From the recording COUNTERBALANCE

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“Undoubtedly, VE Day was a time to celebrate, to think back over the past and look ahead to the future. But there was, for everyone - because everyone had either lost someone themselves or knew somebody who had - a strange air of sadness to the day. That, I think, is what people remember.” Phil Carradice
Shades of Victory is the portrait of a young woman caught up in the dancing and celebrating at a VE Day street party in early May 1945. She dons a brave expression, and revels in the moment as much as the next person. She wears a painted smile but carries a heavy heart as she remembers her lost love that would never make it home. And she is not alone: on her simple terraced street adorned with colour and reproduced for all time in monotone, a dozen other young hearts have also been left broken by the injustice of a terrible and protracted conflict, mirroring the millions of lives destroyed by the futility of war before and since.

Lyrics

SHADES OF VICTORY

Streams of colour
We redrew in monotone
Shades of victory
Girl after girl alone
We watched our lovers flee
The devil to dethrone
Today is ours once again

Run from home to home
To spread delirium
A battered xylophone and a dusty drum
Pounds out a call unknown
In seven summers gone:
Today is ours once again

Aren’t we the picture of good fortune!
Nothing else will ever matter again
…so they say

Into the fountains we
Shall dance the war’s demise
Flowers to the knee
And higher as dresses rise
Caught up with wonder she
Lifts up her mournful eyes
Today is ours once again

Aren’t we the picture…