> Maddy Prior & Rick Kemp > Songs > Fire on the Line

Fire on the Line

[Rick Kemp]

Originally from Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp’s album Happy Families, this track was included in the Steeleye Span / Maddy Prior sampler, A Rare Collection 1972-1996, as an example of the broad variety of musical styles which the Steeleye Span members encountered.


There’s a fire on the line
Going to slow this old engine down
And they say we’re running out of time
Will be too late to celebrate
When the curtain of the century comes down
Or will we drive through the ashes of the fire unafraid
Or die right here in this desert we’ve made

Stormy waters off the beam
Going to sink this old battleship we’ve made
And she’s building up a head of steam
And the coastguard cursed as another flare burst
With just the keel of his lifeboat laid
Will we reach the harbour with all hands saved
Or sink like a stone in this watery grave

There’s double trouble in the sky
Silver linings vanish in thin air
And they say we’re all going to fry
When the harmful rays of the sun we praise
Cast a shadow on our children’s lives
Will we burn to a cinder in the sun’s sweet kiss
Or see another sunrise, through a cool morning mist

There’s a fire …