Thirst

by Citizen Fish

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credits

released October 1, 1996

Voice/words - Dick
Guitar - Phil
Bass/voice - Jasper
Drums - Trotsky
Trumpet - Alex

Recorded and mixed with Kevin Stokes
River Studio London
1-10 May 96

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Citizen Fish Bath, UK

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Track Name: Feeding
FEEDING

We're feeding on facts we're feeding on fiction
Feeding cos we need to eat
Supplying our minds with information
But half of it is incomplete

They used to wrap chips in newspapers
Now they microwave fast food
We end up picking at rumours
In the hope of a grain of truth

Do you know what you are feeding?
Do you know what you are fed?

We say we don't believe all that we read
But is anyone reading at all?
Or merely feeding on what's being fed
In the hope of feeling full?

We all need to be resources
Rather than receptacles
There's too many lies and rumours
To recognise them all

Do you know what you are feeding?
Do you know what you are fed?

Do you repeat what is worth repeating?
Or store it all inside your head?
Be a source of information
Inspire debate, protest and go!
Feed on food for thought reaction
If no-one feeds it, grow your own!
Track Name: Popsongs
POPSONGS

You'll never make the charts if you sing about repression
Cos pretending to be in control is a national obsession
Even when the self-control is let loose as aggression
"Oh you know he doesn't mean it maan"-"It's his natural expression"

Some say the constant hammering is following the beat
And popsongs heard to pass the time will break up the routine
In some hazy day pre-radio you'd hear the hammers sing
Now they shout above the popsongs, go unnoticed and give in

It claims to break up the routine, becomes a part of it
But no signs of improvement in the way the hammers hit
You see the way the workers act when the chains relax a bit
Does it indicate their mental state as happy clean and fit?

After daylong happy tunes its prime reaction time
Blob out horizontal to the spectacle sublime
Replacing conversation space with pleasantries that rhyme
Have a good weekend folks, just make sure you're back by nine

So when the batteries went flat and the D.J. went off air
The atmosphere in the factory made everyone aware
They'd been replacing interaction with dependency on sound
So when the popsongs came back on they turned the whole thing down
Track Name: City on a River
CITY ON A RIVER

I see the rubble alongside the river and shout
"It's time we started looking again!"
We seen it before, except then it was standing
Seen the demolition, hand in hand
We watch the cars zoom past
Seems like nothing's ever gonna last

Is this change? Or merely destruction?
Wait a few months and here's the construction
Of another supermarket, as shops close down
Redundancy money like a dressing gown
Barely hiding the naked fear
Of being recognised - "I used to work here"

Staring at the rubble was bad enough
So we look to the river instead
Comparison, no! It couldn't be so!
This one flows and the other is dead

But the swans have gone with the current - moved on
And the trees have rotted away
The bridge that joined workers and nature
Now a viewpoint to view the decay
We walk round the city a few times more
The repetition makes us numb
Built on a river that keeps the score
Of replaceable scenery - what was won
Is lost - and the cost is rising
Pride in the city and its horizons
Killed by the slow destruction
Of places to live - now the only function
That reaps rewards is profit
And the making of it
Can't afford to look after the poor
If they really want more - we've got it

The price is lifelong dedication
To the status quo of this consumer nation
Offer no alternative, don't talk back
Work for twenty years then get the sack
Or not! How much have you got?
What kind of strength can take you
The length of the ladder?
Can you reach the top? Is it madder
Or saner to stay off the rungs
And start complaining?
About the endless waste, the draining
Off of human inspiration
Where people and labour
And buildings and nature are wasted
Got a taste of it
Stood by the rubble by the river on a bridge
Track Name: Used To Work
USED TO WORK

Up in the morning, out to the block
Into the office it's down to the boss
Up down and sideways straight across
Who sets the motion? Who gets the job?

I just got a promotion
The people are bigger up there
Get a suit to fit

Routinery scenery go holiday
The distance we go is set by the pay
Ambition retrieval, "We'll get there one day"
Who sets the distance? Where do you stay?

