drank a dozen beers
With his red winter stocking cap pulled down over his ears
She came in through the door like a breath of spring
With her knee-high boots and her low cut blouse
Curtis Merton smiled, he heard his heart sing
If he ever had a grip on anything at all He lost it now

The snow it was a-fallin’ all the way down Highway 7
Visibility was poor, they said a blizzard was a-comin’
A man in rags in the parking lot stood underneath a light
And introduced himself as John the Baptist to all the passersby
She went up to the counter but they refused to serve her
She didn’t have no I.D., she was only seventeen
So Mighty Curtis Merton walked across the floor and stepped in
For the price of a glass of draught he bought himself a new friend
Her hair was black as night and the fire in her eyes
Made him feel alive like he never had before
It had just been thirteen days since she’d escaped the reservation
When Curtis Merton met her and they were seen walking together Out the door

In every town of every county ’cross the country in the night
The news reports of what occurred sped blindly in their flight
Across the land on newsstands and it was written in the lights
Of the neon signs and in the headlines of the times in black and white
All about the body they found lyin’ in the gully
And the broken man on the witness stand who hid his face and screamed
Commentators and speculators and assorted personalities
Questioned, all agreed it was a dreadful thing indeed

And Mom’s in the toilet with her head between her knees
Dad’s changing channels, tryin’ to change what he sees
Could have been another movie, could have been a documentary
Could have been an advertisement for a life insurance policy
Payments to a company on a mortgage for eternity
On a broken down shack in the suburbs where every bed is empty

And that tiny little tyke they called Little Boy Blue
When he walked in through the door and tracked mud across the floor
Has grown and left home, age twenty-two
Destination unknown, he hitched a ride out to
The outskirts of the city where he wandered ’neath the stars
In the neon tangle of the freeway cars And the allnight bars.



I’d like to tell you about my old man
Who works eight hours daily in the company store
Who lives under laws he does not understand
Who fed me and clothed me since the day I was born

And he comes home from work
And he gets himself a beer
And he makes himself a sandwich
And he watches TV
And surveys all he’s worked for each day with his hands
I’d like to tell you about my old man

His mind’s a museum of small battles won
And his memory’s a book that nobody has read
His eyes are survivors which peer from their doorways
Across his dark landscape of the living and the dead

And he wakes with the dawn
And he sleeps with the dusk
On the couch in his house
Before his TV
Far from the callings
From behind the curtains
Of each day’s reminders
Through the toil of his hands
That somehow he has failed
Or somehow come short
On the path of survival
From the dreams of his youth
To the pain of his duties
’Neath the dark clouds of time
In the shadows of death
Where he walks a long mile
Just to say everyday
He does the best that he can
I’d like to tell you about my old man

The joys and the sadness of others can’t reach him
For now he knows neither as each dawning light
Is something to walk through, to silently shoulder
Blind to all extremes flashing through his own life

But he lines up his pleasures
Beside his regrets
And breaks from the clockwork
To drown his dull sorrow
In moments of madness
Culled from the reserve
Shrouding each short step backwards
Each painted grin falling
As he rambles home pissed
At four o’clock in the morning
And he sprawls out asleep
At the head of the table
And he lies there asleep
At the head of the table
And he shouts at his wife
In loud words of self-hatred
Arms thrashing the air
As he aches to know pity
Then he weeps with regret
As he begs her forgiveness
As he holds her tight
In the black of the night
In the house by the tracks
Where the trains crash on nightly
And he fears with a passion all he can’t understand
I’d like to tell you about my old man

One day he may die ’neath the dark silent sky
Alone as his last breath rises and falls
And the world walks on showing no trace of his living
Just like he’d never been born there at all

But from the stage of his follies
To the towers which shadow
The path from his workplace
To the doors of his home
He will play his last card
As the sky folds around him
He will shrug in the darkness
As he extends a hand
As he bears condescension
Unknowingly down
Through the dregs of his laughter
To a cold stony silence
When he laughs much too loudly
At all his own jokes
And he envies and hates
All those well-schooled and rich
And he respects and mistrusts
All those well-schooled and rich
And his sympathy falls
Nowhere outside his vision
As he’s never once left
The town he was born in
Misunderstanding all those
Any different from him
And his words they all rise
In a weak silent wind
As he tells all his children
To be better than him
But he comes home from work
And he gets himself a beer
And he makes himself a sandwich
And he watches TV
And surveys all he’s worked for each day with his hands
I’d like to tell you about my old man

