Me & Billy The Kid

by Joe Solo

/
1.
My name is Private Joe Carpenter I’m with the 51st Rifles in France I'm here to pick up the pieces of people They left when the army advanced The rats here grew fat on the flesh of my comrades Rotting out in No Man's Land And I'm trying to give some poor old bugger his name back When all I can find is his hand On November 11th they rang out the bells The crowds hit the streets as they silenced the shells Old Lloyd George I bet he's chuffed with his self But he's not digging graves on November the 12th My brother died up in Wipers last winter He’d signed up as soon as he could Now bits of his body lay buried forever In ten foot of Passchendaele mud There int no graveside my mother can mourn at And she cries out into the night She says his death was a message from Heaven That God never meant us to fight November 11th they rang out the bells And crowds hit the streets as they silenced the shells And I bet old Lloyd George was proud of his-self But then he weren’t digging graves on November the 12th I was digging some place when I come face to face With two unblinking eyes staring back It give me a fright, by some trick of the light Hell, I swear that it looked like our Jack But it was some German boy barely sixteen I stood there and whispered a prayer Said: “You weren’t ever really my enemy son, No he’s sat in some office somewhere”. November 11th they rang out the bells And crowds hit the streets as they silenced the shells And I hope all warmongers rot down in hell And I’d make ‘em dig graves on November the 12th WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 19/11/07
2.
Pilgrim 03:07
When I leave this world behind me I don't want a soul to find me I just want to disappear one day. Leave the city lights all fading There's a big old world out there that's waiting And no-one here'll miss me anyway Life’ll either crush you Or you’ll learn to bear the load I ain’t a kinda prophet son Just a pilgrim on the road Every word he spoke it seemed to hit me He left a pair of flyin' shoes that fit me And I'm four towns down that highway now I left the city lights all fading There's a big old world out there that's waiting And I'm gonna see it all somehow Life’ll either crush you Or you’ll learn to bear the load I ain’t a kinda prophet son Just a pilgrim on the road WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 24/8/07
3.
Mug Tree Blues (free) 02:16
I'm veering outta here and taking the track I'm leaving this road and I ain't looking back I'm heading out I'm heading out Been so long locked in this life That I've forgotten what it's about They took and took I've nothing left to give It's money in your pocket but it ain't no way to live I'm heading out I'm heading out Been so long locked in this life That I've forgotten what it's about I've seen 'em laughing at the top of the tree But they've got all they're gonna get from me I'm heading out I'm heading out Been so long locked in this life That I've forgotten what it's about WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 20/10/07
4.
The Mississippi flows Just not down the Humber or the Ouse tha knows Suppose that's just the way it goes There’s no good place to start Nothing in this world shines Like old New York in the movie minds Of men like me who learned our lines But never got the part But give me a 57 Chevy or a Cadillac And I could hit those dirt roads just like Kerouac And old Dean Moriarty As sad as it seems I'm an English dreamer With American dreams I still bring Broadway down But it’s in backrooms of pubs in cold, grey northern towns When I shut my eyes sad as it sounds I can almost hear the screaming I've had to accept it's true That I'll never be Gram nor you Emmylou Oh I had wings I just never flew But it never stopped me dreaming Give me a 57 Chevy or a Cadillac And I could hit that dirt road just like Kerouac And old Dean Moriarty As dumb as it seems I'm an English dreamer With American dreams WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 5/1/08
5.
Dearest Mother, Thank you for your letter. I'm glad to hear you're well and that Charlie's getting better. I was sad to hear he fell. But that path down by the briar at the dark end of the lane always got muddy when it rained. If you see Mr Dyer, tell him I saw Bill outside a Café Bar in Paris. Although he must have drunk his fill (as old hands will) for he looked wild-eyed and ill. He told his friend my name was Dyer and they should have seen how much I bled when I got caught up in the wire and took a bullet through the head. He laughed and asked me how it felt being dead. He gave me quite a fright. His friend said he’d be alright he just has scars that I can’t see. When they went I saw Bill limped on his left knee. That must be what he meant. Suppose I should get going. We’re running out of time. The big show goes tomorrow and we’re leaving for the line. Sergeant Bell is yelling but the shelling is much too loud. I’m a little frightened mother but I’m going to make you proud of me. Sweet dreams. Your ever loving son Joseph 30th June 1916.
6.
