Red Flag

The people’s flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their hearts’ blood dyed to every fold

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath it’s folds we’ll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night
It witnessed many a deed and vow
We must not change it’s color now

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath it’s folds we’ll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

It well recalls the triumphs past
It gives the hope of peace at last
The banner bright the symbol plain
Of human right and human gain

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath it’s folds we’ll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

It suits today the meek and base
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe beneath the rich man’s frown
And haul that sacred emblem down

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath it’s folds we’ll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bare it onward till we fall
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim
This song shall be our parting hymn

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath it’s folds we’ll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

Billy Bragg with the original tune “The White Cockade”

Jim Connell 1889

Daddy Was a Tax Dodger

My daddy was a Tax Dodger
But he never hurt nobody
He just loved to live that way
And he loved to steal your money

We are rich, and you are poor
That’s the way the world’s made.
But we don’t believe in payin’ a fair
Proportion of the Tax take.

So we came to shake it up
We never loved the poor man
They break their backs to earn pay
and then our taxes rob ’em

The old man stood up the Lords
Said “I’ve never been too moral.
I am rich and write the rules
when I rob from them its legal.”

Corrupt Politics and Royalty
Will go on and on forever
’til we all stand up and say as one
The people have the power

With profound apologies to The Clash

I ticked a box today

The reason:

I ticked a box today
and all my fears just melted away
I grew up not fitting in
and knew I was not what I wanted to be
so I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
I wasn’t me but then neither were you
I self harmed frequently and tried to end
this life without hope and without friends
who really understood
so I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
I knew I was different but didn’t know how
I wanted to change but didn’t know why
I am what I am
I’m now the me I wanted to be
so I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
the previous me is no more
I no longer hide my thoughts
and self harm never occurs.
I fear no more, I’m happy,
have friends, and support
That’s why I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
the haters still hate and
ridicule still comes but
my strength knows no bounds
I can face them without tears
Because I ticked a box today.


The Result:

I ticked a box today
the previous me is hidden
behind a sheet of lies
I no longer hide my thoughts
That’s why I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
I haven’t changed that much at all
but the box is everything and more
so I ticked that box today.

I ticked a box today
and applied to be a Brownie leader
it suits my needs and my ideas
and I can do what I want to do
so I ticked that box today.

I ticked a box today
and now I can go where I want go
I can change in the dressing room
I want to change in and see what I wanted to see
That’s why I ticked a box today.

I ticked a box today
I can display my body where I want
to the people I want to see it
they may be smaller and very different to me
but I ticked that box so all can see.

I ticked a box today
and now all that I want is mine
I can access my targets and
show them my parts
their parents can do nothing
because I ticked that box today.

I ticked a box today
and suddenly those who complain about my actions are wrong
and those who complain about my presence are wrong
and those who called me a pervert are wrong
and those who put me on the lists are wrong
and now I’m no longer on those lists
my strength knows no bounds
I can face them without fears
because I ticked that box today.

 

 

ACAB aren’t they?

I see you copper – hassling an 80 year old protesting a private company knocking down a tree that was planted as a war memorial,
and I see you copper – holding the hand of an old woman collapsed in the streets and you’re reasurring her until an ambulance arrives.

I see you copper – breaking windows and destroying travellers’ homes
for no readily discernable reason,
and I see you copper helping the people of Grenfell to safety when their homes were burning.

I see you copper – “Stop and Search” on young black lads because … they’re  young and black,
and I see you copper dancing with those same kids during carnival.

I see you copper leaving “well alone” when Savile tells you “we’re waiting until midnight as she’ll be 16 then“,
and I see you copper in tears when the victims of rape gangs and child abuse are giving evidence in court.

I see you copper cavalry charging the miners on the picket line,
wading into ’em to teach them a lesson.

I see you copper as you put bullets into Jean Charles de Menezes
when you misidentified him as a terrorist,
and I see you copper as you lie face up in the road outside the Libyan Embassy with life leaking out of your young body.

I see you copper at the Leppings Lane end hitting the hands of those trying to get climb to safety out of the crush of bodies,
and I see you copper with hands, arms and hair burnt as you helped the victims of the Bradford City fire escape with their lives.

Je vous vois flic alors que vous vous échangez contre un otage sachant que cela pourrait vous coûter la vie.
(I see you copper when you readily exchange yourself for a hostage knowing that it could cost you your life.)

I see you copper; but  I do not understand you.