If you cannot accept, don’t try to understand



I was born inside a city where just about everyone you saw
Was workin’ in the factory just like their ma and pa
Inside multicorporations where their destinies were bought
And the profits shipped across the river to the Bank of America
The factories fed off the land and people of the place
To produce their products profitably, disposing of the waste
Without fear of any consequence, they threw it all away
Into the purity of the soil and the river and the lake

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley

Everyone was so surprised to witness the results
Of twenty years of flooding the atmosphere with chemicals
Suddenly the fish are dying, the birds fall from the trees
The environment is twisted by mutation and deformity
There’s people sick and dyin’, and no-one knows what for
There’s babies dyin’ in the womb before they’re even born
The people live their lives in fear of the sickness and disease
In the water that they drink, the food they eat, the air they breathe

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley

The workers in the factories, they all say
“I don’t know nothin’ about it, don’t look at me that way
I just wanna do my job and collect my pay
And I’d just as soon forget about it by the end of the day”
The owners of the factories, they tell you just the same
“We’ve been doin’ it for years, we didn’t know it’d be this way”
But they knew it all along, they just decided to ignore it
Where money is concerned, human life is unimportant

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley

You can cry out to the government but the government won’t hear
You can bet your ass the government ain’t gonna interfere
When they stand so much to lose, when anyone can see
The corporations are so crucial to the state economy
They just slap some fines upon the factories for their crimes
The factories pay them off and chalk it up to expenses every time
Then they carry on doin’ damage to the universe
That a million years of nature’s healing could not begin to reverse

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley

Can ya tell me ’bout your money, can you tell me what it’s worth?
Does it justify this needless death, this poisoning the earth?
How many people have to die to satisfy your greed?
How much sickness must you spread throughout this world before you see
That you’re gonna have to pay for everything you get someday
And when your day of darkness comes you’re gonna pay and pay and pay
You’re gonna pay for all this twisted fiery hell you’ve left behind
For the future children of this burned-out wasteland world to find
You took the pearls of the world and left a legacy of waste
You make me feel ashamed to be a member of the human race

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley

Back in Chemical Valley life continues silently
To feed the greed of people no-one here has ever seen
The people keep on workin’ and the factories produce
When you got a mouth to feed and a family what else can you do?
One by one the stars are fading as a blackness floods the sky
Through a conspiracy of silence and a multitude of lies
As a woman stands upon the shore beneath the setting sun
And she looks across the lake and cries “My God, what have we done?”

Chemical Valley Chemical Valley Chemical Valley



Jackson Homer was a farmer
Well-known for miles around
With eighty acres sixteen miles
From the nearest town
And a little farm house left him by his father
Who was a farmer too

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

He was born in that little farmhouse
In eighteen ninety-two
And from that time there was little doubt
About what he was gonna do
“The land is our friend,” he’d say,
“If we treat it the right way, it’ll treat us right too”

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

He married Bessie in ’23
And it was for life
They had their children, one, two, three
And they raised them right
Each Sunday morning in the Baptist Church
They sat in the seventh pew

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

Plant in the springtime, in the autumn harvest,
And in the winter, rest
Jackson Homer, with his family beside him
Did his best to meet each test
When times were good they made it through
When they were bad, they just made do

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

The seasons spun ’round, the children rose up
And went to find their way
And left the farm behind, while Jackson Homer and his wife
Rose to do the chores each day
It was many times said there never was a man
Who could do a job of work like he could do

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

It was shortly after that Bessie fell ill
And woke Jackson up in the night
And when he lost her it was the only time
Anybody’d seen Jackson Homer cry
Some people claimed that he never was the same
But still there was work to do

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

The days rolled by, the airplane flew
And the years they took their toll
The fields went fallow on Jackson’s farm,
People said he was gettin’ kinda slow
Just leaned on the fencepost, looked out to the pasture
To where the little sparrows flew

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down

A silence settled upon these parts
When Jackson Homer died
Seemed like the whole town came around
Just to say good-bye
As six young grandsons picked up the handles
And took him out ’neath the sky of blue

