The Anticapitalist Roadshow Double CD (including 29 songs and a poem) is available now, at a price of £15 plus postage (let us know if you are low-waged or unwaged and we will offer you a lower price) You can order a CD by emailing info@anticapitalistroadshow.co.uk, and you will be able to pay by paypal.

Below you’ll find the lyrics to the songs and poem on the CD.

You can download them as a pdf and print them off here (32 pages, 115kb), or you can read them online below

Anticapitalist Roadshow CD Lyrics

Copyright of all lyrics and words remains with the writer.

Disc 1

 

Be Reasonable (3.30)  (R. Johnson)

We’ll rehouse the homeless in Buckingham Palace,

Start at the bottom, work down to the top,

Stop the city, rebuild the forest,

Cancel the rent, nick all the cops,

Be reasonable, and demand the impossible now.

 

We’ll turn all the motorways into canals,

Close all the Aldermastons down,

All differences equalled, systems for people,

Not the other way around,

Be reasonable…

 

We’ll spring all the animals, vote for the clowns

In the Circus Bourgeoisie,

Where the rich sing the blues till their trousers fall down

Then they give you the price of a nice cup of tea,

Be reasonable…

 

Grow gardens and hospitals on every street,

Sunflowers, playgrounds and schools

Where you do what you like cos you like what you do

And we’ll stop the war once and for all,

Be reasonable….

 

No master, no landlord, no flag, no guru,

No Gauleiter, no commissar,

Just justice and poetry and jam on it too,

and when they ask: who’s in charge here?

We all say: we are.

Be reasonable…

 

Maggie Thatcher's Dream (3.25) (G. Petrie)

I could forgive you if you thought

You've been sold short

I'm a bad investment of the RBS sort

Working round the clock

To try and raise my stock

Do you regret getting in my boat

When we're trying to stay afloat

And I have the buoyancy of a Northern Rock?

When I looked at the big picture I saw the rich getting richer

When I tried to play the long game I was on the losing team.

Can I be so middle class and still end up on my ass?

Is this my economic nightmare or just Maggie Thatcher's dream?

And there's not enough money in the bank

Not enough petrol in the tank

When this month's overdraft fees are gonna bring me to my knees

I've got the city boys' bonuses to thank

Another charge to the list

Another direct debit missed

When the latest petrol prices fuel my private credit crisis

Oh, I know this ain't no way to exist.

When I looked at the big picture I saw the rich getting richer

When I tried to play the long game I was on the losing team.

Does my whole life just amount to what's in my bank account?

Is this my credit rating nightmare or just a capitalist's dream?

When greed and ambition went and formed a Coalition

No such thing as Big Society, and no one on my team.

When there's no one left to vote for, are we all in the same boat

Or is that just a crazy optimist singing socialism's dream?

And I know you'd live with me my darling in a cardboard box

But I'd rather build you a castle with doors and locks

Something to own, something to call our home

Foundations made of stone

And I almost had it, you know.

But when I looked at the big picture I saw the rich getting richer

When I tried to play the long game I was on the losing team.

Can I be so middle class and still end up on my ass?

Is this my economic nightmare or just Maggie Thatcher's dream?

 

3. BENEFITS ( 4.25) (L. Rosselson)

Come all you skivers, welfare cheats

Wake up and hear the news that it’s

Not going to be a life-style choice

To sit at home and live on benefits.

 

Consider now the case of one

Who’s never worked - let’s call him Jim.

Age 30, still lives with his mum

Some think him slow, some call him dim.

Now Jim has an allotment

He inherited it from his dad.

He spends his daylight hours there

Some call him weird, some think him sad.

 

Yes Jim’s a skiver, welfare cheat

He doesn’t understand that it’s....

 

I often pass the allotments with their

Neat and tidy rows and rows

Of onions, carrots, peas and beans.

Jim’s patch of earth is not like those.

I’ve seen him digging, planting there

In winter winds and April showers

But Jim’s an awkward bugger cos

On his allotment he grows flowers.

 

Yes Jim’s a skiver, welfare cheat ....

 

He loves his pretty coloured flowers

The other gardeners aren’t best pleased.

You can’t eat flowers, Jim, they say.

Don’t think he know he’s being teased.

They think he’s let the side down. Was it

One of them who snitched on him?

Cos one fine day two men in suits

Turned up and wanted words with Jim.

 

They warned him, skivers, welfare cheats

Are going to have to learn that it’s.....

 

They told him they would call him in

To take a new computer test.

To see if he was fit for work

He needed to be reassessed.

Jim said, I work. They said, you don’t.

He handed them the spade he used

As if to say, you try it then.

They were distinctly unamused.

 

They made it clear that welfare cheats

Were going to have to learn that it’s...

 

They tried their best to make him see

That welfare cheating was a crime.

Work’s what they pay you for, they said,

Not what you do in your spare time.

Soon after that Jim disappeared.

His patch in which he took such pride

Was left uncared for all year long.

His flowers withered soon and died.

 

We heard that he had failed the test

And so he learned at last that it’s...

 

Sent for a night job office cleaning

Poverty pay, unsocial hours.

He couldn’t seem to grasp his duties

Spent his work time drawing flowers.                                                         

They reassessed him once again

Not fit for work this time around

So now he’s back where he’s most happy

Planting flowers on his home ground.

