Howlin' Heavin' Shanties

by Junkman's Choir

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    Also included is a lyric sheet for you to sing-along with the junkmen, a picture of the band busking outside Dublin Castle, Camden, London for the BBC and a large front cover graphic file.

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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Reel, Rattle 'N' Roar, 7, A Roarin' Handfu', Junk Rock, Steel Linin' Chant, and Howlin' Heavin' Shanties. , and , .

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about

Looking for something a bit different in your listening this week? Junkman's Choir kindly sling everything in but the kitchen sink with their latest release...
Imagine a melting pot that takes in the influence of The Pogues, Flogging Molly a touch of The Clash (and later Strummer as well), maybe some Paul Weller while tiny shades of Nick Cave hover in the background and that gives you grounding as to what Junkman’s Choir are all about.

In today’s pop market where message and story are often secondary to what a track is about, it’s nice to see a band bringing the storytelling tradition back in nice bite sized three minute chunks. The band mixes a blend of acoustic folk with shards of accordion and pot and kettle style percussion.

Lyrically it’s a festival of stories, there’s a dense poetry to some of the lyrics and some lovely turns of phrase in many of the songs, and an energy in some of the performances that suggest this lot could be a fine live prospect. Musically it has to be said the band are lock tight and there is a real consistency of performance across the album.
-A Carter, 020.

credits

released September 29, 2002

Produced by Billy Samson and Junkman's Choir at Full on the Hill Studios, Busbiehill, Ayrshire, UK.

Day V - Vocals, Bass, Guitar and Footstomp.
Johnny Gator - Vocals, Accordion, Trumpet.
Mr Lugs - Drums, Percusion.
Pama Dice - Vocals, Guitar.

Featuring Stuart Farquarson on Harmonicas.

Illustration and design by Allan Henry.