And all I need is a patch of ground
And six good men to lay me down



Two birds fly across the face of the moon,
above the barren fields and the empty ruins
Of the shelters of the massacred
which lie in wait for no-one
Shadows moving in the darkness,
a hungry prayer made in the silence
Of the refugees you leave behind
who only live on what you throw them
An orphan child walks alone
through the devastated countryside
No promise does his future hold
but for the comfort of a lie
A pie in the sky after sacrifice
if he’s fortunate enough to survive
The punishments that you devised
when you made his innocence a crime

You stand by the edge of a whirlpool,
watch the wise man perish along with the fool
In the tangled webs you weave with lies about the life hereafter
With machinery and technology
you control your slaves and enslave the free
You live by the sword and you sow discord
and your mouth is filled with laughter
Your weapons are magnificent and
your victories are sealed with blood
You kill them all, the bad with the good,
like the second coming of Noah’s flood
The rumbling crowd waits by the gates
from the Wailing Wall to the White House Lawn
You promise them Jerusalem
as you condemn them all to Babylon

Moon Rider, born to kill and foment pain
Moon Rider, to live and die in vain

Your fingers stretch from pole to pole
of the frightened world which you control
You corrupt everything you touch
and your hunger knows no limits
The sacred and the holy books you use
to dominate, sedate, and rule
Are but the tools of the trade of the slavery
you’ve made of all religion
While the pure in heart
which bloom in shadows of necessary solitude
Who know no words to speak but truth
are quickly crushed beneath your hooves
As your midnight armies swarm the globe,
prepare the stage for the final goal
Of machines of flesh, minds without will,
bodies without hearts or souls

You’ve been to the moon, you’ve explored the stars,
but still you remain blind towards
The terrified eyes of your victimized
which multiply with every hour
The preacher and the president, the scientist,
puppets dangled from your wrists
Sow seeds of hate and prejudice,
the foundations of your power
You took the children from their homes
and gained their trust with practiced skill
The smoke rose high from the furnaces
across the sky and it rises still
Above the highways, high-rises, shopping malls,
And the far-off fields of enforced starvation
Where the best are thieves and the worst
are diseased, are faithless and forsaken

Moon Rider, born to kill and foment pain
Moon rider, to live and die in vain

A bleak sun gleams in a cloudless sky
above the poisoned streams
and the seas sucked dry
Where the earth dies trampled
and voices cry in an endless night forever
Where the rich build prisons for the poor
and progress wields a ruthless sword
Where all that’s defenceless is destroyed,
is not mourned or scarce remembered
So silently you raise your hand
and a shadow falls across the land
Which splits the mother from her child
and delivers the lamb to its killer’s hand
As empty as the promises you inflict upon the pale and weak
You’re the ghost which haunts the sorrow
Of every mother who sees her child’s future and weeps

Moon Rider, born to kill and foment pain
Moon Rider, to live and die in vain



The north wind blows so cruel when you’re alone
And the streets are long and empty when you’ve got no place to go
Time slips through your fingers as the sky grows black with night
The doors close all around you as the pale moon rises high
And you stumble in your shadow as a nightingale flies by
To some restless paradise beyond the stars

I have wandered long and faraway from home
I’ve crept beneath the sky and fallen midst this broken stone
I feel the thunder I’ve inherited and I see the dark remains
Of every mighty city lying broken in the rain
Where the voices of the dead still echo
with a whispering unknown strength
In the still air lying silent ’cross the hills

The sun shines on the rivers running free
The clouds are rolling in their slumber with the motions of the sea
Below, the faces that I meet are hesitant and dark
In that place where each must sacrifice what’s closest to his heart
The price you pay for loving beauty
marks you an outlaw from the start
On the run forever in a foreign land

In the night the bells are ringing in their towers
Heard by no-one as they toll and fade and mark each passing hour
As a vicious fog rolls silently across the fevered breast
Of every sleeping citizen in his blinded restlessness
Their smoky history enfolds me, I must continue without rest
To where my love lies waiting for me far way



I’ll do anything that you want me to do
While we’ve still got the time
I’ll even kill your memories for you
If you’ll do the same for mine
For it’s you who provides my bed and board
And I can’t say I’ve got any complaints
I’ve got nothing left to live for either
But you’ve caused me no unnecessary pain

And I’ve raised all the flags to full mast, captain
And I’ve set the rudder on on its course
Bur for all your assurance I still got to ask, captain
Whether we’re any closer to the source?