 

I see him smiling to himself

And wonder, is he quite so dim?

Or is he really faking it?

And if he is, good luck to Jim.

 

 

4. Can We Afford the Doctor?  (3.38)  (S. Kerr)

Can we afford the doctor

The dentist, the midwife, the nurse?

It doesn’t seem fair that medical care

Should depend on the state of your purse.

I know it’s a hard pill to swallow

And what should we take for a cure?

And if only the rich can afford to be sick

How cheap are the lives of the poor?

 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

You’ve heard the old saying , no doubt

And I’m sure it is true, but between me and you

There ain’t many apples about

Though they grow on a tree, money doesn’t you see

And you’ve got to have money to buy

It’s the same with your health, it depends on your wealth

And if you are poor you must cry....

 

Well we had a long wait but the new Welfare State

Brought the NHS and peace of mind

New glasses , new teeth, and – what a relief

No medical fees we’d to find

 But you have to watch out

There are  MPs about

Who would sell it as quick as a flash

To their pals, old school chums

Who just sit on their bums

And do nothing but rake in the cash

 

And....

In these troubled days the govt. says

We’ve got to make cuts to survive.

But should the pounds and the pence

Be spent on defence or keep the Health Service alive?

It’s time to take stock, not turn back the clock

To those terrible bad good old days

It’s OUR NHS nothing more nothing less

And never again must we say....

 

5. Encouragement  (2.29) (W. Biermann)

Don't you rely on toughness in these hard hard times.

The toughness will possess you, the sternness will oppress you

And cause your strength to die.  Don't let your strength die.

Don't let them make you bitter in these bitter times

That's what they always hope for that long before the struggle

We would give up the fight. Let's not give up the fight.

Don't let the fear invade you in these fearful times

For it will build around  you a  wall that blocks your way

And their power will survive.

Don't let their power survive.

Don't you rely on silence, we must not waste our time.

So little to rely on, rely on us we rely on you

We give each other life. We give each other life.

We won't get lost in silence in these numbing times

With hope the trees may flourish, 

Then we’ll stand strong and honest

And these will be our times.  And these will be our times.

 

 

6. U In Union  (2.02)  (Si Kahn)

Blessed are the weak

Blessed are the poor

Blessed those who love their neighbour

Blessed are the children

Blessed are the meek

Blessed are the ones who labour.

 

Chorus:         Lift up your eyes

                      Lift up your voice

                      Come to the grand reunion

                      Give us your hand

                      Join in our band

                      You are the U in Union.

 

Tattered and tossed

Scattered and lost

All of these years divided

Each one is special

Each plays a part

When we are all united.

 

Chorus ….

 

All from our birth

Promised the earth

Let us unite and share it

Seeking for justice

Here in this world

We shall one day inherit.

 

Chorus….

 

 7. Doggone, Occupation Is On (2.31) (H. Jenkins/D. Lippman/ Peggy  Seeger)

I reckon those bankers shoulda never been bailed

They should be sitting tonight in jail

No use waiting for the bye and bye

Let's get together and occupy.

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

The top one percent are feelin' fine

We're here to represent the other 99

We may be sitting down but we're standing tall

After the Arab Spring comes the European fall

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

I asked about Wall Street, what's all the fuss?

They said, We occupy Wall Street 'cause it occupies us

Corporations on top that's how the world is run

Now times are a-changing and the future's begun

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

You know, I need a job to pay my debts

Money talks so loud it shuts up all the rest

Downsize, merge all across the nation

Lost my job but found an occupation

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

We're gonna sit here, we're not gonna shirk

You can tell we're workers 'cause we're out of work

We want justice and we want it now

To hell with the Footsie and down with the Dow (Jones)

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

We can't wait for Kingdom Come

We're asking: "What would Jesus have done?"

He'd evict the moneylenders - he'd occupy

Like us he'd say the beginning is nigh.

 

All over the world you can hear the call

Housing, jobs and justice, human rights for all

Spain, Greece, Egypt and the USA

Everywhere you go, you'll hear 'em say

Doggone, occupation is on.

 

 

8. The Criminal (3.10)  (J. Woodland)

Yesterday she was a Bank Manager’s daughter 

Protesting at St Paul’s

At least until they caught her.

A bailiff grabbed her by the arm,

She didn’t want to contradict

She said, Young man take off your hand

He said, Right that’s it, you’re nicked. And she said

Oh Gor Blimey it’s a fair cop Guv,

Got me bang to rights.

I’ve been fitted up like a kipper

Bound over to keep the peace tonight

I’ll have mother tattooed on me arm

And have my hair cut short

Now I am a criminal though minimal I fit the bill

A criminal and I’ve been caught.

 

Yesterday she thought the protesters were scruffy

But now on second thoughts she doesn’t feel so stuffy

Section this and section that

The criminal justice, public order act

She may be guilty as charged

But her world has been enlarged

She’s a criminal and that’s a fact. And she says

Oh Gor Blimey it’s a fair cop Guv.