I just got an extension
The office had run out of space
Getting on with it

Out of the office, back from the block
Came worker and workload set by the clock
Checked in on family, checked out the box
It's not what you're getting, it's what you haven't got

This bloke just won a million quid
And he's gonna keep his job
Got used to it
Track Name: Plasticash
PLASTICASH

Swindon town are going down
Another division today
With the introduction of 'Mondex' cards
Personality on display
Out with those tiresome coins and notes
It's a credit card status mirror to show
You're a flexible reliable upbeat type
Choosing to follow the 'optional' hype

Believe consume then pay

Here it all is to choose or refuse
All your statistics, the portable you
Name and number, size and amount
Of transferable credit in your bank account
Swindon town are being taken down
The disinformation highway
Consumer credibility testing ground
Believe consume then pay

The 'optional' tag is original stance
You don't have to do it, but now here's your chance
Gradually the rich and social elite
Will be forcing the standards for us all to meet
And once reported to be a success
By those who do the consumer tests
It'll be standard procedure across the nation
Like satellite dishes - infatuation

Believe consume then pay

Novelty rat race acceleration
Into a future with all hesitation
Set aside by the fear of alienation
From society - It's all connotation

You are what you carry on plastic cards
And plastic cards are carrying you
When all you contain and all that you are
Is lost - well what will you do?

But we refuse to play
Create a false desire then feed it
Track Name: Scene 496 : Cafe in Melksham
SCENE 496 : CAFE IN MELKSHAM

How now the rose in red and pink and white
Its petals soft as blades of metal
Melting in the noontime rays
And frosted cold again at night

How now the rose in sharpened thorns
Its underlying nature warns
That beauty holds itself above proximity:
A 'Do not touch' sign on its stem
That, unconsidered, wreaks revenge
On those whose jealousy condemns
- - - -
Screaming baby in a café
A mewling child that will be wild
In its persistence to inflict
Its misery upon the ear
It's times like this I get too near
To kids to ever want to be parental
On the verge of going mental
Shrieking spikes and lacerations
Ruining my concentration

Over there
Another angled child was dangled
From a chair aware of crying in the air
And walked away from mother's smile
To pass one on to the screaming child
Who, seeing some consideration
Stopped its wailing emulation
Of tanks on slopes with failing brakes-
That other kid had what it takes

As we all like to think we do
But we just sit and let it pass
While this bright kid got off its ass
And made the difference for us all
Just by being natural
Just by being natural

I doubt that kiddie's name was Rose
It was probably something like Brian
But it knew what to do, the instinctive approach
And somehow it stopped the kid crying
Track Name: Words on Overtime
WORDS ON OVERTIME

Sometimes something good
Needs understating to be understood
Needs towing back from the cliché status
That empties meaning from the phrases
Used so often - once they held
The singularity of the bell

When words on overtime ring false cheer
Cos everyone's saying them, it numbs the ears

Picking up catchlines
The wrong word at the wrong time
Lost you future friends
The wrong word at the right time
Started up a trend
The right word at the right time
Is only in your head

Sometimes something bad
Needs overstating in a sense gone mad
When pain fear and grief
Become too easy to believe
Then the feeling isn't coming through
When we daily consume oversimplified gloom
Reported by strangers
We fear anything we're not set to receive
And feel alienated

So when someone's pain gets in our faces
We need to hear different phrases
That we can believe

What kind of worlds have we created
Where basic feelings need re-creating
To avoid the perceptions of fiction and cliché
Being received?
How long before via screen mentality
Will we all forget how to tell the reality
Apart from the act? There's the duality
Careful how you feed
Track Name: Talk About the Weather
TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER

Wind blows strongly in its rush to arrive
In your face for as long as you like or hate it
We place ourselves either for or against
And then later on we replicate it
Back in the box with the gas masks off
We stare at the blocks through the double glazing
Wishing the air was cleaner, aware
Of a forecast declaring us crazy

Mindset in concrete headset on loud
To cover the noise and avoiding the crowds
Lungs on the run and breathing too fast
No time to talk the air doesn't last
So back to the edge where the wind hits you hard
This is the reason you get out of the car
But then you feel lost and go back to sitting
Inside the car and then back to the city

When the air is polluted, the sun is reputed
To give us all cancer, and the rain starts to sting
We get immune to it, hoping/assuming it
Will somehow get better...better stay in

Now we talk about the weather a whole lot more
Running out of conversation and running back indoors
We position our excursions and forget how to explore
Until the wind blows strong enough to make us want some more
Track Name: Catholic Sex Confession
CATHOLIC SEX CONFESSION

The voice at the box had finally lost
Years of frustration in a drunk night of passion
And declared in confession
To the nearest professional
Guilt control know it all:
"For once all my pride was illusion
A false self-exclusion
From pleasures so vast they can hardly be named."
And was told in a cold voice "You should feel ashamed-

