Racing the Tide

by The Elders

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"Racing the Tide is thrilling, pulsing, propulsive, fantastic Celtic-pop. These guys are a real find ... a band to shout from the rooftops about." - MUSIC ROW Magazine


released July 1, 2006

All Songs written by Brent Hoad, Steve Phillips, Ian Byrne & Norm Dahlor © Elders Pub Music 2006



all rights reserved


The Elders Kansas City, Missouri


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Track Name: Send a Prayer
Send a prayer out there into the universe
And wait for an answer my friend
Maybe you will hear from me an echo in the wind
And a song that has no end

With a head full of books he’d forgotten
Bad memories from days in the war
Crowded out by the tales of tall cotton
Why can’t all things be just like before
The world though the eyes of my father
Repeating mistakes that he made
Refusing to lose the illusion
That one day he would lead the parade

Now he sits in the library day after day
With a wire a compass and pen
Uncovering a secret so long lost away
That will never be spoken again
Inventor of stories so deep in the heart
That will only come out in a dream
We can carve out a place or reverse into space
In the next world we’ll know what they mean

We were climbing the steps to the graveyard
With regrets and our baggage in tow
From the cliffs of the Ardarine mountains
You can see the sweet memories below
There was nothing here left but a portrait
On a mission here only to serve
An empty room with a glass and a bottle
It’s all that us free men deserve
Track Name: Bad Irish Boy
He grew up in a field by a mountain and a rock
Don’t care about the world he couldn’t see
In trouble he was in drinking whiskey beer and gin
Talking shyte around a hightop with McGee
Working Pubs and restaurants I’ll dig a ditch what do you want
We plan to leave the shores of Loch Morne
Applications in we toast good luck to all our Kin
Got to leave this dump where I was born

He’s a bad little Irish boy playing games and telling only lies
To make his dreams come true
Astronauts and Holocausts sad story’s just as cruel as he can tell
To be here with you

Climbing on an airbus a fat girl by my side
The story of her life I don’t care
Landing in the city lady liberty waves to me
All her different colored people stop and stare
From China town to dirty town just looking for the best
Please tell me how I find that row of green
The familiar music playing loud
Black banners make us fenians proud
We’re home again tell stories keep it clean

An expert on the troubles oppression from the crown
We know it all and never read a word
No history or apathy we’re hiding from the Law
We tell a tale we’ve never ever heard
Track Name: Dear God
Ragged hymn of beauty melody high and wide
I only wish I’d written it myself
She sang it to my brain gorgeous and strange
Impossible for anybody else

From the mountains of Killarney to the desert of Khartoum
With beauty truth and rhythm she will call
From a boom box out in Spain to an ear bud in my room
Her anthem made believers of us all

Dear God turn your radio on
I surrender from this moment on
A gift to all humanity forget your pride and vanity
Three minutes of heaven and then she’ll be gone
Dear God turn your radio on

With her secret no fear what we needed to hear
When it hit me like she turned on the sun
What universe was I in where the hell had I been
Every bard and poet knew she was the one

Inside every foreign nation it was spoken in tongues
Every president and king did understand
Even if she was denied when they laid down and died
Conversion on the deathbed to a man

When at last she is passed to every corner of the world
The music writing history unseen
They will move among the living to the broken and the curled
From every pub and valley in between
Track Name: Cousin Charlie
It doesn’t go any further than this room
No fly on the wall will ever know
You know what they say you only dressed in grey
And a sign from you could seal a man’s doom
Your help for a widow would dry away her tears
And the legend only grew with the passing of the years

Cousin Charlie won’t you tell us a story
Of criminals and days in the wars
Tell us all about the heroes high wide and tall
That would lay down and die for the cause
Cousin Charlie won’t you tell about it all

Now they say you kept it under the radar
The business was all underground
With the help of twenty martyrs and some friends overseas
They could turn this country around
There was blood before it’s done it’s always hit and run
When it got from bad to worse the curse was reversed

So now you’ve settled down in that sleepy little town
The heart of mother Ireland to surround you
Did you ever exist could you do more than this
My friend we were lucky just to find you
You were slippery as a whale escaped from Lincoln Gaol
And somehow you’re still here to tell us the tale
Track Name: Right with the World
When the river flows up to the mountain
When the crooked turn into the curled
There’ll be plenty too many for countin’ my friend
When everything’s right with the world