Got me bang to rights

I’m up in front of the beak tomorrow

Stone me don’t I look a sight

Send me off to a rotting hulk

Without a second thought

Now I am a gangster, a thankless prankster

A criminal I’ve been caught. She says

 

Yesterday I was as innocent as a tree is

That’s all changed because where I want to be is

On the steps in the open air

And now they accuse me

 Of disrupting, intimidating and obstructing

A lawful activity

Now she says

Oh Gor Blimey it’s a fair cop Guv

Got me bang to rights

I’m in the frame. They know my little game

I’m stitched up good and tight

Send me down for a stretch or two or three or four or more

Today I am a terrorist. I’ll tell you this they slap your wrist.

A criminal and I’ve been caught

 

And so she came to be involved in conversation

About democracy in a wealth divided nation.

Staring at the Stock Exchange

She felt the penny drop.

‘They took our taxes now in fact

It’s them who should be stopped’… And she says

Oh Gor Blimey it’s a fair cop

We’ve got them bang to rights!!!!

I’ll break the law as I did before for what I think is right

I’ve been bound over to keep the peace and I suppose I ought

I’m a hooligan. I’d do it all again. I’m one of them I am

A criminal and I’ve been caught.

 

Now I am a gangster, a thankless prankster

A criminal I’ve been caught

Today I am a terrorist. I’ll tell you this they slap your wrist.

A criminal and I’ve been caught

A pinko and an anarchist, a rampant anti capitalist

Criminal and I’ve been caught!...Take me away…

 

 

9. The Band Played On (4.02)  (R. Johnson)

We said our goodbyes at Southampton

Sailing away at fullsteam

Sailing away for a new world

With all of our hopes and our dreams

A citadel crossing the ocean

The largest the world’s ever seen

Sailing away for the future

The progress of steel and machines

and the band played on and Oh how we danced

 

The poor kept locked down in the steerage

The deck above them second class

And the top deck the finest of luxury

Bone china, white linen, cut glass.

Below us the dark rolling ocean

Above us the dark falling night

And the crew keep the great engines turning

And our world is this factory of light

 

None of us foresaw the iceberg,  None of us foresaw the Somme

The night and the fog and the gulags, The flash of the hydrogen bomb

                                                                                                       

The band played on….

Nobody counted the lifeboats

The company cutting their costs

And the hopes and the dreams of a century

Were suddenly scattered and lost

And behold the twin towers of Manhattan

The tallest the world’s ever seen

And the poor kept locked down by computers

The progress of oil and machines

The band played on….

 

 

10. Song of the Olive Tree (5.46)  (L. Rosselson)

My father's father's father planted here

In this now broken earth an olive tree

And as a child I sang to it my secrets

And as I grew I felt it part of me.

Its branches gave me shelter from the sun

Its grey green leaves shaded my young dreams

The fruit it bore was like a gift of hope

Of all the olive trees I loved this one.

 

The settlers came, they beat us black and blue

They said, “Next time we shoot you. Understand?”

But still we dared to come we had no choice

We came at night like thieves to our own land.

Like ghosts we came, men, women, young and old

To pick the crop as we have always done

For centuries we harvested in peace

The oil we pressed was sweet, precious as gold.

 

Now look. This is a cemetery for trees.

Their great machines crushed hope into despair

They ripped the heart from every living tree

Except for one, my tree they chose to spare.

They dug it up, they smuggled it away

This ancient tree, they saw it as a prize

For some Israeli rich enough to pay

Five thousand dollars' worth, that's what they say.

 

Do you believe in ghosts? Last night I dreamed

My father's father's father came to me

He took my hand and held it in his own

And said, Take heart, here is my olive tree.

And when I woke it was a kind of birth

And in my hand I found an olive stone

And in the field where once my tree had been

A thousand shapes arose out of the earth.

 

I saw their faces, women, children, men

And each hand held a perfect olive stone

And each heart held a vision of to come

When all our olive trees will rise again.

 

 

11. Looters (4.02)  (L. Rosselson)

Criminality pure and simple

Decent people all agree

Looting shops and burning buildings

Didn’t you watch it on TV?

 Cameras, sports bags, clothes, computers

Mobile phones and branded shoes

Flat screen TVs, playstations

Cigarettes and bottles of booze.

You smash up the shops and you get free stuff

It’s all about the money nowadays...innit.

 

The lower classes on the rampage

Moral panic in the press

Beat them, birch them, hang them, shoot them

Looters deserve nothing less....

But why the anger? Why the outrage?

Why the demonising hate?

Aren’t they just following in the footsteps

Of those who made this country great?....

 

Francis Drake now there’s a looter

Plundering the Spanish main

Burning towns and looting treasures

Pride of England scourge of Spain

 Was rewarded with a knighthood

Looters deserve nothing less

Made himself a tidy fortune

And lots of dosh for good Queen Bess....

 

Clive and the East India Company

Fattened on the spoils of war

Taxed the peasants into famine

Found India rich and left it poor.

If the natives dared rebel

Their imperial masters made them pay

Tied them to the cannon’s muzzle

Blew them flesh and bones away....

 

The Brutish Empire built on looting

Grab the land and make the laws

Then everything the land produces -

Coffee, diamonds, gold - is yours.

So we got sugar, cotton, spices

Rubber, tin, tobacco, tea

They got cricket and the Bible

And our royal family....

 

Take a look at our museums

Plundered treasures on display

That gold crown looted from Magdala

Admire it at the V & A.

The Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles

Neil Macgregor’s Benin plaque

A history of the world in loot -

Isn’t it time we gave them back?....

 

Looting - a great British pastime

The upper classes loot by stealth

Bankers, tycoons, city gamblers

Siphon off the nation’s wealth.

Centuries of high-class looting

Payback time is overdue

Hyde Park, Kensington and Knightsbridge -

Watch out! Next time it could be you....

 

 

 

12. I Didn't Raise My Son to be a Soldier    (2.51) (Anon.)        

I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

I raised him up to be my pride and joy.

Why should he put a musket to his shoulder

To kill another mother's darling boy?

Why should he fight in someone else's quarrels?

It's time to throw the sword and gun away

There would be no war today

If the nations all would say

No I didn't raise my son to be a soldier.

I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

To go fighting in some far-off foreign land

He may get killed before he's any older

For a cause that he will never understand.

Why should he fight another rich man's battle

While they stay at home and while their time away?

Let those with most to lose

Fight each other if they choose

For I didn't raise my son to be a soldier.

I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

Fighting in a trench from night till morn

If God required to prove that boys are bolder

They'd have uniforms and guns when they were born.

Why should we have wars about religion

When the Bible tells us all , Thou shalt not kill?

But the rich they have one law

There’s another for the poor

And I didn't raise my son to be a soldier.

I didn't raise my son to be a soldier

I raised him up to be a gentle man

To find a sweet young girl and love and hold her

Bring me some grandchildren when they can.

Why can't we decide that the Empire

Is just as large as it requires to be?

And I'd rather lose it all

Than to see my laddie fall

For I didn't raise my son to be a soldier.

 

13. Guns and Bombs (3.58)  (J. Russell)

The economy’s in ruins

And it’s all down to the doin’s

Of the previous Labour government you’ll agree

You can’t sit on the fence

Well, it’s only common sense

And we’re all in this together, don’t you see?

So let’s celebrate our strengths

We’ll go to any lengths

To work hard and make the economy fly

With finance and with banks

But mostly, guns and tanks

And we’ll sell them all to anyone who’ll buy.

 

We’ll sell them guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to the enemies of their state

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

Just sign our contract now, no need to wait.

Aung San Suu Kyi

How nice it is to see

That the military have recognised your status

It’s no small thing

To be taken under our wing

And we know that as an ally you must rate us

But a quiet word in your ear

Our economy’s flat I fear

And there are things you need, that we have in great store

The trade where we excel

I am very proud to tell

Is in weaponry and theatre of war.

 

We’ll sell you guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to whoever poses threat

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

We have everything you need, we sell the set.

 

Mr. Ahmedinejad

The relationship we’ve had

Is becoming rather tetchy, sad to say

But despite the nuclear issue

We’d just like to continue

To sell arms to you in the same old way

We’re a trusted supplier

For many eastern buyers

Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain

Saudi and the U.A.E.

Are valued customers, you’ll see

But with Bahrain, perhaps, we need to think again.

 

We sell them guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to their enemy of choice

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

Who suddenly decide they have a voice.

 

It’s never been hard to sell

Our arms to Israel

Who need tools to hold their borders - and expand

In spite of UN resolutions

There is no real solution

Except for them to buy our stuff and take more land

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Is surrounded by a few

Of our customers - but not his friends

Egypt and Jordan

And the Lebanon

And we’ll sell, of course, to anyone who spends.

 

We sell them guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to enemies far and near

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

If it’s weaponry you need, we have the gear.

 

If a situation’s tricky,

There’s no use being picky

Business is business, after all

We cater to demand

With a very even hand

No matter who you are, give us a call.

 

We’ll sell you guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to whoever poses threat

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

We have everything you need, we sell the set.

 

We’ll sell you guns and bombs and bombs and guns

And all the infrastructure

For delivery to the enemies of your state

With tanks and jetfighters

To get the blooming blighters

Just sign our contract now, no need to wait.

 

14. Protest Singer Blues  (4.06)  (G. Petrie)

Several years ago I slept through an alarm

And I've been playing catch-up since

And every now and then the sight of my reflection

Makes me stop and wince.

How many deaths will it take 'til we know

Too many people have died?

Well I regret, we haven't got there yet

And time, it isn't on our side

 

And I should hang up my guitar

If I've got nothing new to say

It's all been done before

And better, I am sure

And I'll be standing by the bar

Wondering what to play

To try and change the world

Where better songs have failed

And here I am again

Hoping for a win

Standing in the rain

Soaking to the skin

Looking for a change

Though I've been listening

There's no answer blowin' in the wind.

 

Several years ago I think I missed a train

And I'm still catching up the time

It doesn't matter how quickly I'm going

I never reached the end of the line.

How many times can a man turn his head

And pretend he just doesn't see?

'Cause I'm ashamed, the times they have a-changed

And a better world was not to be.

 

15. Bread and Roses  (3.56)  (M. Whelan)

If we don’t have our dreams

What do we live for?

If we don’t have our dreams

What did James Connolly die for?

 

Chorus:        

Look up the sky is burning

With blood that workers shed

We’ll carry on the battle

For roses and bread.

Bread and roses

Roses and bread

We’ll carry on the battle

For roses and bread.

