Ribbon Road lyrics

Fly The Banner High

After seeing Keith's photographs, we went to Easington Colliery 29 years later. Brenda wrote this song as her reaction to that visit. We still see the banners (more and more of them) at the Big Meeting in Durham every year. The Government did a terrible thing when it turned against its own law-abiding, hard-working citizens in such a calculated way. They can never redeem themselves.

As David Peace says in Keith's book of photos - I don't want the book to offer a sense of redemption because as a country we haven't got it. And we don't deserve it.'

Back to lyrics index


Fly The Banner High

Look up and be the future
Of a crying generation
Look up and be the light that shines
On our humiliation
And be a mother to our children
Be a father to our hearts
Look up and smile to bring us cheer
Don't drown in foreign parts

And when the sun sets past the school
The windows lost to shadow
Don't pretend that we're all fools
Who went gladly to the gallows
Memorise these pictures well
Be the memory of our hell
Look up, don't ever let us die
And fly the banner high

Chorus
There's no redemption yours or mine
No going back, just marking time
For they have left us here to die
So fly the banner high

Two thousand uniforms brought in
Two thousand fists to break us
Two thousand reasons to begin
To hate a world that hates us
Black as coal, our good and true
Black as blood when it soaked through
Cold and hunger took us
And the banner from the sky

Empty as the wasteland grass
Broken bottles as you pass
Stand alone and never ask
A favour from their hand
See the shutters all pulled down
See the blighted village now
Look up and let this story speak
In strength and dignity

Chorus
There's no redemption yours or mine
No going back, just marking time
For they have left us here to die
So fly the banner high

© Brenda Heslop 2014

Back to lyrics index