A Day Before the War

by Ian Rooke

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This is an album about war. It's not about heroes although heroes lurk in its margins. It's about sacrifice, fear, devastation, loss, faith, loss of faith , redemption and above all: Horror.


released June 28, 2014

℗ Ian Rooke 2014 at The Bunker.
All instruments played by Ian Rooke.
All songs written by Ian Rooke.
© Ian Rooke 2014.



all rights reserved


Ian Rooke Birmingham, UK

“Ian Rooke writes lyrics with bite, tunes with hooks, songs that make their point and make it well.” Folk Words Magazine 2014.

Singer songwriter from Birmingham. Has appeared at a number of folk festivals including Perthshire Amber, Harborough and Isle of Arran. Reached semi finals of UK Songwriters Competition 2012.
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Track Name: Day Before the War
Caught a glimpse of my future,
I didn't care for what I saw:
A hundred thousand foot soldiers
Were marching off to war.

So I lowered my defences
And tried to make my point of view
About how this sacrifice
Was designated by the few.

But no one seemed to listen
And no one seemed to care.
As we marched to our doom
There was singing in the air.

And I remembered a day before the war.

As we entered a valley
There was fear on every face
And all of life's injustices
Seemed gathered in this place.

And I saw Him on the parapet
And I think He knew my name.
He said: "Son these things happen
In the hope we start again."

And all the hopes we had as children
Seemed now hollow and in vain
As shivering and cold
We marched on through the rain.

And the last thing I remembered was that day before the war.
Track Name: No Turning Back
Make you way across the wasteland grass,
Side-stepping the broken glass,
To the places where we used to play.
Sad reminders of shivering days.

From the barbed wire of my thoughts,
To the battles that were fought.
A one eyed woman who'd seen it all.
A broken man who's waiting for the call.

I never needed this,
I never wanted this.
There's no turning back in this place.

A barren landscape full of souvenirs,
A raven girl to dry my tears.
A sallow sun sinks on a dying day.
Sad reflection on forgotten ways.
Track Name: Worst of Times
If they knew what we went through
They wouldn't believe their ears.
We keep it all to ourselves now
Hidden among the years

Those were the worst of times
The very worst of crimes

We hid ourselves when the strangers came
And closed our ears to the fearful cries
If we went back would we do the same
I guess it's strong the will to survive

And if we shed no tears
It's not as though we don't want to cry
And if we've lost faith
It's not as though we don't want to die.
Track Name: The Border
We ran down to the border
Amid the chaos and disorder.
We were looking for a better life
And I was planning on you being my wife.

With our minds so full of schemes
To break down the old regime.
A new order would be guaranteed
And our hearts were bent on liberty.

Now I'm looking back trying to figure what it all means
Tonight I'll see you on my dreams.
And we'll run once more to the Border
And I'll hold you in my arms again

We marched a thousand miles for truth
In that summer of our youth
We got our freedom to some degree
But without you it means nothing to me

And I can still recall the day
That we rushed the barricades
Sometimes it's like you're still here with me
And I wonder on what might have been

And now there's a border in my mind
It has me trapped here in time
All of those feelings oh so long ago
If only I could just let you know.
Track Name: Main Angel at Night
My main angel at night
Where can you be?
My main angel at night
Why can't I see?

My main angel at night
Come sit by me
My main angel at night
Come set me free.

My main angel at night
Please don't deceive.
My main angel at night
I do believe.
Track Name: I Heard a Voice
I was a stranger in your perfect land
And you reached out a welcome hand
To one who thought that he's heard it all,
You softened my heart with an angel's call.

I heard a voice so heavenly.
Sounded like an angel was calling me.

If I could have captured that melody
I'd've held it in my heart for eternity.
To hear that song sung so sublime:
Two souls adrift were now entwined.

And I heard a voice so heavenly

And though I knew that this song must end,
Still I've longed to hear it once again.
Though I know that dreams do slip away,
I'll treasure that song 'til my dying day.