 

He was born to organise

That’s what James Larkin* lived for

For being a union man

That’s what Joe Hill was killed for.

 

Chorus…

 

With dreams in solid steel

That’s what Mandela lived for.

For dreaming of what might be

That’s what Allende died for.

 

Chorus…

 

Let’s dream that dream of dreams

Of life without sorrow.

And maybe our dreams

Will build a new tomorrow.

 

* I sing: ‘Jack Jones’ in place of James Larkin, in order to link the song to Britain. I don’t think it detracts from Martin’s song in any way – Martin references Republic of Ireland, S. Africa, Argentina and the USA  -  to which I’ve added Britain.

 

                                            Disc 2

 

The Vision  (4.08)  (I. Saville)

“The world has changed," they said, "all your ideals

Mean nothing now, they won't buy any meals.

Hard cash is what we live by, and our mission

Is beat the others, win the competition.

Our system rules this planet, always will"

They blustered and they bullied me until

I quite forgot - why was I a Socialist? ...

 

... Then in the distance I saw a mist

And the mist turned into a cloud.

And as I stood and watched, each drop

Of vapour turned into a face.  The crowd

Moved around me in laughter and song

With eyes that were bright and voices strong

Each face separate and distinct.

Though all in common purpose linked.

But who were these people?  Somehow I knew

That if only I guessed, my guess would be true.

And so I decided that one band of figures

From centuries past were Winstanley's Diggers

Proclaiming all folk were of equal worth

To share in the treasures of the Earth.

Some Luddites were holding a great hammer high

They'd been slandered by history, but I could see why

They'd set about smashing their masters' machines

Which were not tools of progress, but used as a means

To steal from these people their labour and skill

And ensure they were bent to their masters' will.

Some faces I knew - Paul Robeson was giving

Full voice to a tune that said Joe Hill was living.

Joe smiled, and agreed that in each mine and mill

Where the workers were fighting his spirit lived still.

Mary Seacole was resting from easing the pain

Of those men sent to die so their rulers might gain.

She's forgotten by history - her skin wasn't pale

Though she healed just as surely as Nurse Nightingale.

Harriet Tubman rejoiced with the slaves that she'd freed

From those 'civilised' gentlemen driven by greed.

From Central America, no more invisible

Those who vanished from lands where dissent's not permissible.

Karen Silkwood, who died fighting nuclear might.

Blair Peach - killed by police for supporting the right

To protest against fascism.  Others who'd died

Fighting fascist battalions in Spain's countryside.

There was Sacco, Vanzetti.  There were Suffragettes too.

There were miners and matchgirls, and some people who

Had been friends of mine.  They died with much still to give

But they'd all used their lives to find new ways to live.

Gazing in awe on this great panorama

I wondered what part it could play in my drama.

Then, as I wondered, they all spoke in chorus:

"There's something," they said "that we'd quite like done for us

"We are dead, and our life's work is not yet fulfilled

For we all tried, in some different manner, to build

A world that is decent and honest and fair

Where we all get what's needed, and what's left we share

But the world is not like that - that's clear and that's plain

And we're not blaming you, but don't make it in vain

That we lived lives of struggle - continue the fight

While you live, you can change things - we know that that's right."

And I looked, and I saw that in each of their eyes

Stood a part of a new world, and to my surprise

I could now see what they saw, and so understood

We become fully human by working for good.

We may fail, but it's better to know that we've been

A part of humanity - not a machine.

My strength was redoubled, my hope was renewed

As I shared in the vision of these comrades who'd

Bequeathed us their talent, their wisdom, their love

And the knowledge that our deeds can make the world move.

 

 

Rosa's Lovely Daughters (4.14) (R. Johnson)

Who's that walking miles for water?

Who's that sweat-shoppin' all the day long?

From the hot south, to the cold north

Who are these proud and strong?

 

We are Rosa's lovely daughters, we are no man's blushing bride

We are Rosa's lovely daughters and we will not be denied.

 

From the workbench in the back room

To the benchmarks on the bed

From the mad mothers to the peace campers

Who are these seeing red?

 

Chorus

 

See the fathers handshake their bargains

While their good wives stand round and they weep

But we’re singing as we're dancing

We are no man's to give or to keep.

 

Chorus

Wearing trousers or short skirts (as we please!)

We’ll walk at night together in the centre of town

We are free spirits taking the night back

We are wildfire across dry ground.

Chorus

(alt. last verse written by Janet Russell with Robb’s permission)

 

3. My Personal Revenge  (2.16) (L. Godoy. Translation J. Calderon)

My personal revenge will be the rights

Of our children in the schools and in the garden

My personal revenge will be to give you

This song that has flourished without panic.

My personal revenge will be to show you

The kindness in the eyes of my people

Who have always fought relentlessly in battle

And been generous and firm in victory.

 My personal revenge will be to tell you "Good day"

On a street without beggars or homeless

And instead of jailing you, I suggest

You shake away the sadness there that binds you.

And when you, who have applied your hands in torture,

Are unable to look up at what's around you,

My personal revenge will be to give you

These hands that once you so mistreated

But have failed to take away their tenderness.

It was the people who

Hated you the most

When rage became the language of their song,

And underneath the skin of this town today

The people's hearts rise up with pride.

