domingo, 28 de junio de 2009

Genesis: Selling England by the Pound (1973) - The Battle of Epping Forest



The Battle of Epping Forest

(Taken from a news story concerning two rival gangs fighting over East-End Protection rights).

Along the Forest Road, there's hundreds of cars - luxury cars.
Each has got its load of convertible bars, cutlery cars - superscars!
For today is the day when they sort it out, sort it out,
'cos they disagree on a gangland boundary.
They disagree on a gangland boundary.

There's Willy Wright and his boys -
one helluva noise, that's Billy's boys!
With fully-fashioned mugs, that's Little John's thugs,
the Barking Slugs - supersmugs!
For today is the day when they sort it out, sort it out,
yes these Christian soldiers fight to protect the poor.
East end heroes got to score in...

the Battle of Epping Forest,
yes it's the Battle of Epping Forest,
right outside your door.
You ain't seen nothing like it.
No, you ain't seen nothing like it,
not since the Civil War.

Coming over the hill are the boys of Bill,
and Johnny's lads stand very still.
With the thumpire's shout, they all start to clout
- there's no guns in this gentleman's bout.
Georgie moves in on the outside left
with a chain flying round his head;
and Harold Demure, from Art Literature,
nips up the nearest tree.
(Here come the cavalry!)

Amidst the battle roar,
accountants keep the score: 10-4.
They've never been alone, after getting a radiophone.
The bluebells are ringing for Sweetmeal Sam, real ham,
handing out bread and jam just like any picnic.

It's 5-4 on William Wright; he made his pile on Derby night.
When Billy was a kid, walking the streets,
the other kids hid - so they did!
And now, after working hard in security trade, he's got it made.
The shops that need aid are those that haven't paid.

I do my double-show quick! said Mick the Prick, fresh out the nick.
I sell cheap holiday. The minute they leave,
then a visit I pay - and does it pay!
And his friend, Liquid Len by name,
of Wine, Women and Wandsworth fame,
said I'm breaking the legs of the bastard that got me framed!

They called me the Reverend when I entered the Church unstained;
my employers have changed but the name has remained.
It all began when I went on a tour,
hoping to find some furniture.
I followed a sign - it said Beautiful Chest .
It led to a lady who showed me her best.
She was taken by surprise when I quickly closed my eyes.
So she rang the bell, and quick as hell
Bob the Nob came out on his job
to see what the trouble was.
Louise, is the Reverend hard to please?
You're telling me!
Perhaps, sir, if it's not too late.
we could interest you in our old-fashioned Staffordshire plate?
Oh no, not me, I'm a man of repute.
But the Devil caught hold of my soul and a voice called out Shoot!

To save my steeple, I visited people;
for this I'd gone when I met Little John.
His name came, I understood,
when the judge said You're a robbing hood.
He told me of his strange foundation,
conceived on sight of the Woodstock nation;
he'd had to hide his reputation.
When poor, 'twas salvation from door to door.
But now, with a pin-up guru every week,
it's Love, Peace Truth Incorporated for all who seek.

He employed me as a karma-ma-mechanic, with overall charms.
His hands were then fit to receive, receive alms.
That's why we're in

the Battle of Epping Forest,
yes it's the Battle of Epping Forest,
right outside your door.
We guard your souls for peanuts,
and we guard your shops and houses
for just a little more.

In with a left hook is the Bethnal Green Butcher,
but he's countered on the right by Mick's chain-gang fight,
and Liquid Len, with his smashed bottle men,
is lobbing Bob the Nob across the gob.
With his kisser in a mess, Bob seems under stress,
but Jones the Jug hits Len right in the mug;
and Harold Demure, who's still not quite sure,
fires acorns from out of his sling.
(Here come the cavalry!)

Up, up above the crowd,
inside their Silver Cloud, done proud,
the bold and brazen brass, seen darkly through the glass.
The butler's got jam on his Rolls; Roy doles out the lot,
with tea from a silver pot just like any picnic.

Along the Forest Road, it's the end of the day
and the Clouds roll away.
Each has got its load - they'll come out for the count
at the break-in of day.
When the limos return for their final review, it's all thru'
- all they can see is the morning goo.
There's no-one left alive - must be draw.
So the Blackcap Barons toss a coin to settle the score.


The Battle of Epping Forest (en castellano "La Batalla del Bosque de Epping") es una canción de la banda inglesa de rock progresivo Genesis, que fue publicada en su quinto album del año 1973 titulado Selling England by the Pound.

De acuerdo a los comentarios que se encuentran en el álbum, las letras de la canción están inspiradas en una historia que apareció en el diario acerca de batallas territoriales que se darían entre dos bandas rivales, incorporando personajes como "Mick the Prick" (en castellano "Mick el Pinchazo") y "Bob the Nob" (en Castellano "Bob el Coscorrón"), los cuales formaban parte de ambos bandos (las letras están cargadas de juegos de palabras, nombres graciosos y frases ingeniosas). Lo siguiente es un extracto de una entrevista en donde Gabriel hablaba acerca de la letra de la canción: Suelo guardar recortes de periódicos que me interesan. La historia de "The Battle of Epping Forest" fue tomada de una noticia genuina del Times. Luego la dejé y cuando volví a buscarla la había perdido, por lo que fabriqué la historia completa acerca de dos pandillas luchando en Londres.

La canción es particularmente característica dado que Peter Gabriel hace cambios de voces para los diferentes personajes, teniendo también recurrentes cambios en el tempo. Fue interpretada en vivo durante la gira del álbum, Gabriel solía moverse por el escenario contando la historia, e incluso volaba (estaba atado a un arnés) hasta que la canción fue descartada por cuestiones de seguridad.

Las críticas de la banda sobre la canción se encuentran divididas. En el libro de Armando Gallo, los miembros del grupo parecen estar de acuerdo en que aunque la canción estaba pensada para ser el punto central del álbum, no fue muy tenida en cuenta por tener demasiadas letras que no siempre encajan con la música, resultando en arreglos demasiados complicados. Fue descartada del repertorio de la banda luego de la gira de "Selling England by the Pound", mientras que otras canciones del álbum como "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", "Firth Of Fifth" y "The Cinema Show" permanecerieron siendo interpretadas por años.

No existe ninguna versión grabada en vivo que haya sido publicada oficialmente en algún album del grupo. En el folleto interior de la versión remasterizada del CD, las letras se encuentran bajo el nombre "After The Ordeal" lo que obviamente es incorrecto ya que esta es la siguiente canción del álbum, y es instrumental.


* Peter Gabriel: Voz, flauta, tamborín.
* Steve Hackett: Guitarra acústica y eléctrica.
* Mike Rutherford: Bajo y guitarra acústica
* Tony Banks: Melotrón, órgano Hammond, piano eléctrico RMI, ARP Pro-Soloist.
* Phil Collins: Batería