Me & Billy The Kid

by Joe Solo

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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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about

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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Track Name: November The 12th
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
Track Name: Pilgrim
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
Track Name: Mug Tree Blues
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
Track Name: English Dreamer, American Dream
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
Track Name: The Letter
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.
Track Name: Freedom Song (Na, Na,Na)
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
Track Name: A Little Idle
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
Track Name: For Harry Smith
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
Track Name: The Ballad of Joe Carter
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