And it was the people who hated you the most

When rage became the language of their song

And underneath the skin of this town today - 

Red and black, the people’s hearts rise up with pride.

 

Miracles  (4.49)  (J. Woodland)

If you sit back for a while, rest and smile and close your eyes,

When you wake up everything will be alright.

You just take a little rest, get it all off your chest and close your eyes

And when you wake up everything will be alright,

But they don't fool me...

I don't believe in miracles and I don't believe it's true.

One light, one fight, one little dance... That's all you do.

I don't believe in fairytales, and I don't believe in lies.

We don't need to fly but still we try and that's all we do...        

That's all we do...

 

I am ready to believe that the dead will rise and the blind will see

And the sun will shine from underneath the sea.

I could easily accept that a man could walk across the sky,

But when they ask me to believe the rich would let the poor go free...

I don't believe in miracles and I don't believe it's true.

One light, one fight, one little dance... That's all you do.

I don't believe in fairytales, and I don't believe in lies.

We don't need to fly but still we try and that's all we do...        

That's all we do...

 

I've seen your dreams nailed up to a tree and left up there to die

But I'm ready to believe that one day they will rise.

I can feel it in my bones if you role away the stone you can step into the light

And the meek will inherit everything here, but not by being meek I fear...

I don't believe in miracles and I don't believe it's true.

One light, one fight, one little dance... That's all you do.

I don't believe in fairytales, and I don't believe in lies.

We don't need to fly but still we try and that's all we do...     

That's all we do...

 

Everybody knows that the yellow brick road goes up into the sky

And the fairy lives on top of the Christmas tree.

And fish can walk and dogs can talk and pigs can probably fly

But when they ask me just to wait for my rewards at the pearly gates...

I don't believe in miracles and I don't believe it's true.

One light, one fight, one little dance... That's all you do.

I don't believe in fairytales, and I don't believe in lies.

We don't need to fly but still we try and that's all we do...     

That's all we do…

 

5. Farewell to Welfare  (4.47)  (G. Petrie)

It's never too late

To recapture the benefits of Section 28

And it's never too wild

To change GCSEs grade boundaries, the only victim is the child

And oh, who's gonna be my Martin Luther King,

And I'll say who's gonna be my Harvey Milk?

And on the steps of Parliament they're demonstrating

But what's the use when they're all cut from the same Eton silk

I'll say farewell, farewell to welfare.

 

And we've got a recession to beat

So let's put more money into the Jubilee, and a millionaire in Downing Street

And we've all got to pay the bills

But when we all work for free I don't see how we ever will

And if I keep my receipts, can I claim back the mistakes

And the lives ruined by this government?

Or in another 18 years of budget cuts and tears

Will the people pay for those, just like we pay your rent?

And say farewell, farewell to welfare.

 

So give me change, give me equality

Give me a minister for women that don't represent me

Give me a decent honest Nick who's on the level

Until the first glimpse of power, make a deal with the devil

And you tell me that this is democracy

And you tell me that it ain't no old boys' club

And as the thousands march on Westminster,

Look how quickly their demands are snubbed

And you ask me, "Where is the youth vote?"

Well they didn't let me in, so you'll find me in the pub

Raising a toast to the ghost of welfare

And I used to dream of a Britain

Where I'd be proud to bring up kids

These days I'd settle for a Britain

Where I'd be allowed to bring up kids

And Mrs May, if I may

Be so bold as to say

That your archaic view of family

Holds no relevance today

And if you think that honest people

Should be turned away

From IVF and BandBs

Just because they're gay

Then I suggest you stop requesting

That we continue to pay

Our taxes to a party that's

Held us back all the way

I'll take my business, and my produce, and my income tax elsewhere

And say farewell, farewell to welfare

I'll say farewell, farewell to welfare

They'll say to hell, to hell with welfare

And I'll say farewell, farewell to welfare

 

6. Progress Train (3.55)   (Peggy Seeger)

The human brain can't stand still

Even when it gets to the top of the hill

Just can't stop and admire the view

Always got to have something new

 

The human brain's an intelligent fool

Build you a hospital, build you a school

You wake up the very next day

The progress train took it all away

 

The progress train can demolish your town

Sells us heaven when we're hell-bound

Hell-bound

Fed by apathy, driven by greed

Running at top speed

 

Going so fast

You won't notice it till it's past

It doesn't give a damn about yesterday

And when you forget what it took away

You'll know the progress train rolled right over you.

 

Juggernaut hurtling down the road

You're not in control, you're part of the load

Running the lights, won't slow down

Get in its way and it'll run you down.

 

The progress train is on a one-way track

It'll take you there,  won't bring you back

When you start singing  "I'm all right, Jack!"

All right Jack, all right Jack

You'll know  ..The progress train ran right over you

 

The girl in the red shoes had to dance

The progress train has to advance

Tables to turn, money to earn,

Bridges to burn, we never learn

 

Got no destination,  it'll go anywhere

Can't stop even when it gets there

Got no beginning, got no end

Doesn't even care what's  around the bend

 

 

Got to grow, got to change

Build up, tear down,  rearrange

Got to be move on, dirty or clean

It's an atom bomb, it's a washing machine

 

It's a love song ................. it sings

Seducing you ........ with things

That ease your heart and  please your mind

The passengers sleep and the driver's blind

 

            FIRE IN HIS PANTS

            HE DON'T DANCE

            NO ROMANCE

            THEY WANT YOU NOW

            THEY WANT YOU NOW

            AND THEY’LL HAVE YOU

            NOW!