Na na na na na na Na na na na na na na na Sat back by the side of the road Ain't nobody knows where I'm going You backtrack trying to lighten your load Or go where the flow may be flowing I hum the melodies of wine and guitars I'm only governed by the moon and the stars I'm singing Na na na na na na Na na na na na na na na When I can I sit on the sand Away from the day’s to-and-frowing Someday I'll be sailing away Any which way the wind’s blowing I see the freedom in the mist and the spray It's in the lifting and the drifting away I'm singing Na na na na na na Na na na na na na na na WORDS AND TUNE BY JOE SOLO 20/9/07
7.
I've been a little idle all my days I sidle idly to live my life away Hey, hey, hey I've been a little idle all my days A little lazy A little lazy A little lazy My love I've been a little idle all my years I’ll sidle idly to leave this world of tears Hey, hey, hey I've been a little idle all my years A little lazy A little lazy A little lazy My love WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 24/10/07
8.
9.
You just see Tucker's Field Me, I see a park. I see coloured light at Christmas You see dark. I'll make with plough and spade and rake Fine flower gardens round a lake With waterfalls cascading down To change the whole face of this town. I want to take this place And wrap my arms around it I want to leave this world A little better than I found it. I want to take this town And let my love surround it I want to leave this world A little better than I found it. Politicians they wage wars Whilst tending to amending laws Me I see the beauty in this world I hear birdsong in the trees The sound of summer on the breeze The distant whisper of the seas The laughter of the little boys and girls I want to take this place And wrap my arms around it I want to leave this world A little better than I found it. I want to take this town And let my love surround it I want to leave this world A little better than I found it. WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO 2/12/07
10.
My name is Joe Carter 6473 I'm all that's left now of my Pal's Company The rest all went west in the last big advance Their blood runs like rivers through trenches in France To make it out here you need dry socks and luck When most shells come over men don't even duck You get tuned to the sound of 'em soon you can tell The wild ones from them that'll blow you to hell Now Big Jack O'Donnelly got me alone He said: "Joe, the real fight begins if we get home. All men are born equal, I'm sure you'll agree. But Field Marshall Haig seems more equal than me". So I sat there and thought of my life back in Hull My brothers and sisters their bellies half full My Da down the docks working 18 hour days Blood, sweat and tears for that pittance of pay Then Big Jack says: "Joe, on this next big attack I've just got this feeling I ain't coming back So remember this hard-bitten tale that I tell Remember my words and remember 'em well There's a fight in the factories and fields that I'll miss And if they're so almighty Joe, answer me this What problem has ever been solved by their wars? And I won't kill my brother for another man's cause". We lay there in wait for the barrage to stop And when that whistle blew we went over the top "I'll see you in Berlin" young Matt Duffy said Just as he copped for one, straight through his head Then Big Jack and me got caught in No Man's Land When a big bloody shell blew my gun from my hand I looked down at my legs, I saw gashes and cuts But when I looked back for Jack there was just bone and guts So I lay there all day in that mud, blood and slime And I waited for dark then crawled back to the line But it's "Where is your rifle son? What have we here?" I was branded a traitor and sent to the rear Where I've been court martialled and tied to a chair I've been beaten and blindfolded there in the square "Your last words you coward, you Commie, you queer" But the ghost of Big Jack whispered right in my ear: "There's a fight in the factories and fields that I'll miss And if they're so almighty Joe, answer me this What problem has ever been solved by their wars? And I won't kill my brother for another man's cause". There's a fight in the factories and fields that I'll miss And if you're so almighty then answer me this What problem has ever been solved by your wars? And I won't kill my brother for another man's cause". WORDS AND MUSIC BY JOE SOLO

about

The fifth Joe Solo album, and the last to be cut'n'paste DIY. Recorded using a single SM58 mic out in my shed and burnt to CD as and when I ran out. Most of the songs still stand up, and several 'November The 12th', 'English Dreamer, American Dream', 'Freedom Song' and 'Old Dusty Road' went on to become live favourites for a good few years....

Certainly worthy of a re-release, if only for the completist.
Enjoy.

credits

released January 3, 2008

All songs written and performed by Joe Solo except 'Old Dusty Road' which was based around 'Blowin' Down The Road (Ain't Gonna Be Treated This Way)' by Woody Guthrie and Lee Hays.

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Joe Solo Scarborough, UK

Joe Solo is an award-winning musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer from Scarborough.

Live he has an ever growing reputation as both a performer and raconteur, being thought-provoking, comical and punch-the-air political often in the same breath.

He is not an artist you forget in a hurry.
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