I’ve only got my blood, my body and my soul
And I’ve given it all to you
But if by chance you can find anything more
You know that you can have it too
For it’s you who pulled me from the womb
Your face was the first I saw
Since then I’ve been livin’ only by your charity
And suffering under your law

But the waves are blowin’ up so high tonight, captain
I can’t seem to find much comfort in your words
Me and the other men, we been up all night, captain
And who can say what all our suffering’s been worth?

The palms of my hands are bleedin’, captain
The soles of my feet are too
I’ve only got one layer of skin left now
And it’s beginning to wear through
But still I’ve been feedin’ on your promises
Of the kingdoms that will be
Of the carefully ordered regiments
And the constant enemy

And I’m sure your plans are intricate and vast, captain
And I sense the power that you’ve never dared to show
But this night has been so long that I must ask, captain
How much farther are we gonna have to go?

And when we bled the children, captain
And touched them with our shame
Did we calculate the consequence?
Did we delegate the blame?
Among the multitude of men
Completely to ensure
That in times ahead none will condemn
Our motives as impure

And have you heard the rumblings of a storm, captain
That threatens to wash every one of us out to sea?
I’ve heard you’re very well provided for, captain
But can you say what my fate’s gonna be?

I do not doubt your worthiness
I know you cannot be betrayed
It was you who gave me the gift of breath
And you could just as easily take it away
Now all of my comrades have died by fire
Or perished by their own hand
But their fates were left so unresolved
And this is not my plan

Of freedom my beliefs are very few, captain
Those I have are tangled in these chains
So as long as it’s all the same to you, captain
Your loyal servant I humbly beg to remain



What’s a man’s life made of
Is it hate or is it love?
Is it all too much to handle
Or is it never quite enough?
When you divide the tears by all the years
Do they all add up?
Is he a serpent in the garden
Or a diamond in the rough
In need of shining?

What is lost and what is won
When this man’s working day is done?
Is there a legacy that’s left behind
Or is that just a skeleton?
Is it worth it to remember it all
Or is there anyone
Who feels like crying?

Call his name and seek him out
Make him give you what he lives without
Raise the flags and paint each cloud
With a silver lining

And what is this here
In the palm of my hand?
Blood, sweat and tears
Ashes and sand

It’s a long hard road we’ve walked, my friend
It’s a road we’ll walk someday again
Each time we start out to begin
It seems we’re closer to the end
But you know better, don’t you, friend
You’ve felt the gravity of this wind
Telling you if someone says your time
Is to waste or kill or spend
You know he’s lying

There’s a cloud unfolding in the sky
Whose message is unknown
There’s an icy warning in the stars
That chills me to the bone
I look around and see lost faces
Stranded faraway from home
Have you ever seen a people
So privileged, so alone
So afraid of trying?

We’ve spent too long avoiding
Conflict at any cost
The price we now must pay
Is for the innocence we’ve lost
Through this battlefield of tired dreams
It remains to get across
That the cost of living is far outweighed
And fades before the cost Of dying

And what is this here
In the palm of my hand?
Blood, sweat and tears
Ashes and sand

Don’t take much to kill a man
Takes so much more to keep him alive
Sleepwalkin’ to the edge of the earth
Fall off into a compromise
Which denies all redemption,
Leaves hearts of fire paralysed
To build the resurrection of belief
Upon the promise of a lie That kills like poison

Solidified, you stand alone
Your past defeated, dead and gone
Between the strength of solitude
And the sign that says you must belong
False boundaries of right and wrong
Fade, you vow to carry on
But does your heart lie with the path beyond
Or with the path unchosen?