            THAT'S THE PROGRESS TRAIN ....

            AND IT'S RIGHT OVER YOU

 

The human race has a fatal knack

Of going full speed down a cul-de-sac

After running so fast and working hard

There's a helluva mess in the back yard

 

The progress train sings sweet and low

And every time you hear it you know

Something's wrong .. still you tap your feet

The words don't matter .. cause the tune's so sweet

The progress train ... is singing to you.

 

They All Sang Bread and Roses  (2.31)  (S. Kahn)

 

Now don’t you think it crazy, this old world and all its ways.

Whoever thought the sixties would be called the good old days?

But like the Weavers sang to us, “Wasn’t that a time?”

When we raised our hands and voices on the line.

 

Chorus:         And we all sang Bread and Roses

                      Joe Hill and Union Maid

                      We linked our arms and told each other

                      We were not afraid

Solidarity Forever would go rolling through the hall

We shall overcome together one and all.

 

The more I study history the more I seem to find

That in every generation there are times just like that time

When folks like you and me who thought they were all alone

Within this honoured movement found a home.

 

Chorus          And they all sang Bread and Roses……

                     

And though each generation fears that it may be the last

Our presence here is witness to the power of the past

And just as we have drawn our strength from those who now are gone

Younger hands will take our work and carry on.

 

Chorus: And they’ll all sing Bread and Roses

Joe Hill and Union Maid

We’ll link our arms and tell each other

We are not afraid

Solidarity Forever will go rolling through the hall

We shall overcome together one and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babour Zammar (6.05)

 (The Ship Sounded its Horn)

 

Lyrics: ‘Amm El-Mawlidi Zleilah

Music: El-Hédi Guella

 

The ship sounded its horn

Sailing out to sea...

 

The ship sounded its horn...

Sailing out to sea...

Turning its back on home, the best place of all

 

The ship sounded its horn

Ferrying men to their drowning

 

The ship sounded its horn

Ferrying men to their drowning

On their way to far-off lands, where the pain of exile burns like unquenched thirst

 

Turning its back on friends

And companions

 

Families’ faces pale and yellow

In sorrow and grief

 

The ship sounded its horn so loud

 

The ship sounded its horn so loud

Sailing back home...

Carrying men beloved of their people...

 

Hands trembling as they wave goodbye

Hands trembling as they wave goodbye

 

Their loved ones’ tears

Sting and burn their faces

As their sons vanish over the horizon

Their eyelids smarting with pain

 

The ship sounded its horn

Heading out to sea

 

The ship sounded its horn

Heading out to sea

Sailing off to foreign lands

Turning its back on bright skies

 

Uprooting young men from fertile lands

 

Uprooting young men from fertile lands

To a life so harsh

Just as the rain-soaked valley

Fills up with tree trunks and branches

 

The ship sounded its horn, driven away from home

 

The ship sounded its horn, driven away from home

With a bow so sharp

Slicing through the foaming waves

Like a knife through cheese

 

Spouting coffins into the blue sea

Making ships quake in fear...

As the sea surges backwards and forwards

 

The ship sailed into the mist

 

The ship sailed into the mist

Shrouded in fog

Packed to the gunnels with the best of all men

 

Offered up to foreign lands

Without respite, like mules

 

The only difference between them and the cattle on board

Is the passport... the passport... the passport

 

Translated by: Reem Kelani & Chris Somes-Charlton

Tunisian dialect consultant: Dr. Emna Rmili, Sousse University, Tunisia

Literary editor: Dr. Salma Khadra Jayyusi

The Miktab © 2012

 

9 .St Peter's Fields (5.10)  (J. Woodland)

St Peter's Fields in Manchester

On a day we need not name

Soldiers waiting in the sunshine

One by one the people came

And the women were dressed in white

Wearing leaves of laurel green

St Peter's Fields in Manchester

1819...

And you would think reform

Was a baby that must be born

And you would think democracy

Would give us hopes of liberty

But do you think that’s true

And have you heard the news...

 

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered

On the fields of Peterloo

And the red upon the green grass

Sparkles like the morning dew.

May the tears flow down like water

And wash the bloodstains from you.

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered

On the fields of Peterloo...

 

Somebody tell me how it happened

I know even less than you.

Their swords were out and sharpened

A hundred thousand pushing through.

We were standing in the front line

Still I can't believe it's true.

I saw her eyes and then she saw mine.

She was dead before she knew...

 

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered

On the fields of Peterloo

And the red upon the green grass

Sparkles like the morning dew.

May the tears flow down like water

And wash the bloodstains from you.

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered

On the fields of Peterloo...

 

And when you wake up in the morning

Just thank the star that shines on you

That the likes of Phoebe Webber

Always do the things they do.

From the bloody streets of Moscow

To the ghettos of the U.S.A.

