Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

This song takes its title from a 2015 PC/PS4 game by The Chinese Room Studio. I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually enjoy the game much (Breath Of The Wild, Don’t Starve, and Slay The Spire are my all time favourites, btw), but the phrase lodged in my brain. It finally germinated when I came up with the opening riff, originally on double bass.

It also owes a debt to The Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, a song explicitly about reincarnation. I didn’t write this song with that interpretation in mind, but I understand how it could be read that way. To me, it’s about how working people have been impoverished over and over by technological and political change. It’s happening again right now, and I hope that we can navigate a way through it.

I was hand weaver, skilled in my trade
Til revolution took my hands away
Steam power came, and the stocking frame
A mill to grind away an honest trade
No loom could weave a crust of bread to eat
So I cast in the shoes from off my feet

Can’t push the genie back inside
Or wish us all back to the future
Can’t resurrect what’s up and died
Now everybody’s gone to the rapture

The press gang put me in the white and blue
I left my family and debts accrued
And a soldier of the crown I served
Ships sailed me half the way across the earth
Spilled blood for country and a distant king
Bringing empire with a sabre swing

Come saddle up your charger bold
Your high horse sent to pasture
There’s no time left for days of old
Now everybody’s gone to the rapture

Worked in the darkness, low down in the seam
Pick and drill to fee this English dream
Time dragged the costs up, now the bill’s unpaid
I can’t climb out the pit my father made
Coal and sweat and tar, all dust to dust
Tools set down for good and left to rust

Oh tell me where the work has gone
No more to manufacture
Can’t fuel the fires we tend at home
Now everybody’s gone to the rapture

© T Ashworth 2016