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about

Junkman's Choir Scotland, UK

Junkman's Choir are a two man band with a Global sound Playing a mix of Cajun, Country Sea Shanty's and Rockin Reels and spinning some twists and turns on the works of Rabbie Burns, The sound of Electro Accordian, Pocket Trumpet ,Guitar and Vocals, is as unique as it is infectious..
Look out for them on the street or on a stage, stomping out a steel-toed rhythm.
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Track Name: Blood Special
All aboard the blood special! The blood special is rolling down the line, The blood special is coming right on time, The wheels roll dead ahead full steam. The next port of call is the land of dreams.
You can never get off; you can never get off, When you’re aboard the blood special!
The blood special is rolling down the line, The blood special is coming right on time,
Desperate men drink desperate measures, A pint of rum to fill their bellies. Horny, howlin’, heavin’ shanties. Way hay and up she rises!
The blood special is rolling down the line, The blood special is leaving right on time,
Booze fuelled train of press-ganged sailors, Head back home to curse their jailers.
Was macht man mit eine betrunken seeman!
You can never get off; you can never get off, When you’re aboard the blood special.
Bailar!
Track Name: Ragman's Wagon
Ragman Wagon, rolling down your street, points you out with a withered hand.
Will you trade your shirt for a bow and arrow, or a balloon and a feather ‘n’ some elastic band? For a balloon and a feather ‘n’ some elastic band.
Alpine getting ready, next on the block, gammy leg makes the children afraid. Five empty bottles for a pineapple crush, then you steal them right back out of his crate.
You can steal them right out the back of his crate.
Ragman Wagon rolling off your turf says he’ll be right back some time next week. He’s got a sack full of beatings handed out late at night. He’s blowing nightmares bound for your sleep. That horn knows who to make you all weep. That horn knows who to make you all weep. Ragman. Ragman Wagon. Money for all your old rags.
Track Name: Open Road
Music dance and alcohol, fires up a flame. These boots are made for stomping, fueled with grape and grain. The Scots pine stands so lonesome, the wind howls out of tune. The raindrops play percussion on the windows of my room.
So set those wheels, in motion again, feel the steel, rock and reel, and get this show back on the road.
The wheels keep on rolling through the wind and rain. It’s the promise of the weekend that keeps us all half sane. Clothes are wet and sweaty eyelids weigh like lead. There’ll be no sleep to you come down. You just lie awake instead.
Just set those wheels in motion again, feel the steel, rock and reel, and get this show back on the road.
It’s so good to be back playing again.
Track Name: Black Mill
I remember Tam when he was just wee, Aye Screechin’ up and doon, dancin’ on his Daddy’s knee. He was couthy he was cantie: the limmer chiel of all. But, that’s afore he signed up to the big, black mill.
Aye it’s blind to your vision; take a wise man or a fool. It’s that black dug waiting for you after Sunday school. Angle bondage buying is in, nae getting off Scot-free.
The Black Mill’s winding up a death for you and me.
Black Mill. Still be turning in your grave. Black Mill. Get some more labour wi’ the lave. Black Mill. Save you if you sell your soul. Black Mill. Be the death of one and all.
So all make your mark. Sign sweat and blood right here. Nae need to spend a penny when you’re shovelling it for free. Your hopes will fall like wheat afore the farmers flail. Grind your dreams out wi’ the chaff, to the burling of a sail.
The partin’ kiss of death is your only hopes release. Until then your treading, lonely loam beneath the heath. Tam was aye the man, but a man wi’ nae is damned. It’s last bell just for fools and you’re packed off clocked on. You’re tiltin’ at its arms.
Track Name: Death in the Valley
On a piss hot dirt road, two men draw their guns. One’s doing it for love, one’s doing it for fun. They gun down each other in the soft, summer light. No more time to laugh, no more time to fight.
A seniorita comes along and puts a rose at their heads. They ain’t going nowhere; the deserts their bed. She goes through their pockets, she takes off their boots, she strips off the lining that hangs on their coats.
The man in the black coat stands over the grave, of the child of his lover that he could not save. He clutches her black hair, holds her to his chest, to avenge his son’s killers, he must head out West.
He followed by day. He followed by night. The angel as assassin waits for morning light. He slits one throat open as he takes a piss, shot one point blank making sure he did not miss.
Now Rosa met Joaquin when they were just kids, got married at sixteen but soon hit the skids. Now she waits down by that dirt road with tears in here eyes. She curses the living, the promises, the lies.
She goes in her trailer. She fetches her ring. She ties it in a ribbon, throws it in a tin. She fetches her pistol that lies by her bed. Pulls hard on the trigger, lead shoots through her head.
Oh, Death In The Valley.
Track Name: The Place
I woke up for work this morning, and I headed on to the place I was born.
I passed the fields where the farmers cut hay, and I walked past the park where I used to play.
I smelled the sweet summer mornings’ breeze, which brought into bloom those memories of hazy days and endless rites and of the angels drinking on those hot summer nights.
I walked past the place the pub once stood. I walked past my bit, in my neighbourhood. They built it up. They burned it down and they ripped the heart out of this small town.
I shook my head and I turned my back, and I headed on down the railway track. The sleeping solider faded out of site. There’ll be no angels drinking on this hot summer night.
Fire in the head. Fire in the Heart. Burning for so long from a tiny little spark. Fire in the hearth. Fire in the house. The fire in your heart was the one that went out.
There lay destroyed the place that I once loved.
Track Name: Wild Rose
Wild waves crash on a seashore. Bad pennies turn up time after time. I dream of spring and snowy blossom. Late nights spent drinking bottles of wine. I was sitting on the beach, staring at the sand. Dancing all night with a bottle in my hand. Dreamin of a dream, dreaming of a foreign land. I took another sip of the bottle in my hand.
Wild rose. I keep on searching for nobody knows. The wild rose – does anybody know where the wild rose grows.
Living with the backbeat, bleat generation. Where everything is obvious and everything is blatant. Living in the zeros is cheap imitation. Designed for the disposable, controllable generation.
Cool breeze blowing from the Irish sea. Ill wind is blowing up your street. There’s shells on the beach and bombs in the Water. Would you sacrifice your son, or sacrifice your daughter.
Track Name: Whisky on the Wind
As I was walking down Hill Street, just the other day. Passed dear old Johnnie Walker. Well, it was on my way. A sweet, sweet smell came in the breeze there was nothing left to say. I tasted whisky on the wind, and I didnae have to pay.
Whisky on the wind. Whisky on the wind. To waste a single drop, would be a bloody sin. Whisky on the wind. Whisky on the wind. I pray to God way up on high to keep it blowing in.
As I made my way down to the pub my face was all aglow. I dreamed of streams of whisky like the river Irvine’s flow. Like mighty rains that fill the plains or the driving hail or snow. I wish they tasted like the wind that drifts in high or low.
As I walked home that night and the moon shone on my back. Passed dear old Johnny Walker my thirst was still intact. Like Archimedes in the bath, I knew what that place lacked – a new head of the company and the taster should be sacked.
Track Name: Whisky and Hooch
I’m sailing o’er to summer on striven waters. A shireboy abroad Orcadian winds. I’ll be riding on the stang of Langalbuinoch. Me, a band, and twa auld raucle friends.
I’m going out tonight wi’ Whisky and Hooch, Black out seein’ the lights wi’ Whisky and Hooch. I’m wise tae the lies o’ Whisky and Hooch but I’ll be getting sae pished, fae mixing ma drinks. Wi’ Whisky and Hooch.
They left tae hitch up tae the island Kerries. Kerry Mennoch, Kerry Lamont. Ach, I forget their names. Tellin’ deeds of foreign deep-co bravery, and how they nearly even once went tae Kames.
The thirty shooters we shot backfired blanks in my memory, and a morning purse was raided for the homeward freight. We sang the sunken songs of warrior poets and stoittered ramstam hame tae Ayrshire late.
Track Name: Movin On
They say that life is filled with sin. I’m working hard and all I’m getting’s thin. Don’t fall inside the bottle once again. Keep movin’ on.