When we ride off into the sunset
When the hero comes home with the girl
We’ll be ridin’ with queens in their long limousines
When everything’s right with the world

Not a word will be spoken in anger
We will hold every loving cup high
We will look our old enemies straight in the eye
As we drink to you and I

When the presidents fold up and go home
When the flags of the battle are furled
We’ll tear down the temples of concrete and chrome
When everything’s right with the world

When the arrows all fall away harmless
And the slings have already been hurled
We’ll unravel the road that we traveled from home
When everything’s right with the world

When the rumor turns into a reason
And the ghosts of rebellion have swirled
We won’t need any proof to follow the truth
When everything’s right with the World
Track Name: Racing the Tide
The sirens wailed at midnight in that old Viking town
We all ran out to Princess Street to see what’s goin’ down
The train pulled in from Gorey at twenty after one
And seven hours later the dirty work was done

The sailors stumbled down to the river
They were all three sheets to the wind
There’s a name for them out in Milwaukee
But in Queenstown we just call ‘em Jim

Casting off from the docks at a half past three
They made off for the open sea
Out into the black if they’re never comin’ back
With the ghost from the past they were hoping to see

The ladies stumbled down to the river
They were all three sheets to the wind
So they dreamed up a demon and gave it a name
Just to have someone to blame

With no battle to fight they sailed into the night
With only one mission in mind
As many have tried and many have died
They were only racing the tide

Their heroes had left them behind
Strung out on the decks with nowhere to hide
Heads filled with stories of fish that could fly
And rumors of dragons that would not die
Track Name: Banshee Cry
I walk in the door a call from my friend
Tall tale the legend never ends
I hear the fear in his voice I think he gone so crazy
I enter the room the panic in his eye
The Banshee wail her spirit in the sky
A shrouded figure with a veil flying in the Moonlight

We all know the story told a whispered voice
We hear the Banshee cry

Is she a beauty or a raddled old Hag
A beautiful princess or one eyeball in a bag
Your name is Kavanagh, O’Toole
O’Brian, O’Neil or O’Grady
There’s something wrong let the roll call begin
A saggy sleepy eye blood red from dry Gin
I said all is well all is well

We all know the story told a whispered voice
We hear the Banshee cry

I’m walking home on Sunday night
The rain is soft upon my face
The moon was full and dancing with the trees
The blinding light I turn in fright
And all you can do is run away

The fiddler in his chair one more tune
Phantom orchestra he’ll dance with the moon
We hear a Madrigal of voice
His soul will now take a long journey

We all know the story told a whispered voice
We hear the Banshee cry
Track Name: Gonna Take a Miracle
I never made the top ten on anybody’s list
Of those who played it cool just to see what I had missed
Or be the boy most likely to make the hall of fame
By dreaming up a story I never could explain

Now maybe I was too proud to open up my veins
The heartache come and gone although the memory remains
Young dumb and fearless while leading that parade
I’m living with the choices that I made

Now I need a miracle to get me through
I’m halfway round the world again I’m halfway back to you
Halfway through the whiskey and out of my mind
It’s gonna take a miracle this time

So put me on the open sea with no place to hide
With steady wind to drive me home the stars will be my guide
All the way from Liverpool with this crew of five
I did it all the hard way a love that will survive

If there was no Graceland they would never make me King
If I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing
If I had a brand new Cadillac parked in my Garage
I’ll never ever chase that Mirage

I’m standing in a hallway my mug shot on the wall
We made it through the wreckage holy cow we had a ball
The medals and apologies we wear with pride
No need for us to run and hide
Track Name: Austrailia
From Adelaide to Arklow she carried out her quest
A shrine with many trophies on the wall
Every night she ran her traps from the east to the west
Like a legionnaire sent off to fight the war
She called it a blessing she called it a curse
Madonnas and her amulets she wore
She followed her Magellans to the edge of the earth
But Rathfarnam was as far as she could fall

Australia did she say she was from
Australia they thought she was the one
She could work the room with Danny boys
That she was shinin’ on
I give her six months and she’ll be gone

She fell for the line about the holy water
Hook line and sinker boat deck dock and pier
She thought a misadventure would make it all real
But she didn’t know she had to close the deal
He was the great persuader with time on his hands
He was money with a suitcase waitin’ for a train
To take him back to Dublin so she asked about his plans
And when would she see him again

