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Safe As Houses - Colosseum

Jon Hiseman's wife Barbara Thompson (see last two posts) was often the stand-in for Colosseum saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith when he was ill as well as joining them on tours, and played on three tracks on the band's 1970 album "Daughter of Time". In 2004, when Heckstall-Smith died, Barbara officially joined the band for the first time.

In 1996, Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and the remainder of her life was a battle with the condition as she vowed that she wouldn't perform if the affliction affected her to the degree where she couldn't play at her best, and she was able to do so until 2015. In 2014 she appeared on the Colosseum album, the ironically titled "Time On Our Side", as a full band member for the first time. The first track, "Safe As Houses" is credited to Thompson and husband Jon Hiseman, and is the only Colosseum song written by the couple together.

Hiseman died in 2018, and Barbara Thompson died a month ago (see last two posts). The lyrics, sung by a bittersweet Chris Farlowe, are very current, and there's an equally bittersweet solo from Barbara herself.

They go to war with smiling faces

Smiling faces fresh from mum

Ask no questions, get told no lies

Learn to kill so no one dies

The daily targets are heaven sent

Nothing's wrong, nothing's meant to hurt so much

And all to keep us safe

As safe as houses

And then they're in, embedded deep

Embedded in the broken streets

Radio calls to keep the faith

To keep from fear that ever creeps

The lottery tumbles, the die is cast

Friends will fall while you will last another day

And all to keep us safe

As safe as houses

For those who survive

The adventure of their lives

For those that pay the cost

It's just paradise lost

They're keeping us safe

Keeping the faith

Keeping us safe

Safe as houses

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