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Somewhere Else - Introduction

Introduction: Album Fourteen takes a while to give up its secrets. I wrote in the Web UK mag that it took a train journey with the headphones pushed as far as I could get 'em into my ears and the lyric sheet before me for it to finally clicked into place. In fact, I was possibly premature in writing that, because bits keep dropping in, the more I listen.

The Other Half

'Planets aligned in warning'
By virtue of their regular orbits, planets can and do come into alignment with each other every so often. On a galactic timescale, it happens all the time. Any astronomer will tell you that there is nothing inherently astonishing about this, yet astrologers and other woo woos have long contended that these alignments are great portents and will see tidal waves decimate the globe, the Earth splitting in two or The Beatles reforming with the original line up, or some other nonsense.

Thankyou Whoever You Are

Introduction: In an interview with Songfacts, h revealed, "That was inspired by own children, actually. It was a little love song to my son, who wasn't that old at the time. He was a baby.

Most Toys

'But he who dies with the most toys is still dead'
The phrase came from the footer of an email that h's partner, Linette, received.

Somewhere Else

'Some serious ship'
A play on the expression 'serious shit'.  It is also a contraction of 'relationship'. As pointed out by Rich Harding, it may also refer to the incident when h's hand was slashed open by a bottle and he nearly bled to death whilst the resident band on a cruise ship. This is documented in the closing section of This Strange Engine.

A Voice From The Past

Introduction: According to h, the voice from the past is John Lennon. 'Have we caught up yet?

Rich Harding said, "The meaning may not be obvious to those not familiar with the business slang version, which appears to be how h intends it."

No Such Thing

'As the pearly gates'
'The Pearly Gates' is a popular name for the gates to Heaven, based on Revelation 21:21:
The twelve gates were twelve pearls,
Each gate being made from a single pearl

The Wound

Introduction: The Wound was partly written about an incident on a ship where h nearly died.h's pre-Europeans band Harlow got a job performing sets on a cruise ship. Their bassist seems to have been more than a bit unstable.

One night the bassist attacked the drummer, trying to bottle him. h intervened and got slashed across his hand, severing
tendons and blood vessels. He nearly bled to death over the side of the boat (the 'blood diamond' bit of This Strange Engine is also based on this episode). There was no doctor on board but one of the crew managed to sew h up and saved his life. His hand took many months to heal but h felt the bandages were a sign of his good luck at having survived. He wore them throughout his time in the Europeans and for a long time after he joined Marillion.

Last Century For Man

'The wretched of the earth exploited by the rich few'
In 2000, the richest 1 percent of adults - most of whom live in Europe or the United States - owned 40 percent of global assets. The richest 10 percent of adults accounted for 85 percent of assets. By contrast, the bottom 50 percent of the world's adult population owned barely 1 percent of the world's wealth." (World Institute for Development Economics Research, 2006). (As an update, the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2019 documents that this had risen to 44% of global assets owned by the richest 1%. The COVID-19 global pandemic is expected to have exacerbated this further...)

Circular Ride

'Oh please say to me I'll survive like Gloria Gaynor'
Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive is one the most famous songs from the disco-era. Lyrically, it's an emancipation song, and is a hugely popular anthem, particularly within the gay community.

I Will Survive
reached number 1 on the UK charts in March 1979.