For the Sake of the Story

by The New Middle Class

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about

The New Middle Class emerged in Brisbane, on Jagera and Turrbal country, in 2018.

Another of Tom Smith’s projects, The Whoopee Do Crew, had captured the imaginations of Rachel and David for its joy spreading and community reweaving possibilities. The Whoopee Do Crew listened to people’s stories and turned them into songs.

In this confessional, narrative vein The New Middle Class continues to develop. For this recording David (Cello, Banjo, Vocals) Tom (Guitar, Vocals) and Rachel (Vocals, Glockenspiel) were joined by Jaden Gallagher (Drums) and Marc Cheesman (Bass).

The current band features: Elise Clark (Drums), Rohan Whiteley (Keys), Tom Smith (Guitar), Josa Rubbra (Bass), Rachel Walker (Vocals) and David Laczko (Banjo, Guitar). All members sing.

credits

released March 22, 2019

Tracks 1,2,4,8,9 recorded at SAE South Brisbane by JJ Bishop and mixed by Cameron Smith at Incremental.
Tracks 3,5,6,7,10 recorded by Marc Cheesman amd Jaden Gallagher and mixed by Jaden.
Album mastered by Cameron Smith at Incremental Studio, Coorparoo.

Cover art by Rachel Walker, type setting by Frida Nielsen and David Laczko.

Songs written by Tom Smith, except track 5 by David Laczko.

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The New Middle Class Brisbane, Australia

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Track Name: I'm an Arsehole (Stuck Inside a Nice Guy's Body)
So the air-con’s wasting fuel, it’s silent in the car and sticky
I blast the stereo so loud, you call me a selfish prick now
You call me a selfish prick like

CHORUS
I’m an arsehole but I don’t know how I got here
I’m an arsehole, I’m stuck inside a nice guy’s body

Never lose the argument, I left the beach and all your friends there
You took it as a compliment, not the insult I intended
Not the insult I intended

CHORUS

Bridge 1
Same argument over and over
Same argument over and over
Same argument over and over
You know I couldn’t care
It’s not all about me
It’s not all about me
It’s not all about me
But all we share

You will make your own way home, used your towel then laid on mine
You want me to watch the space, I’ve forgotten how to fight
I’ve forgotten how to fight like

CHORUS

Bridge 1

Bridge 2
Not the insult I intended
Not the insult I intended

CHORUS
Track Name: Too Much Was Said Too Late
In the dining room the guests all take their place
You set the table so best to recreate
Stronger memories, standing not to measure - musical chairs

Your lips and your teeth stained in red wine
No excuse brings you any closer to why
Guests are all too brief, subtle you don’t sense them, shifting their beliefs

Bridge
And all to recreate the mood you keep trying

The unspoken hangs heavier than all else
Friends are tired not of you but of themselves
A mirror once Feng Shui, shows no reflection, floorward at angles

Bridge
And all to recreate the mood you keep trying
Just try mistaking the truth for disguises
You cannot see through dim light the scent and the stakes of the night
And all to recreate the mood you keep trying


No one could ever love anyone as much
As much as you deserve to be loved my love
Filling up my plate, never short of sharing, too much was said too late

In the dining room the guests all take their place
You set the table so best to recreate
Though an ashtrays placed, in bottles butts collected, your efforts all to waste

Your efforts all to waste
Too much was said too late
Subtle you don’t sense your efforts all to waste
Subtle you don’t sense too much too late
Your efforts all to waste
Too much was said too late
Too much was said too late
Track Name: Shifting Shadow
Follow the shifting shadow that God cast
Where is the shape that blocks the light
I made you believe in an image of me
I see only through your eyes
Teasing you for needing me
Pleading you to let me be
I guide you right back to the door
At a distance for now you won’t find me out
Fooling myself slowly

I calculate it to the nearest truth
Wrack my brain to get it right
I say the words like now I have proved that
There’s a shape that blocks the light
Fix it up, get it right
Cast it out into the night
I fooled you before and again
The tricks from my box and the spell that wears off
And I miss the mark again

