Small Ways To Beat the Devil

from by Anne Lister

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A late arrival to the recording of the album, but it seemed important to include it.


The devil walked into London disguised as a foppish clown
And because he seemed such a loveable rogue
They made him mayor of the town.
He preached division and hatred, made us look for who to blame
We forgot all the lessons of history as he played his artful game

The devil walked into Europe with a smile and a laugh and a snarl
Told us all why we didn’t belong, told us why we shouldn’t take part.
And we watched all of his antics, misdemeanours and crimes
Never fooled all of the people but fooled many for much of the time.

And hell doesn’t mean fire and brimstone, doesn’t mean pitchforks and smoke
It means fear, loss and pain, and heartbreak, treated as some kind of joke.
Don’t think of the devil with horns on, temptation that comes in the night
He can appear however he chooses, he can make even wrong things seem right.

The devil is good with the media. Conspiracies, half truths and lies.
Tells us how we must be democratic, although now we can’t trust our eyes
We’re living with smoke, dust and mirrors, no longer trust experts or facts
Disagree and he’ll call you a traitor, and he’ll point somewhere else to distract.

An angel walked into a city, disguised as a starved polar bear
Wondering if people would notice, concerned whether people would care
And a young girl picked up a loudhailer to remind us we’re all going to lose
Such small ways to fight with the devil—which side are you going to choose?


from Astrolabe, released December 28, 2019


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Anne Lister Wales, UK

Anne is best known for her song "Icarus", recorded and performed by a number of different singers, including Martin Simpson and Nic Jones. "Astrolabe" is her ninth solo album.

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