Freedoms Children
Battle Hymn Of The Broken Hearted Horde

Original album cover

album cover

2008 CD release

album cover

Tracks:

    Movement One:
  1. Introduction
  2. Season
  3. Judas Queen
  4. Mrs. Browning
  5. Country Boy
  6. Your Fathers' Eyes
    Movement Two:
  7. Eclipse
  8. 10 Years Ago
  9. Kafkasque
  10. Boundsgreen Fair
  11. Miss Wendy's Dancing Eyes Have Died

    Bonus on CD re-issue

  12. My Death (Kafkasque, 2nd Movement)

All tracks written by Ramsay MacKay.

Musicians:

  • Ramsay MacKay: Bass, vocals, narration
  • Julian Laxton: Guitars on 'Eclipse' & 'Kafkasque'
  • Colin Pratley: Drums
  • Nic Martens: Keyboards
  • Pete Clifford: Guitar
  • Dennis Robertson: Vocals
  • Stevie van Kerken: Vocals
  • Steve Trend: Vocals
  • Peter Vee: Vocals
  • Harry Poulos: Keyboards on 'Eclipse' & 'Kafkasque'
  • Brian Davidson: Vocals (unconfirmed)

Release information:

LP: 1968, Parlophone, PCSJ 12049
CD: 2008, Fresh Music, freshcd 152

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Comments:

album back cover

This album has all the wonderful excesses of early progressive rock; the deep "meaningful" poetry, spoken words, majestic organ-playing, sound effects, choirs, long guitar solos, etc. I love it!

The unusual Scottish/South African accent of Ramsay MacKay guides us through this album of contrasts. From the country sounds of 'Country Boy' to the Traffic-style rock of 'Judas Queen' this album does not let up for a moment. It rocks, it soothes, it challenges, it even refreshes (thanks to the inclusion of an old Pepsi advert!). A great album, which has seen the light of day on CD (at last!), thanks to Fresh Music.

Brian Davidson says that he sang a bit on this album, but this is unconfirmed.

Stevie van Kerken was Robert John "Mutt" Lange's first wife.

Sleeve notes supplied by Piet Obermeyer. Cover scans from Mike Greeff.

Sleeve notes (from original album):

BATTLE HYMN OF THE BROKEN-HEARTED HORDE - RAMSAY MACKAY

Love has gone to war in uniforms of words; They lie here discarded on battlefields where my guns of youth stand silenced; they listen to a girl with rainbow eyes tell of storms; I say to her "I was once the rain" she smiles; I stumble across myself falling into what I really am. Is there anybody who can call me a fool without being a fool themselves, is there anybody who could love me and expect to be loved in return? I have been remembered, then forgotten - everybody is but a switch on the minds of others; touch me, perhaps I am broken, I do not know. A medal of bravery for the new world hiding in the bomb craters of stimulated-love affairs. Tomorrow they say it will be different, today is spent waiting, yesterday is forgotten except by those leaving the craters.

Yesterday I saw the last bell being dismantled by half-starved choir boys, today I saw a bell pining a white robe to the gutter where it lay. The hospital have disbanded the doctors - I pass them in broken fields attending dying horses. The new bible has already grown old in the torn hands of preachers wearing diamond-studded purple dog collars, which chain them to the pulpit. The jet bombers have become cowards, hit and ruining their pilots while the control towers save the lives of migrating swallows from the fall-out which is about to fall.

All the flags and the flags which burned the others have no purpose left to put forward the triumph of thinking that what happened, even if it should not have, even if I do not know why it did, or even, yes this is the hardest, that it never did happen. I know there have been changes; somebody has been making changes, beware the changers; guard your straight lines and your circles; should you have a lover see that there is only two of you in bed and that the floor has no dark footsteps. If you have bomb shelters beware of bombs; if you have bombs his search begins at twelve for shelters, do not worry about the people, they shall die naturally, kill the shelters. If you see spaceships now and then think of yesterday when you laughed at people who did. There is no news today, news is bad, it destroys.

Dedicated to the girl from Boundsgreen Fair:

When we meet again it will not be under this tower, time will have erased it. We shall stand amongst its ruins talking in whispers, ghosts of what we were will stand sadly to the side. Perhaps amongst the rubble we could search for our laughter; our almost forgotten dreams, perhaps we could if we were not so weary. We might hold hands and walk amongst the dead stones and touch them, caress the things we once loved, see a dead poem which I wrote for you, see it then and know it once lived. "Chestnut green colourride wears a pattern in my life a vision helpless paints the sound of your voice, silent black with tears of silver". I hold your smile while I climb inside you, motionless we became, making statues out of words which became invisible on our lips. Could love ever return to us, wanderer come home to smile on our faces, rest in our hearts, telling us tales of travels?

From my book "Parade"

Let the past lie for us - digging it up shall bury tomorrow. Show me the man who laughs but never cries, he is but half a man whose laughter cries for him. Truth is a river - you must be its banks and its beds. Life the wilderness has many explorers, but there are no maps to show of their knowledge. To have knowledge is to be wise, to know everything is not wisdom for wisdom is infinite to know that is wisdom.

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