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  1. Ring of Iron

From the album The English Lament

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Words & Music by Graeme Miles

Written the creative North East songwriter Graeme Miles, this song is ostensibly about Middleborough, but it could have been about almost any city in the North of England. This is a bitter sweet ballad that begins with a depressing descriptive, reaches through a few bars of hope, finally to fall into despair again, reflecting the hopelessness that one gets from any dismal, grimy city of two-up-two down terraced houses built during the glorious British Industrial Revolution. The unerring logic still goes on ….. there are millions of terraced houses/ hutches; neither central nor local government can afford to knock them down and rebuild; someone has to live in them; most English people would prefer not to; so the Government brings in immigrants who will.
It’s a legacy that epitomizes England’s gloomy past and, sadly, is destined to haunt the English people for centuries to come. I recorded this song because, ironically, it’s the ordinary people of Northern England who are still paying to clean up the pollution that rich British industrialists created and got away with Scot-free.

Lyrics

Words & Music by Graeme Miles

Chorus:
It's all around the town
All around the town
It's all around the town
This hard ring of iron.

There’s grime all o’er the ground, Grime all o’er the ground
There’s grime all o’er the ground, Inside this ring of iron
There's smoke up in the sky, Smoke up in the sky
There's smoke up in the sky, Inside this ring of iron

Just a little greenry grew,
And trees there’s but a few
There's smoke that's black from chimney stacks
Aye and water coolers too
There's shipyards to the north
Chemicals to the south
Factories, stills and rolling mills
Right down to the river's mouth.

But there's fields and pastures green
Fields and pastures green
There's fields and pastures green
Outside this ring of iron
So it's out of town I'm bound
Out of town I'm bound
It's out of town I'm bound
And I'll break this ring of iron.

© PhilDrane Music 2016