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The Sickle and the Saw

from Birds of Plenty by Yellowbelly

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In many ways this song is the inspiration behind the album. Inspired by the brave, intelligent, peaceful and friendly protesters at Białowieża National Park who invited me into their camp in the summer of 2017 as they protested, eventually successfully, at the Polish government's illegal deforestation of Europe's last remaining piece of primaeval forest.


Sickle and the saw

Cut down deep to find the marrow in the bone
Squeeze real hard you’ll find there’s blood inside the stone
And money in the church roof when the father’s not at home
And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw
Skin the cream and throw the milk away
Pay in peanuts and its monkeys all the way
While your menials in overalls find needles in the hay
And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw
Drain the swamp for all the gators care
Feed on truth well-done medium or rare
Always outperform you with that cold reptilian stare
& there’s gold in the sickle & the saw

As you fade away at the top of the hill
Throwing in the towel becomes a marketable skill
The days are full of numbers and the nights bring on the chill
And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw

Turn the screw until the timbers squeal
The show’s a sham but the showman’s real
Packages are empty but the brand appeal
And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw
Sell the lease before the roof caves in
Read up on the weights of silver nickel rocks and tin
Bet your bottom dollar that the house will always win
Working for the sickle & the saw

Roll the stone and watch the woodlice scram
Board the boats in droves make off for New Amsterdam
Your little legs can’t do the job but blind ambition can
You can’t run from the sickle and the saw
Brave a raft of rubber or the whip inside the home
God plants seeds but the devil sows the stones
Everyone’s a winner and the prizes are the loans
No rest from the sickle and the saw


from Birds of Plenty, released February 17, 2020


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Yellowbelly Nuremberg, Germany

Yellowbelly are Lawrence, Stefan, Markus, Boris and Kathi. They play guitars, violins, drums, a double bass, a banjo, a mandolin, a lap steel, an oud and other instruments, but not all at the same time. Yellowbelly play in pubs, churches, barns, internists's surgeries, fields, living rooms, stages and castles. Yellowbelly play songs about forgotten space probes, trains, cicadas and ratcatchers. ... more

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