Nhoj Morley


Chapter 1: In the War Zone



Book One

In the dead of night, a makeshift raft arrives at the American shore and a lone figure crawls out and quickly makes for the shadows. The tiny craft has come all the way from Afghanistan. Its single passenger is a Mujahideen soldier or freedom fighter. His name is Ahklem. Has he come to fight freedom?
No, he sneaks quietly through cities and neighborhoods and makes his way to the residence of Strumbozo, a rock musician known to be an atheist, iconoclast and sport non-enthusiast. No one answers the door, so Ahklem huddles behind some shrubbery and waits.
A few blocks away, Strumbozo is just leaving the dispensary with a large brown bag cradled in each arm. He rounds a corner and finds himself smack in the path of a strange military parade. It is a parade for those prepared to fight for their country. It includes almost everyone. Many of the marchers consider it a parade for those prepared to fight each other for their country.
Strumbozo weaves into the combatants moving against the tide until a torch ignites the grocery bags. A choking cloud of reefer smoke mixes with the tear gas and leaves everyone too red-eyed to carry on. He snuffs out as much of the stash as he can and slips away.
Arriving at his doorstep, he hears a "psssssst!" and spots Ahklem crouched in the shrubs. "You've got to help me. The fate of the world is at stake!" Strumbozo nods and pushes the door open. "Yes. I know. Come on in."
Ahklem darts inside first. "How do you know the world is at stake?" Strumbozo latches the door. "If it's worth talking about, the world is probably at stake. Do you want me to save it for you?" Ahklem looks annoyed. "No, I am here to save your world from destruction. You must do nothing but come with me to Washington DC."
Strumbozo slowly exhales the remaining street vapors. "What's your plan, spaceman?" Ahklem waves his hand in front of his wrinkling nose. "Whoa… that stuff is awful. First, we have some of mine."
They sit by the fire as Ahklem raises his vapors and prepares to share his plan.


Music Info

Two pairs of songs in this batch are musical palindromes. If down can be up, then forwards can be backwards. That means play either song backwards and hear the other song forwards. But that's not the point. It means that for each pair there will be a single organ track that plays forward in one song and backwards in the other. There will be two grungie chord guitar tracks in each song. One track is the song's guitar part recorded forwards. The other track is the other song's guitar part played backwards. This barn-stomping barnstormer is Red Shift backwards.

Narration by Ambassador Keyes.



Hey Sailor!

Put on a happy face

'cuz we're gonna win ... win us a war!


Our prayers have been heard

the balloons have gone up

Dash out from the trenches

it can't hurt that much

Real soon we'll have peace and then

we'll have Christmas at home


Like a beacon

these happy face'd notions

will guide the way


We'll help you put on

your happiest face

if it costs us both an arm and a leg

Receive a welcome rest 

on a hill that overlooks the Parade


Put your happy face

The walls will come down

the roof will cave and let havoc in

Our lives will be done

and we'll try to run down streets of fire


We've stepped in it now

On this road of no return

Stand down from pen and plough

In the war zone we say let it burn

All the air goes dark with din

Voices call for heads to roll

while angels dance on pins


Cash to ash and trust to dust

and balls to the wall


Did you see what it's all about?

say you looked

say you have no doubt

Strike the others from the list

Strike a match if they resist

Time to close the open door

if we want things like they were before


We've stepped in it now

We'll never scrape this off our shoes

Happy facedown in the mud

In the war zone where the titans cruise

We'll fight teeth for tooth when

skeptics threaten a helpless truth

Must keep those angels dancing


Cast the doubters from the list

Cast a stone if they resist

Say the words and we'll forgive

Think these thoughts and you can live


Happy happy happy face

My face is so happy

My happy happy happy face

will keep me safe inside