Follow the shifting shadow that God cast
Where is the shape that blocks the light
I say the words like now I have proved that
There’s a shape that blocks the light
Teasing you for needing me
Pleading you to let me be
I fooled you before and again
The tricks from my box and the spell that wears off
And I miss the mark again

Follow the shifting shadow that God cast
Where is the shape that blocks the light
Track Name: I Lost My Name
When I was Christened they called me beautiful
I liked it and I played the part
In the mirror I see no innocence
Like my soul drained out with the bath
When I was accepted they called me clever
I learn not to listen to the doubt
My cup was kept full now I can’t fix the leak
I ‘ll never let you find me out

CHORUS
No one knows what to call me
The words leave me cold (I lost my name)
No one knows what to call me
I’m waiting to be told (I lost my name)

When I came of age they called me witty
I liked it and I played the part
A person like me always has an answer
But I can never speak from the heart
When I was married they said I had passion
I learn not to listen to the doubt
My cup was kept full now I can’t fix the leak
I ‘ll never let you find me out

CHORUS

Bridge
I call myself one clear moment a day
If I’m lucky I lost my name
I catch myself trying to be what I’m not
And I laugh I lost my name

When I had respect they called me leader
I stood out in front of the crowd
My cup was kept full now I can’t fix the leak
I know they’re gonna find me out
Now they come to judge me, my case is prepared
I’m waiting out in the hall
If they call me a fraud at least I’d have a name
But nobody called me at all
Track Name: How Much Do We Give?
I left home and I left you behind
With your mind
17 and looking for somewhere new
Never looking at you
I never thought about what could change
That your mind could rearrange
That the phantoms of your past could rise
And dominate the lonesome dark, of your life

Now you rarely feel the outside air
The freezers broken, part of the roofs no longer there
And you say you are always afraid
There’s bugs in the phone, people trying to lay you away

CHORUS
How much do we give to, those who need us
How much do we keep for ourselves
What should I sacrifice to, try and free you
From the hell your mind has made


You live all alone in our family home
Your sons deserted you, left you with the cats and crows
There was nothing to mitigate the taint of your mind
From seeping into every part of your surrounds
When we try to help you, you just turn us away
You have to fight to defend your right, to decay
Now there’s nothing that I can say
You can’t see through the dreams that you had to create
Track Name: Safe Inside a Song
Home-made biscuit, back verandah
The squeak of a swing, in rhythmic pattern
In the kitchen, never not consistent
Somewhere always, at a distance
Tucked up, finished with, put to bed
A window behind me loomed above my head
I stare 5 years straight at the light
If my eyes are wet, she might come and dry them

CHORUS
Come with me and make the world new safe inside a song
No words can give the feeling truth, but you’re safe inside a song
You don’t have to say you’re sorry, going over the same old story
Come with me and make the world new safe inside a song

Press rewind, locate, repeat
Hold tight, pause by the TV screen
Antenna balanced on a finger
Long enough the tune will linger
You’re standing outside tapping on the glass
You grant no silence or let it pass
Through the window went my fist ten years of anger
The silk curtains washed but the blood will stain

I claimed your room, in one heart beat
All your albums, I read the sleeves
I willed you to leave, I stole your ground
There is no guilt, I play them loud
Out of school uniform into casual dress
Straight past the window, look in on the lesson
15 years no one could teach me
When she’s gone forever and you can’t be reached
Track Name: I'm in Control
High on the mountain, see the city lights
Straight road stretches out below
I laugh as cockatoos flock from danger
I synchronise them in stereo

CHORUS
I’m in control, control of nature, I’m in control

Weather forecast warned of danger
Tune in tonight to the Evening News
Regular as your medication
I don’t live here I’m just passing through (stop)

High winds predicted, levee’s broken
See the storm drains’ rapid rise
Switch it on and off, natural disaster
24 hour News reprised

