Out With the Old (lyrics)
William Genske, a man I have enormous love and respect for, guided the evolution of this song.
Me to William:
Think: Bowie’s ‘Little Bombadier’ period, I guess.
Had this visual going through my head the whole time, too.
10+ years from now. Deprived housing estate. LOADS of street cameras evident.
Old widow guy shuffling home with the few tins he’s picked up from the food bank.
Passes a little kid sitting on the garden wall obsessively playing the same phrase over and over on a tin whistle.
They nod to each other. with care, he finds a penny in his pocket and drops it in the kid’s hat.
He gets in the front door, Gloom. Net curtains
He unpacks, kettle on, feeds cat, sits in armchair – tea with biscuit on saucer next to him
Family photo: Him, wife & two sons (in uniforms). faded. Maybe medals or signs of telegrams tucked behind.
Lyrics (working on ’em…) will be the old fella thinking how his missus was always made him laugh with all her ‘conspiracy’ nonsense.
There’s were always more immediate problems like finding work and paying bills.
still paying off funeral costs for their sons who died bravely keeping their country safe.
It’s a shame that the the gov can’t come through with the ‘better days’ for everyone this year, either
Because the fight to keep our values safe is taking so much of the country’s resources right now.
As the song is ending, flashing blue lights draw him to the net curtain.
Police car. (military?) policeman searching kid and clearly questioning him about the money he has found.
His colleague keeps a handgun trained on him.
Old fella, clearly having an internal struggle, hesitates for a moment.
Then moves away from the window.
Bleak, I know. Maybe I just needed to get that out.
William to me:
Perhaps this could serve as the alternate reality (the one that does happens if humanity fails to wake up), but the real ending is glorious, sunbathed, clean and one where freedom and justice reign, where humans are united against tyranny.
Call me a dreamer. Go on, humour me.
Me to William:
Ok. As the song winds to a close – where we’ve seen him turn from the curtain:
We cut to his hand taking his coat from the hook and see the front door close behind him.
In the street he joins the rest of the community who have done the same. He places his hand gently on the copper’s shoulder and takes the boys hand from the now dumbstruck policeman and walks him to stand among his neighbours – all joining hands now.
One by one the policemen take off their helmets and let them fall, looking nervous and a bit shame-faced. The boy takes out his pipe and other instruments are produced from members of the crowd. Members approach the coppers inviting them to dance and they start to laugh as they are pulled in.
Scene pans away with a par-tay in full swing (policemen or two playing instuments, too.
Old fella, taking it all in on the sidelines, with the sleeping boys head in his lap, looks up to the stars, nodding thanks to his wife’s spirit for having been given the opportunity to finally understand what being awake really means.
As view pans up we see the story (parties) being repeated as far as the eye can see…
William to Me:
Beauuuuuuutiful! That’s what we’re looking for, that which you are proud to lay on the line.
Look at me, Suzy-girl, still miss you so.
But, though you’re gone, I stay strong, and live in hope
Soon this war is gonna end like they said it will
When the enemies of freedom are finally killed
Do you recall the laughs we all had when you’d say to me
“Power craves yet more power, Just wait – you’ll see.”
You’d wag your finger and I’d pinch your bum
With a wink and a hug – ah, we did have our fun.
The world’s different now – quieter, somehow.
Still, they’re right, sad thoughts help no-one, now.
Went to see Tommy’s wall, it’s not far from here
Near that park and the pub where I bought his first beer.
That bright, shiny name among the thousands there
I could swear, Suzy-love, I could feel him near.
Funny how we don’t see how things just change
A camera here a new law there is not so strange
A bit of freedom surrendered is a fair exchange
To protect and defend our old ‘home range’.
You’d put your latest book down with that cute little frown.
And ask: why do we take this lying down?
You said you were tired of being fed all those lies
And sulked for days when I rolled my eyes
Then Tommy was gone, and your eyes lost their song
Like the ground zero blast of a silent bomb
You were always the one with a spirit so free
And awake so early – so long before me.
Could this be the voice of any of us in the future. Where are we headed?