You enter with a boundless faith
They ask “what have you come to sell?”
As you journey on you wonder
If anyone escapes so well
As the one who falsifies his dreams
To gain release from a personal hell
Or the one who must destroy himself
So that his dream remains unbroken

And what is this here
In the palm of my hand?
Blood, sweat and tears
Ashes and sand

Seen the souls that were so close to mine
Waste their live waiting in line
Salvation on installment plans
A life measured out in nickels and dimes
While death moves fast, even faster than time
Still the miracle of birth survives
Some are born in endless light
Others where no light will ever shine
And the truth is never spoken

From whispered songs of the empty-handed
To the ecstasy of eagle’s screams
The pulsing city slumbers
Unawakened even by the beams
Of a reality more wondrous
Then every dream that’s ever dreamed
And only seen with both eyes open

And what is this here
In the palm of my hand?
Blood, sweat and tears
Ashes and sand



When they awakened the elderly man in his cell
He looked up from his sleep in surprise
“Today is the day of your judgment,” they said
As he stood and rubbed the sleep from his eyes

They took him at gunpoint down through the hall
To the room where the judges were waiting
And they gazed with disgust as he came through the room
But he could feel none of their hatred

“You are charged,” said the judge, “with your part in these crimes
Of the darkest atrocity
With your evil intent you have blackened the name
Of all humanity

“You have traveled in the ranks of the coldest of men
You’ve shown no mercy or shame
You have murdered the innocent with indifferent skill
And you’ve robbed all good men of their faith

“You’ve served under tyrants so wicked and vain
And you’ve carried out each of their threats
And for this most unforgivable of crimes
We sentence you now to your death”

The room it was silent as the old man stood
And heard what the judges had said
And a broken dry sigh escaped from his throat
As he slowly rose his head

“These charges you lay against me are true,”
He said as he folded his hands
“I have killed in cold blood without guilt or remorse
At the service of those in command

“For I was a good soldier, loyal and strong
And I fulfilled all my duties unafraid
And I’ve known the contentment of a job well done
As I rested at the end of my day

“And I never once questioned the commands I was given
And I never once questioned the powers that ruled
And if I must be condemned for this
Then so must all of you”

The judge turned his head quickly away
The jury and the crowd did the same
And no-one could look as the air grew still
And they took the old soldier away

And in the night a shot rang out
And in the night the soldier died
And a long black could rose up through the night
Until it filled the sky



The nights are cold, the leaves are gold
Soon the winter will come
The days fly past, so fast
Another year has gone
And the wind howls down the empty streets
And scatters the seeds of the dreams sown deep
By the mothers and the fathers, watching from their windows
And robs them of their sleep
Your wayward son is safe tonight
Your wayward son is safe tonight

You remember the one, your eldest son
Who tried so hard to see
In all my days, so many ways
I tried to be free
And I still haven’t found what I’m lookin’ for
I’ve got the key but I can’t find the door
Alone in the night, while you wonder why
I don’t come ’round much anymore
Your wayward son is safe tonight
Your wayward son is safe tonight

I, I tried to reach you
But there were other things to do
That had to get done

You told me to wait
But it was too late
I was already gone

Now the trail’s been marked, but the world is dark
And is shrouded in black
In the land of the blind, where the only sign
Says there’s no way back
And the pain that you feel, I cannot heal
Nor even could I try
For wrong or for right, you chose your lives
Now please let me choose mine
Your wayward son is safe tonight
Your wayward son is safe tonight



In the days ahead,
When your heart is filled with dread
And you’re lookin’ for some kind of relief

And you’re on your own
Miles from your home
And the cold moon shines high above the trees

As the end comes nearer
Remember what you’re really here for
Not to be a hero
In someone else’s war

’Cause when you walk out in that night
And you leave it all behind
And you’re lookin’ for some other kind of life

Remember to take care
You better be aware
Because you’re prey to all the plans that they contrive

As the end comes nearer
Remember what you’re really here for
Not to be a hero in someone else’s war

As you journey to the sun
Don’t think of what’s been done
Just fly on by and close your eyes
To all that’s died
Remember love

When you’re down upon your knees
Compromised by the need
That feeds upon the weak and on the strong

Sometimes it takes every bit of your strength
To see through all these games
That make you cringe with shame and fear

As you journey to the sun
Don’t think of what’s been done
Just fly on by and close your eyes
To all that’s died

In the stillness of the night
There is still a light
That shines, even for the blind
Remember Love

As the end comes nearer
Remember what you’re really here for
Not to be a hero
In someone else’s war

As you journey to the sun
Don’t think of what’s been done
Just fly on by, and close your eyes
To all that’s died
Remember Love


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