Tinsel Show

from by Karine Polwart

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about

The neon lights, chimneys and curious chemical flames of the BP petrochemical plant at Grangemouth on the River Forth dominated the horizon from my childhood home. For all its reeking industry, it looked magical from the brae face above the unassuming Stirlingshire village of Banknock, a magical quality heightened still by thousands of alleged UFO visitations to the so-called Bonnybridge Triangle during the early 1980s. The song’s title is pinched from a line in Robert Burns’ majestic song A Man’s A Man.

lyrics

TINSEL SHOW

In the East the fires are burning
Spires of stone and steel
Smoke stack engine turning
Wheel upon wheel

From a window, such a wonder
Galaxies have come to land
She sees stars and spells and spangles
Sparklers in her hand

And the eyes of ages watch our tinsel show
While hireling wages steal our dreams from our souls

In the East the fires are burning
Spires of steel and stone
Smoke stack engine turning
Wheel upon wheel

From her window, such a wonder
Flying saucers on the shore
She sees disco lights and diamonds
Bold Orion’s sword

And the eyes of ages watch our tinsel show
While hireling wages steal our dreams from our souls

Minarets of industry
and spinnerets of alchemy
Belfry towers for bells to ring in
Colonnades of chemistry
and cavalcades of conjury
Choir stalls for hearts to sing in

In the East the fires are burning

credits

from TRACES, released August 13, 2012
Written by Karine Polwart (MCPS/PRS)

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Karine Polwart UK

One of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain" The Guardian

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