CHORUS

I know the power of destruction
Like the freeways cut right through
Cars get swept up and away by rivers
Pick and choose your latest truth
Track Name: Love is for the Birds
You’d come over early afternoon
I was still asleep, you open up the curtains
Sit on my bed, for the sake of the story
Flick through my albums, indulge my knowledge
Make a plan as the evening unfolded
The banter began, for the sake of the story

We love our audience more than each other
It’s better than sex
We don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And we make each other laugh again

We slept tip to toe, you’d check my farts for the smell
From my beard you ate the crumbs that fell
I miss the after party clean up for the sake of the story
Your sister was sick of you defending me
Putting me up on a pedestal
She’d poke fun at you too for the sake of the story

You love your audience more than yourself
It’s better than sex
You don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And you can make us laugh again

Bridge
Love is for the birds, a cop-out and a curse
Put your friends first, love is for the birds
Love is for the birds, love is for the birds
Sheep are in a herd, the darlings never learn
Love is for the birds, freedom is the word
I’m happy just to flirt, love is for the birds
Love is for the birds, love is for the birds
The darlings never learn, love is for the birds

No one came to open up my curtains
Ask me ‘bout my latest album purchase
How do you think that felt for the sake of the story
You found a new crowd and I approved of your lover
Of course you love me like a brother
I could speak fondly of you for the sake of the story

I love my audience more than you
It’s better than sex
I don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And I can make you laugh again
Track Name: An Emptiness You Make Real
You’d come over early afternoon
I was still asleep, you open up the curtains
Sit on my bed, for the sake of the story
Flick through my albums, indulge my knowledge
Make a plan as the evening unfolded
The banter began, for the sake of the story

We love our audience more than each other
It’s better than sex
We don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And we make each other laugh again

We slept tip to toe, you’d check my farts for the smell
From my beard you ate the crumbs that fell
I miss the after party clean up for the sake of the story
Your sister was sick of you defending me
Putting me up on a pedestal
She’d poke fun at you too for the sake of the story

You love your audience more than yourself
It’s better than sex
You don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And you can make us laugh again

Bridge
Love is for the birds, a cop-out and a curse
Put your friends first, love is for the birds
Love is for the birds, love is for the birds
Sheep are in a herd, the darlings never learn
Love is for the birds, freedom is the word
I’m happy just to flirt, love is for the birds
Love is for the birds, love is for the birds
The darlings never learn, love is for the birds

No one came to open up my curtains
Ask me ‘bout my latest album purchase
How do you think that felt for the sake of the story
You found a new crowd and I approved of your lover
Of course you love me like a brother
I could speak fondly of you for the sake of the story

I love my audience more than you
It’s better than sex
I don’t care as long as someone bears witness
And I can make you laugh again
Track Name: If I Love No One, No One Can Hurt me
Mother was I taking too much, u pulled me from your breast
A baby bottle in hot water floats, I clutch it close to my chest
My heart bobbed over the waves out on St. Vincents Gulf
Put it out of my mind I said, it’s time you learnt to be strong

CHORUS
(It’s time you learnt to be) strong, sit with me a little longer
(It’s time you learnt to be) strong, If I love no one, no one can hurt me
It’s time you learnt to be (strong)

We came together at first, I had to know I was safe
If I love no one, no one can hurt me, my heart still bobs on the waves
A child won’t grow in a womb cos the desert is not its home
You kept saying there’s someone missing, we’re out here on our own

CHORUS

Mother when you walked up the hill, now I’m the father I’m told
Just a little old lady lost, it was dark and getting cold
Like you always used to say, you know you’ll never go wrong
If every footstep is retraced, it’s time you learnt to be strong

Every footstep’s retraced, I understood your struggle
When I found you at the corner store with milk for the baby’s bottle
A bottle in hot water floats, I clutch it close to my chest
I let my heart float away, if I could bring it home to rest

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