The church knows its business and needs the control
Of the body in order to manage the soul
Sexual freedom destroys any faith
In a church that says freedom begins at the grave
So we frown on the physical and ban contraception
Abortion and women from being the pope
Its down in the bible that god is a man
And abstention and caution are how we all cope

Did you use contraception? You didn't? That's good
The pope doesn't use it, no reason you should
Unless she gets A.I.D.S. or a pregnancy, mind
I suggest you get tested and see what they find
No doubt she'll keep any offspring concealed
From the press and the like, get some funds from the plate
Now time marches on and I'm late for a meal
Hail Mary times ten. Don't do it again."

They met face to face in the church the next day
Without knowing who the other one was
"I've had it I'm finished" said one "and I leaving
There's nothing left here I can truly believe in."

"But why?" asked the man, and she said " Because
I'm a nun and I'm pregnant and I don't want the baby
But you will say no to whatever I choose
You never say yes and you only say maybe
When someone you personally know gets abused
This body is mine not a baby machine
But in the eyes of the church I am trash
So I quit your hierarchical sexist regime
To be me! Is that too much to ask?!
Track Name: Criminal
CRIMINAL

Here in the Criminal Justice Act
It says it's illegal to even react
By marching against the sudden new lack
Of freedom of movement, assembly, and that
Goes for everyone, cos now we're all dispossessed
Little joy in the illusion that they can't mess up our heads

As we're taking life as being a reward
We're constantly told that we can't afford
To live it - not the way we do
Cos now we're breaking the law - is it me or is it you
Who thought we could live without heeding it?
Now the boundaries have shrunk to fit
To lifestyles

Based on total social complicity
To work ethic, media, domesticity
Staying silent in response to freedoms
Being so curtailed we forget we need them
To exist - variety breeds tension
Then people debate what was never mentioned
Before - ideas deal with feelings
And laws try to shape the ideas that we deal in

At the point where the ideas
Have spread enough distance
To call it a lifestyle
We start to meet the resistance
Here in the Criminal Justice Act
All our paranoias turn out to be fact!
They really are out to get you!
So party on, dude!

Now we've all been criminalised
For refusing to be led
They can't control our movements
They can't close down our heads
And if you start to think they can
They've won another round
Toward completion of their plan
To keep the people down
The more we get pushed
The more we push back
Destroy the Criminal Justice Act!
Track Name: What Charlie Said
WHAT CHARLIE SAID

Be as honest as you can be
Question orders, accept ideas
Make a meal of what you're eating
Don't be scared of social fears

Pass the plate before it gets heavy
Have what's given, give what's gained
Spot the gaps but know connections
See how freedoms are retained

Play with work and work with play
Make it all come back some day
Be more entrance than departure
Know somehow something you're after
That's what Charlie said

Under the influence
It turns the senses to directions
Never known before
It sets us up and keeps the score
Provides a point to reach, then we've got there
And start again

I don't agree with it
I think it's really good
Here's something else to fit
And now it's understood
My head's struck in advice
Under the influence
I had to ask him twice
And then it all made sense

Come here and pull up an edge
And tell me your name
I'm no longer sure I've met you before
And I'd like to meet you again
Track Name: Fill Me Up
FILL ME UP

Do you know what you are eating?
Oh fill me up with food
The stomach's ringing hunger bells
Sometimes anything will do
Beware the wind that coke can bring
It dries the parts it reaches
Cultural deserts carry the can
Coke adds life then bleeds it

Be watching out for indigestion
Long time since you touched a cow
Farming forms to fit consumption
That pain is what you eat, not how

Do you know what you are breathing?
Oh fill me up with air
The lungs are wringing out the smells
For something fresh to wear
Cars that fume in queues for more petrol
To get to somewhere else to breath
Air conditioning through acceptance
Extra for the weathermen to read

As air gains the status of grades
Quality recedes as any of it gets praised
Will they put it in bottles like they did with the rain?
OxyGenerico in profit again

What we eat and drink and breathe
Filters down through industry
Creates our life expectancy

Do you know what you are drinking?
Oh fill me up with water
All bar the lungs are in on this one
Ninety percent and way important
Tap on the back says don't use the tap
Scarcity value or it just tastes crap
Privatised and purified
Its raining chemistry outside

What we eat and drink and breathe
Creates our life expectancy
Choking the consumer dies
Clutching burger, coke and fries