Mark Chadwick - No Change
Can you hear the sound of the fiddle and the drum, the sleeps now awake Can you hear the sound of crowds in the street, crying for better days?
And you've seen it all been promised it all but tell me what has changed? you've heard it all yes, you’ve all heard it all but tell me what has changed?
and the palace stays the same only the guards ever change So lay me down don’t lay me down Don’t lay me down Don’t lay me down again
And we are the singers of protest songs the tide that keeps rolling on We read the books that tell us the truth it’s been hidden for far too long
You've heard it all, heard the cry and the call So tell me what has changed? You've seen it all Seen the rise and the fall So why has nothing changed?
Ironically, No Change has actually changed quite a bit from the original version recorded by The Levellers 25 years ago! The song was written by the original members of the band, but when Mark brought it to the project he asked Jamie Freeman's co-writer, Amy Tudor from Kentucky, to work on a re-write, which she undertook with Jamie on the day of recording!
Mark cast his experienced eye over the updated lyrics while they waited expectantly, assuming he would be insulted by their wholesale changes. He turned to Amy and said "This is what I was trying to say 25 years ago." So, job done!
Mark had asked Jamie to put a band together for the recording, taking place at Union's studio with Jamie in the producer's chair. He asked his own band's rhythm section (Emma and Lance from The Jamie Freeman Agreement) to form the backbone, along with Phil Jones (Hatful Of Rain) on banjo. Lucy Ward was also staying with us to record her own contribution, and she brought a harmonium with her, which made a great contribution to the feel of the track. Everyone got in on the BVs at the end of the session of course!
Everything was arranged and recorded 'live on the studio floor' as they say, with only the backing vocals added after the event. This is very much Mark's preferred way of working, in order to get as much feel into the song as possible.