The next one had some tales about some nuns and a dog
They walked along the levee by the bay
Some whisky and a chipper all they’re lookin’ for
And a fiddler to take them all the way
But she lived every day for the hour on the stage
Singin’ Al Jolson for the sailors
If the drummer copped a kick she would show a little leg
To the Stuka boys who crashed into their prayers
Track Name: Story of a Fish
You could tell these boys were trouble
Even though they were so young
In the hills of Avoca thank god they had no guns
With echoes in their laughter amadons just out for thrills
No end in sight for mischief these boys with hidden skills
One summer day at the Wooden Bridge we planned to fill our net
All the fish were sleeping looks as though I’ll lose my bet
Just pennies in our pockets it’s enough to see the farm
We kick a stone into the pond you know we mean no harm

It’s a story of a fish I told by the fireside
To be with our two heroes on that day
Where from that mighty hole it’s a cannibal they stole
You should have seen the one that got away

Just as the sun was dimming ‘twas a monster we did see
The biggest fish I’d ever seen a cannibal was he
I asked if we could take him just to show him to your man
He said be sure to hold on you will need to use both hands
I tied him to my hand made bike and peddled through the wind
Young Miley by my side we both had devilment in our grin
Off to the house we washed our hands and doth our Sunday best
Nine miles the ride to Arklow with a story to impress

The front page of the papers I heard my Mother cry
Into my eyes she looked right through to her I could not lie
Our fame was known throughout the land for all the world to see
To this day the record holds I sing this song with glee
Track Name: Five Long Years
The Wicklow hills are silent the grip of winter chill
The birds have left the valley the snow is thick and still
A long way from the village and home we long to see
My wife and child in my heart only God can see

Stevens’ day has passed us the time has come and gone
Say farewell to Christmas a New Year’s desperate dawn
A hunger in my heart for the peace that I once knew
Before our march to freedom

Five long years against injustice we fought to hold this land
The hunger and pain-hath stricken every man
We’ll never - we’ll never bend a knee
To a Red coat Englishman

Last night we dined on coddle soup a bowl of nettle tea
We drank a toast to absent friends the ghosts that walk Glencree
I dreamed that I was young again your beauty in my eyes
The ocean serenades with song

With guns and their drums as the banners fly high
The trumpets they sound and I look to the sky
‘Tis here I’ll surely die

The soldiers are much closer now these hills of Glenmalure
What deed can fuel the hatred their hearts are so impure
We know the end is near Michael would be proud
Together we will sing the freemen’s song
Together we will sing the freemen’s song
Track Name: Ever Be a Nation
All of us on good behavior we met down at the bridge
That Sunday on O’Connell Street we listened to the pitch
Another lockout comin’ they’ll surely break us here
No help from a citizen army or Irish Volunteer
The troops came in to seize us taunted by the crowd
They retreated back to safety the rabble stood their ground
They opened fire and killed a few while back behind closed doors
In London town they sold us out to soldier on no more

Will there ever be a nation soil sky and stone
With one human soul and a voice to call our own
Will we ever be free mountains to the sea
Always be forever an Irish home

The executions followed at a prison camp in Wales
They put to death the sixteenth man in a soggy London jail
Conscription by Westminster united every tribe
Together we could raise hell now from every side
Bolder then in spirit we moved through every town
Hidin’ from the Black and Tans they brought to put us down
How long will we run from this thing we have begun
To be more than just a fist and a crowd

A hundred bad years later and the struggle still goes on
A hundred bloody Sundays and their funerals come and gone
No victors only victims and survivors left to mourn
Our children need to know this Island is their home
Track Name: Saint Brendan Had a Boat
With their riddles off the tongue did come the Sons of Gael
The ancient Druid kings feared by many men
With a crack of light that fell upon the warriors
To win it all with a poet’s poison pen

They fought the devil’s mother to the death for forty days
When they came down from the mountains it was done
Twenty oars on either side when they put out with the tide
Their adventure only knew tomorrow’s sun

One mighty mast of beggar’s oak their vessel proud
And a rumor of those islands to the west
One winter’s whisky ration all that steerage would allow
So they left behind for Kerry all the rest

With only stars to navigate their big black sea
Till by accident one lookout heard the sound
By this time their only compass was a rosary
And after twenty weeks the coastline stared them down

On the year of their return by the lips of every man
Their solemn oath of secrecy was sealed
Reunited with their clan not a breath about the land
That this journey on the ocean did reveal

Not a word was written down not a map was ever drawn
For the captains of ten centuries to borrow