Kingdom Vs. Empire

by David Benjamin Blower

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1.
Dark is the night in which we walk And so the day full of their talk And public space belongs to they The invisible hand and the phallic gaze Take back the night Take back the day Take back the soul Take back the space He's at the door and we're at the gates He's ringing the bell and we're making it shake The lock's off the door, the door's off the frame The frame's off the wall and the wall's a pile of bricks again Take back the night Take back the day Take back the soul Take back the space The moon is big and the moon is red The sun is dark and the beast is dead The stars all fall down off the walls Down on their knees with everybody else Take back the night Take back the day Take back the soul Take back the space
2.
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All you people want to make a living by instilling fear into our women Well we're not down with that All you people want to make your money by selling dreams of plastic honeys Well we're not down with that All you people want to take your knives up to our daughters and to our wives Well we're not down with that All you people want to make quick bucks by marketing a culture of cheap lust Well we're not down with that Not going to buy it We're not down with that
5.
I'm going to drag my burdens through the streets I'm going to drag these chains, wrapped round my feet And as I'm walking, I'm going to make you see What this empire is doing to me I don't want to take my medicine or be a good boy today I don't want to go and buy something nice to take these blues away I don't want a lobotomy - I don't want to watch the TV I don't want to be pacified like everything's ok We're going to drag our burdens through the streets We're going to drag these chains, wrapped round our feet And as we're walking, you're going to know too What this empire is doing to you All you men of sorrows and all you women of grief All you stoney faces passing in the streets All you sleeping tigers, hit by tranquilisers All you kids been lied to for the last time by these cheats We're going to drag our burdens through the streets We're going to drag these chains, wrapped round our feet And as we're walking, you're going to know too What this empire is doing to you Yes there will be trouble, and yes there will be grief 'Cause all these greedy shepherds don't care nothing for the sheep The shepherds all are scheming but the sheep won't long be dreaming 'Cause there's One who watches over all and you know He doesn't sleep We're going to drag our burdens through the streets We're going to drag these chains, wrapped round our feet And as we're walking, you're going to know too What this empire is doing to you
6.
One day in Babylon there was lies and money to be spun Lies and money to be spun So the Beast made himself a ladder, that all women should be judged upon its rungs And scored from 10 - 1 And so the lie that womankind would find her only meaning in men's eyes Only in men's eyes Gave rise to a way of life and death that was made of fear and lies Only fear and lies Ride that beast darling, like you know you've been told to do Ride that beast darling, even though you know he doesn't give a damn about you And so the cries of the oppressed reached the beast there as he rested in his home On his bed of precious stones And so he started industries selling sexual empowerment to all the women of the world And the businesses they made theirselfs more money than you can burn up there in the sun And all the suns beyond But the sexual empowerment they sold lasted only as long As it takes a man to cum Ride that beast darling, like you know you've been told to do Ride that beast darling, even though you know he doesn't give a damn about you And so it seemed that many dreamed of being seen there up the ladder's hights Amongst the stars of night And the industries picked out promising young girls to be deified in lights Giving glory to their might And the Godesses were hung up there in public space till there's no place to hide No place left to hide But their empowerment means nothing - they're working the streets and making money for a bunch of liars Pimps in suits and ties Ride that beast darling, like you know you've been told to do Ride that beast darling, even though you know he doesn't give a damn about you And so woman hid dispirited behind the false identities he's sold There in his perverted hold An oppression that was never to be spoken of and never to be told Never to be told And the beast said "please don't take it so seriously darling it's just a game!" "Really it's just a game!" "But on the other hand, in my land you ain't worth nothing if you won't play" "So you'd better play..." Ride that beast darling, like you know you've been told to do Ride that beast darling, even though you know he doesn't give a damn about you
7.
Judgment 02:26
Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down And the clouds'll be His horses When men begin to frown Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down All you earth destroyers With your evil greedy eye Enslaving nations for cheap labour And feed your own on lies Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down And all you filthy liars Talk about freedom all day long But you enslave youe people for profits And you know your time is going to come Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down Better get ourselves together And shave our sorry heads Because Jesus is coming that morning And the West had better repent Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down When Jesus's tired of pleading And He won't plead no more He'll call the whole world together And He'll judge us one and all Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down And as for we here gathered Can't say we never took part So we'll be right there on our knees Repentance in our hearts Better get ready for judgement Better get ready for judgement morning Better get ready for judgement Our God is coming down
8.
O My People 02:45
O my people, what are you to me now? Something inbetween us all Something pushed us all out What are you to me now? What am I to you now? But I still want to be part of you Cry out to the sky above you O my people, what are you to me now? Numbed and segregated Alone, each in his own house What are you to me now? What am I to you now? But I still want to be part of you Cry out to the sky above you
9.
O the tyranny of the giant faces over me and my children O the tyranny of the dreams and fantasies of the state religion Stole my dreams and sold them back to me at the price of what they were selling Sold me dreams and stole them back from me right when I seemed top enter their heaven We let advertisers raise our children O LORD Have mercy The Tyranny Stole my heart and disregarded it as an illegitimate story Sold me dreams that never did last but filled my heart with selfish envy We let advertisers raise our children O LORD Have mercy The Tyranny O the tyranny of the giant faces over thee and thy children O the tyranny of the dreams and fantasies of the state religion We let advertisers raise our children / I'm not a believer anymore O LORD Have mercy The Tyranny
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about

“This is a stunning looking and rich piece of work – thoughtful and thought-provoking, a real work of art in the broadest and best sense.” -Kester Brewin, Author of ‘The Complex Christ’

“[This] mindset-breaking, counter-cultural little book is a skilfully crafted tool for life. Read it & be moved.” –Roger Haydon Mitchell, Author of ‘The Fall of the Church’

The new album from Benjamin Blower and the Army of the Broken Hearted comes with liner notes so expansive, they’ve become a book in their own right. 11 blisteringly politicised junk-folk songs from the streets of Birmingham with a 100-page manifesto, written for everyday people stuck in the coma of British cultural life.

Kingdom vs. Empire is fuelled by the guttural force of Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie, the tried-and-trusted troubadour’s guitar framed by clattering percussion and clamouring voices. But a new and sinister sense of the carnival has entered the palette: ‘Ride that Beast’ and ‘We’re Not Going to Buy It’ are unambiguous party songs and statements of feminist defiance. ‘Take Back the Space’ and ‘Trouble in the Empire’ are clanging calls to radical action and ‘Asleep for a Long, Long Time’ is a ballad to the discontent of 2011. Finally ‘Wake Up Dry Bones’ and ‘Repentance is the Revolution’ are rooted firmly in that forbidden power that emerges when everyday people engage in radical faith.

The accompanying book is an apocalyptic vision, boiled down to its purest form; a social critique of life and faith in 21st Century Britain. Reminiscent of Allen Ginsberg, Andrea Dworkin, The Situationists and the Old Testament Prophets, it is an unapologetic pummelling in the face that will be loved or hated.

The ABH as a collective continue to walk the awkward line between faith and politics, between cultural apocalypse and loving community, between provocative thought and religious madness. Kingdom vs. Empire is their most dangerous work yet.

credits

released August 30, 2013

All songs written and recorded by Benjamin Blower & the Army of the Broken Hearted, except 'Judgment' written by Sister Mary Nelson
© Benjamin Blower 2016

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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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