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about

A musical cousin to 2008′s ‘The Pillar of Smoke’, the post-folk ‘Exiles’ tells the story of the nation of Israel’s Babylonian exile in the year 586BC, implicitly drawing comparisons to modern-day experiences of a lost nationhood. Reissued from Zang Productions, it’s by turns tragic, comedic and courageously hopeful, it meanders through folk, jazz and pop, all with the misty colour of a faded photograph.

‘Exiles’ opens properly with ‘I Remember the House (Pt. 1)’, seemingly the most conventional song Benjamin Blower has penned for some time – until it shifts into a wholly unexpected cascade of 8-bit keyboards. It’s movements like this that make it clear the album is a break with the no-frills aesthetic of his ‘Army of the Broken Hearted’ work. Blower once again explores the boundaries of his sound, and unearths a narrative voice that beckons you to sit around the fire and immerse yourself in a unique historical tale.

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released October 22, 2012

All songs written and produced by David Benjamin Blower
© David Benjamin Blower 2012

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David Benjamin Blower Birmingham, UK

David Benjamin Blower: 6-string writer, poet, theologian and podcaster from Birmingham in the UK.

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Track Name: I Remember the House Pt. 1
I remember with teary eyes when we were children and our parents were alive
In September go for a drive
Back tomorrow night
Working under a friendly sun
Talking it over as we went along
And the old folks had known no fear in all their lives

I cried when I saw the new foundations in the ground
Because I remember the house that burned down

I remember the way it stood
The roaring fires
The pots and pans and the food
And the dancing, singing and shouting all through the night
And the ceiling there up above
I remember first meeting You in there, and I dare say I was in love
And I still am

I cried when I saw the new foundations in the ground
Because I remember the house that burned down
Track Name: Egyptian Horses
I think I was a good man at first, but really I can't be sure
Because I know I been bad many years when I first realised I wasn't a good man anymore
Doing my duty for God and everybody, getting sick and tired of the score
My gut said you've got to look out for number one. No one else is going to pick you up off the floor
So we forgot about God and followed self interest. The more self interested man wanted more
Everything that wasn't mine I wanted to buy, and took loans on the things that I couldn't afford
Nobody wants to be a pawn in the chess set. Nobody wants to be a toy in the store
Every man a king and every woman his mistress. Every man a tyrant every woman his whore

O Egyptian Horses
Bring them north to me
O expensive watches
And the gold in my yellow teeth

Everything's for sale and everyone is open for business, and that's the law of the land
My house is big and my heart is empty. My soul's held together with elastic bands
All the women of the world were my oyster, picking them apart with my eyes and my hand
This place knows no brother or sister - only encounters for a woman and man
And children become an inconvenience... a by-product... flies in the jam
I lost count, lost sleep, lost interets. I even got rid of Sally and Dan in the fire

O Egyptian horses
Bring them from the south
Women of the nations
Bring them to my mouth

The economy will save us.
The economy is strong
The nations all around us
Got currencies of straw
Track Name: In the Well
This here town's going bad from the inside
Wake up, our time has come
Everywhere's crawling with kids going senile
Wake up, our time has come
All these religious got nothing left to say
Wake up, our time has come
And all the politicians don't care either way
Wake up, our time has come

But we couldn't bare to look into their weary faces
Draging like a ball and chain in the sand
We couldn't bear to face all the consiquences
So we took them by the feet and the hands [saying]

"Throw him in the well!"

Nobody wants to be a one way passenger
Wake up, our time has come
Nobody thinks twice about shooting the messenger
Wake up, our time has come
Haggard and weary, the prophets of the era
Wake up, our time has come
The age of consiquence is here
Wake up, our time has come

But they wouldn't dare believe that our words were loaded
Spitting in our faces saying "I'll be damned"
They couldn't bear to think that the dream was over
So they took us by the feet and the hands
[saying]

"Throw him in the well!"
Track Name: The House is on Fire
O LORD! The house is on fire!
The taps ain’t working and the river’s gone dry
O LORD, their burning it down
Sacred walls are hitting the ground

O my, o my! Looks like we finally got our time
Zedekiah was wrong and Jeremih was right, but we were all kidding round through the night
O me, o me! I didn't think He'd seriously
Bring these savages to these streets and burn His own house like a dead old tree.

O LORD! The house is on fire!
The taps ain’t working and the river’s gone dry
O LORD, their burning it down
Sacred walls are hitting the ground

O my LORD! Won't you come here quick and do a miracle or something?
Surely you can't just stand there and watch while they burn your house to smoke and dust
O LORD please! Won't you make it rain or make them disapear?
Part the ocean and bring it over here. We thought you were kidding us all these years.

