Having had to relocate again, I've been checking out the lay of the land in Birmingham. There are some hilariously named streets in England and “Needless Alley” is one of them.
After all sorts of random guesses as to why it was so named, someone managed to find out the real story behind it for me. The thing was, the random guesses were more amusing. So, send me your own take on how “needless alley” got it's name (email to [address elided] with “needless alley” in the subject) and the most intriguing tale will get my full discography in digital form, along with a T-shirt and a signed tour poster from the Children of a Factory Nation tour. Answers can be as short as you like, but not over 300 words. Entry is free but you have to “like” my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/jordanreynemusic if you haven't already in order to be eligible to win.
And here's my entry:
It's old, this alley of ours. Proper old. Back afore they crowned
monarchs at Westminster, afore Mercia, afore Beorma's time, afore the
first blood-soaked Roman sandal ever sunk in Albion's mud. It weren't
always a street, but it were always a Way. To this day, there's always
a way in Needless Alley.
Back in the way back when, it were burning they did. In feast and
festival, prayer and party, all came to burning. The places were dug
and cut and set and lined, all rocks and charcoal and set upon it all:
flesh. The brightest of red berries and choicest of herbs to dress
'em. We'd make marrow broth, and paint ourselves so as they'd remember
us when the fires cooled, and cast empty bones out to feed the sea.
Not fires for cooking, no, never for food. At least, not for our food.
For old days had old gods, and old gods had old tastes, and old tastes
turn ever to blood. And so there were gifts, raised up to Them in
smoke. Burning until the stones cracked, till those cracked stones
piled up into a mound. So that the old powers would slake their
ancient thirsts, see us go well upon our ways, and not take blood of
Over time we got all civilized, and the old ways parted from us, but
we never stopped our sacrifices. These days, the gods take price in
sin, in inflamed lust and the other hungers than fire a man's veins.
Most days. Among the shacks and shanties, They stalk us awhile yet.
The forgotten ones. Forsaken. The bodies leave, but blood pools into
For there's a price to be paid on a man's success: most often taken in
those they need less.
She seems well-pleased with it, so I'm happy. Her music's available over at Bandcamp if you'd like to check her out.