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"The Last Balloon" is a song by Andy Partridge. It appeared on the 1999 album Apple Venus Volume 1.

The demo appeared on Apple Venus Volume 1's companion demo album, Homespun.

An instrumental version appeared on the Apple Venus Volume 1 instrumental album, Instruvenus.

QuotesEdit

Andy (on the demo): “I was approached by a musician in the mid 90's to contribute to, or complete, some instrumentals he was about to record. Could I find themes to go over them or add lyrics or turn the pieces around into songs. I threw myself into the project, well, I was on strike from Virgin, what else was there to do? A really oblique but sad theme came up for one instrumental which I felt rather proud of, but I was beginning to smell fish about the project in general. So we parted ways, for reasons too many and varied to go into here, and I was left with my haunted melody.

“I kept the tune, changed the chords underneath (I didn't want anyone to accuse me of stealing) and tried various keyboard sounds out to support it. I liked a sample of an acoustic guitar, which sounded oddly more like a harpsichord, and a whole chain of mental events went off to create the lyric.

“Harpsichords always make me think of balloons. You know, the Montgolfier Brothers type of craft. Balloons make me think of escape, maybe from a besieged place. Escape from something bad. Bad ways, bad thoughts. You can see where I'm headed.

“ ‘The Last Balloon Home’ was, for a while, the working title of the Nonsuch album, but was not to be. All that time it was laid in my lyrics book, whimpering to me, ‘make me into a song’ it called, so now was the time.

“It's primarily a sad song, we, who are stained by our bad deeds, our violence, weapons, vanity, we aren't going to get on board that balloon to a better place. It's the young who are. It's the young who must not make the same stupid mistakes that we have. They are the hope. They must not listen to us, they must drop us, like ballast, if they are to rise above it all. I'm an optimist at heart and feel, even though it's grey here, that above and into the future it will be brighter, fresher where my children are going.

“I apologise wholeheartedly for the wretched fake trumpet solo on this demo. But didn't Guy Barker make up for it with some magnificent flugelhorn on the real thing?”

LyricsEdit

The last balloon is leaving, the last balloon from fear

The last balloon is leaving, form that line right here


Climb aboard, climb aboard you menfolk

You won't need any bombs or knives

Climb aboard, climb aboard you menfolk

Leave all that to your former lives


Drop it all


The last balloon is leaving, the last balloon of all

The last balloon is leaving, undress, discard, let fall


Climb aboard, climb aboard you women

You won't need any gems or furs

Climb aboard, climb aboard you women

Leave all that to the bad old years


Drop it all


The last balloon is leaving, the last balloon they'll fly

The last balloon is leaving and we won't qualify


Climb aboard, climb aboard you children

Move aloft, while you're fleet and fast

Climb aboard, climb aboard you children

We're weighed down by our evil past


Drop us all, you should drop us all

Drop us all and free your hand

Drop us all, you should drop us all

Drop us all like so much sand

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