Dedicated to the Arnaud Beltrame, Yvonne Fletcher, Keith Palmer

It makes no sense to me

I’m quite happy that society
values my intellectuality
and allow me to work
in an area I like

But to get to work
I catch your bus
You take me where I need to go
to work with my intellectuality

But I can’t see why society
values my intellectuality
over you transportality
It makes no sense to me

I sometimes need to use
the car instead of the bus
It takes me where I need to go
to work with my intellectuality

But I need to fuel the car
And it’s to you I come
You provide the fuel I need to go
to work with my intellectuality

But I can’t see why society
values my intellectuality
over you commerciality
It makes no sense to me

And if that car breaks
then I don’t have a clue
I have to bring my car to you
despite my intellectuality

You fix it and get me on my way
with a minimum of fuss
in under half a day
I’m back to work with my intellectuality

So I really can’t see why society
values my intellectuality
over you practicality
It makes no sense to me

After a day at work
I’m tired and need a break
I come to you to get served
and rest my intellectuality

You fetch me drinks,
you make my tea,
you serve me food,
you refresh my intellectuality

So I really can’t see why society
values my intellectuality
over you hospitality
It makes no sense to me

And for a bigger break
I turn to tunes
the music
soothes my intellectuality

Except for the exhalted few
who play to stadia
and cause real queues
society doesn’t really value you

But I really can’t see why society
values my intellectuality
over you musicality
It makes no sense to me

(A work in progress)

When Sleep won’t Come

Why do pop song invade my head (in your head, in your head)
when I try to sleep?
Why can’t I rest and sleep
when I lay down (Sally)
I WANT TO SLEEP

But it’s 5 o’clock in the morning (and I’m putting the world to rights)
and sleep won’t come (the whole night through)
I lie here twisting (my sobriety)
and turning (Japanese – I really think so)
and trying not to wake (me up before you gogo)
my wife – who needs HER sleep and is getting some (fun out of life).
I NEED SOME SLEEP

There must be millions (of bicycles in Beijing)
of sheep going uncounted (Let’s drink to the uncounted heads, Let’s think of the wavering millions) – O god back to the bikes.
as I sit and try to clarify (and classify)
my thoughts.
Why do I think?
when I should be asleep (It’s like heaven when I sleep)?
Holy (diver) God I NEED MY SLEEP

My wife (gets into her dressing gown)
snores lightly by my side ( Heaven can wait now you are by my side )
The duvet lifts and falls
And I’m jealous (lover)
and I’m annoyed ( instead of shamed)
but them I’m ashamed (Barney ties me to the chair)
and now revolted at the thought that that brought to mind.
Nevermind (that’s an album title)
Oooh (We’re half way there) God I HAVE TO SLEEP

I hear the clock tick (and I think of you)
but the clock is digital (man)
I’m going slightly mad (It finally happened)
I really need to settle (but now it’s just a war of angry words)
I really need to get my head down (hang your head down Tom Dula)
Now that’s the wrong way round (like a record baby, round, round)
and I feel such a fool (for your loving)
NO MORE
I REALLY NEED SLEEP

Am I too hot? (This town is too hot)
Throw off the sheets (and I freeze)
Now it’s too cold (And he feels too old)
Oh Crap (what have I got now)
That’s a Morrissey (Johnny looked back, You know he never looked back)
lyric.
Change thoughts, be quick (or be dead)
Better (you better you bet)
Still no sleep (’til Brooklyn – ’til Bedtime)

Ironically (I really do think)
the dawn chorus  (for someone else to hear)
brings that blessed relief
and sleep arrives for that one moment in time
and all the thoughts in my head
go gentle into that good night
without a lyric in mind,
without a lyric in sight,
without a thought for tomorrow.
I am, finally, asleep.


With sincere apologies to the following (except Morrissey ‘cos he’s a twat):

Zombie – Cranberries
Lay Down Sally – Clapton
You’re Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
Twist in My Sobriety – Tinita Tikaram
Turning Japanese – the Vapours
Wake Me Up – Wham!
Getting Some Fun Out of Life – Billie Holiday
9 Million Bicycles – Katie Melua
Salt of the Earth – Rolling Stones
99 Red Baloons – Nena
Asleep – Everly Brothers
She’s Leaving Home – Beatles
Heaven Can Wait – Dannii Minogue
Nothing I do – Jamie Cullem
Floyd The Barber – Nirvana
Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
Digital Man – Rush
I’m going slightly mad – Queen
A place I want to be – Ferocious Dog
Tom Dula – Neil Young
You Spin Me Round – Dead or Alive
Fool For Your Loving – Whitesnake
Too Hot – The Specials
Who Needs Sleep? – Barenaked Ladies
Spring Heeled Jim – Morrissey
Photograph – Folkusband
Vince Taylor – Adam Ant
Be Quick, or be dead – Iron Maiden
You better you bet – The Who
No Sleep ’til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
Stutter Rap – Morris Minor and the Majors
Ironic – Allanis Morrisette
Lover to the Dawn – David Bowie