12/3/15 – The Wild Swans – The Revolutionary Spirit/God Forbid – 1982

The Wild Swans Revolutionay Spirit:God Forbid cover art 1982One of the great misses of the Liverpool bands was The Revolutionary Spirit/God Forbid 12 inch by The Wild Swans. The band was the brainchild of Ex Teardrop Explodes member, singer, songwriter and lyricst extraordinaire, Paul Simpson with the sparkling jangle of guitarist Jeremy Kelly and Ged Quinn’s rich piano. It was produced and financed by half of Echo And The Bunnymen’s engine room Pete De Frietas who also played drums – the bass player was Rolo McGinty who later found fame with The Woodentops.

The song was a stirring, positive, poetic Liverpool anthem only available in a royal blue sleeve as a 12 inch single with a minimalist line drawing that looked like a Pharaoh’s jet. There was something beautiful about it like walking into a functional building designed by a poet – an architect’s impression of a swan above the lift.

The B-side was God Forbid, something Twilight Zone in the opening guitars, it sounded like Eno chasing David Bowie through a fairground. The two songs were simultaneous melancholia and joy, energy and resignation – how this record went unnoticed is completely unexplainable. After the band had failed to sign a major deal (Revolutionary Spirit/God Forbid was the last release on the legendary Liverpool Zoo label) Simpson went onto form Care with Ian Broudie (later forming The Lightning Seeds) and Kelly and Quinn formed The Lotus Eaters with Peter Coyle – both were signed by Arista Records who had turned The Wild Swans down – Simpson quipped:

“it was like paying twice the price for half of the magic.”

Simpson’s skills as a lyricist have endured through all his work up to and including later Wild Swans releases. Although on a reformation in the late eighties, (Bringing Home The Ashes in 1988 and Space flower in 1990) finally getting signed to that elusive major deal, Simpson found it to be less than satisfying:

“Major labels suck the poetry from your bones and fill the gaps with a cement made from cocaine and crushed teenagers”.

In 2009 The Wild Swans Mk 111 appeared with Paul Simpson, Ricky Rene Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen), Mike Mooney (Julian Cope/Spiritualized)  and Steve Beswick (Slipstream). Go here for English Electric Lightning from The Wild Swans 2009 album, The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years:

http://indeepmusicarchive.net/2013/10/the-wild-swans-english-electric-lightning-lyrics-by-paul-simpson-english-electric-lightning/

For more information on Paul Simpson, his writings, his lyrics, his projects go here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Simpson_(musician)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Swans_(band)

Lost in the delta of Venus, lost in a welter of shame
Deep in the forest of evil we embark on the new crusade
Cease your foolish plea we have come to banish the land,
I stand as Saint Sebastian with love for a higher command
And there where hope is dust so strange and absolute
Nestling in sweet sorrow is the saviour of our youth.

All is quiet where angels fear
Oh my blood relations the revolutionary spirit is here.
All is quiet where angels fear
Oh my heir-apparent the revolutionary spirit is here.

Sons defy their fathers; lose their way deep in the mist,
Their hearts like alabaster crack and crumble when they’re kissed
Cease your foolish plea we have come to banish the land,
I stand as Saint Sebastian with love for a higher command

All is quiet where angels fear
Oh my blood relations the revolutionary spirit is here.
All is quiet where angels fear
Oh my heir-apparent the revolutionary spirit is here.

Courage my sad companion mute in silence you’ll find no relief
Faith is the counter-poison; the power compels you to flee from grief.
Cease your foolish plea we have come to banish the land,
I stand as Saint Sebastian with love for a higher command
And there where hope is dust so strange and absolute
Nestling in sweet sorrow is the saviour of our youth.

All is quiet where angels fear
Oh my blood relations the revolutionary spirit is here.

 

If Ricky or Paul are reading this please post the lyrics to God Forbid and check that The Revolutionary Spirit lyric is correct!

 

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