O LORD! The house is on fire!
The taps ain’t working and the river’s gone dry
O LORD, their burning it down
Sacred walls are hitting the ground

I know I've fallen and I haven't been hanging round here at all
When everyrthing was fine I was standing far off, now its on fire I've got my head in the dust
I know it says that you don't come here with empty hands
But the river's gone dry and for all my sins I guess this really is where it ends

O LORD! The house is on fire!
The taps ain’t working and the river’s gone dry
O LORD, their burning it down
Sacred walls are hitting the ground
Track Name: 586BC
Seven seals are decreed until the final blizzard, but I was
Looking the other way when the bombshell hit us
The trees were felled and the buildings were scissored

So we ran like hell for the hills while the bell ringers rang their bells
The avalanches fell and covered all the fields
The city was rubble and the babies all squealed

And the stars fell down from the sky like the last handful of a dead man’s pills
Reflected in his widow’s eyes
From a distance we watched the city die

Her eyes were filled and the weeping began, “let me not be stilled” she said
“Let me cry. Let my tears be endless.
Don’t try to pacify me with television drink and anti-depressants.”

For seventy years, most of us were slaves to our killers and oppressors
Some of us ran away to die in the desert
Some of us stayed and became homeless crazies

Somebody rolled me over in the middle of a hangover and said to me
“Wake up drinker! Your bottle is empty
And all the off-licences have been ram raided”

Those days hit me like a cancer or like a terrible car accident
We thought we were safe, and we weren’t
We thought we were rich, and we were, but now that means nothing

So go tell your children and all your children’s children, so they can tell their children
Write it in a book and send it to the four corners of the earth
So even the goyim can read about Him
Track Name: Where You Don't Want to Go
Travelling
All washed up
Feet to feet
Every face stone cold
Silently
Gone like litter on the breeze.

And who could tell?
Our thoughts are with the prophets lost down the wells
And if its true that we never believed in hell
We knew that every action has its ends

MARCHING! MARCHING! Where you don’t want to go…

But what’s done is done
And we can never bring back what is gone
And we can never turn back what’s to come
And I can never make it right my son

But don’t give out
Keep your little head down to the plough
And if you come to find that we’re not around
You can still find your way back home

DANCING! DANCING! Where you don’t want to go…
Track Name: Broken Men
As the days turned from weeks into months We learned the language and wept for our sons
Replaced the bandage every setting sun
But we didn't know what to say
So for a while we suffered in silence
Each of us too ashamed to talk about the featureless wasteland where we used to have penises
Until one night on a wednesday evening
A few of us sat around quietly drinking
The laughter soon gave way to weeping
The Spirit drew down on our meeting till each man had his say
And as the dawn broke
And the blue bird spoke
We sat in the sunrise and had a smoke
Broken men with a glimmer of hope
The first Babylonian Eunuch's support group

Broken men
They can never return what they've taken from us
Broken men
They can never tough what we've got in our guts

Like a dead old tree
Or a hollow log
A freak of civilisation that doesn't belong
Like a sheep with its wool shorn off lined up quietly outside the slaughterhouse
No one looks us in the eyes
We say nothing and no one cries
Disregarded with the concubines
Broken bodies and broken lives
Like a desecration of a holy place
A violation of a sacred space
May as well've cut off my face and hung me out to dry
But I defy you flesh and blood and snake
I can't deny where I know you've been
You may take what you may take but the devil can't have what won't be given

Broken men
They can never return what they've taken from us
Broken men
They can never tough what we've got in our guts
Broken men
We can never take back what those monsters stole
Broken men
They can never lay hands on your heart and soul
Track Name: Exiles
In my thirtieth year I was washed up and dry
So I made my way down to the river to cry
I watched my tears swim off down the stream
Carved my initials into the trunk of a tree
Then I dreamed with my eyes wide open and my shaking knees

I saw a great legion of wheels with eyes
And four faced creatures were hanging in the sky
I fell with my face to the ground, terrified
O for His Glory that I saw in the sky
Then He speaks
"Stand on your feet son and listen to me..."

"I am the LORD, the holy one"

In the great Babylonian assembly
My three friends wouldn't bow the knee
They said if God didn't save them they'd prefer to die
Than bow to the fantasies of any mans mind
Wood on the fire!
They threw in my friends to watch them burn and die

The king stood up choking on his champagne
There were four men walking in the middle of the flames
My three friends walked out unhurt
They were burned once before and now there's nothing left to burn
The king bowed and prayed
And slowly his kingdom was burned away
Track Name: We're Going Home
Put on your new dress darling
You look beautiful
Put on your backpacks children
We're going home
And if you still got oil in your lamps
Burn it
And if you still got strength left in your hands...
Track Name: I Remember the House Pt. 2
And when we built it we all knew that this house we'd built with all our hands was sure to fall down too
But its beautiful
And it points to something true
So we built it strong and tall
And we prayed when the Messiah comes that He'd teach within its walls just before the last sacrifice is set on fire

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