From the haunted squares of China

To the graveyards of the Cape

From Tunisia’s Bouazizi

To resistance in Bil’in

From Tahrir Square in Egypt

To Manama in Bahrain

She will die again tomorrow

As she died yesterday

She will die until the sorrow

And the chains are swept away.

Now the green leaves of the laurel

Turn a red and deadly hue

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered

On a street not far from you.

(Added lyrics about Arab spring with help from the company, and with the permission of Jim Woodland. Thanks especially to Reem Kelani and Chris Somes-Charlton).

 

 Emily Davison  (5.01)  (S. Kerr)

I went down to St. Mary’s churchyard

In Morpeth one September day

To find the grave of my dead sister

To find the place where Emily lay.

A dark and stony path led where she rested

The sky was grey and the rain came down

I found her monument decayed and broken

And choking weeds grew all around.

 

Chorus:

Emily Davison, suffragette heroine,

Died at the Derby in 1913

Blood on the banner bright

Purple and green and white

Shed for a woman’s right

To Liberty.

 

I knew no more of her brave story

Than grains of history will allow

But may her life be well-remembered

Although in death, she’s forgotten now.

She loved great London city, it inspired her

To fight its poverty and shame

But with each battle fought, she sought a refuge

And to Northumberland she came.....

They called her wild, a lawless lassie                      When deep in prison she was confined

For tyrants paid no heed to reason

And only deeds would change their minds.

They say she learnt this lesson from her Bible

Her courage from St Joan so brave

And she believed no land could have its freedom

While womankind was still the slave.....

 

A soldier dies for king and country

And so Britannia rules the waves

They sing his praises, call him hero

Lay stones and flowers on his grave.

Was not her sacrifice supreme and selfless?

So we shall keep her memory.

With love restored this grave in Morpeth churchyard,

Is the honour due to Emily.....

 

11. The Grapes of Wrath  (5.01)  (J. Woodland)

In the south is a castle high upon a hill

Gazing down upon the world below

In the north is a country laid low.

In the country the hurt and anger grows.

In the castle the milk and honey flows.

But as they sit round their great oak tables

Will they sip their wine and laugh?

Oh no no! They will taste the grapes of wrath.

 

The north is a garden, a flower in the dirt

And the castle is a burden and a curse.

Squeezing out the vintage till it hurts.

They are the Lords and Ladies of the universe.

But as they sit round their great oak tables

Will they sip their wine and laugh?

Oh no no! They will taste the grapes of wrath.

When the sun is on the castle, it shines like gold

And the greedy in the castle feast their eyes.

They are stealing all the sunlight from the skies.

While the North is waiting for the Moon to rise.

 

In the shadow of the castle the country groans

Dreaming in the darkness where she lies.

But as thunder rolls across a Northern sky

Behind a northern hill the moon begins to rise

Now as they sit round their great oak tables

Will they sip their wine and laugh?

Oh no no! They will taste the grapes of wrath.

 

As the moon shines down across the northern land

One day the north will rise up at her command.

Then as they sit round their great oak tables

Will they sip their wine and laugh?

Oh no no! They will taste the grapes of wrath

 

 

12. Peacock Street  (1.44)  (Aunt Molly Jackson)

As I was a-walking down Peacock Street

No clothes on my back, no shoes on my feet.

I was cold, I was hungry, it was late in the fall

I knocked down some old big shot, took his money, clothes and all.

 

Yeah, I took everything that old big shot had

And they called me a robber, they called me bad.

They called me a robber, they called me bad

But misery and starvation done drove me mad.

 

CHORUS

Tell me how long must I look for a job?

I don’t want to have to steal,

I don’t want to have to rob.

 

They put me in jail for a year and a day

For taking all that ol’ big shot’s money and clothes away.

They turned me loose ‘bout a hour ago

To walk these ol’ streets again in the rain and snow.

I got no money for room rent, I got nothing to eat

You just can’t live by walking the street. (CHORUS)

 

13. I'm Going Where the Suits Will Shine My Shoes (6.21)   (L.Rosselson)

With his bottle of wine and his tatty old sheet

He guarded his patch down on Union Street

With his cardboard sign  which said ‘Thou shalt not kill’

And the song that he sang - I remember it still .....

 

I’m going where the suits will shine my shoes

Going where the fountains foam with booze

Going where the bankers beg for bread

To find a home to rest my head

Take me where the lazy rivers flow

Take me where the lotus flowers grow

Lay me down beside the silver sea

And let the waves wash over me - wash over me.

 

She was trapped in the checkout bored out of her brain

Checking the barcodes again and again

She suddenly screamed ‘This is driving me mad’

Then she sang in a voice she didn’t know that she had.....

 

In the badlands of Helmand a Royal Marine

Sick to the heart at the things he has seen

Knowing this war can never be won

Sings to himself as he lays down his gun.....

 

This song wasn’t sung by celebrity stars

It was sung by the riffraff in back streets and bars

The lonely and lost, those who didn’t belong

The jobless and jailed they were singing this song.....

 

They’ll come from out of the dark and from out of despair

Like a surge of the sea into Liberty Square

And the man wtih the sign that says ‘Thou shalt not kill’

Will be leading them all and they’ll be singing it still.....

 

 

14. Why Not?  (4.09)  (R. Johnson)

Oh dear oh dear the banks lost all their money

So the government gave them ours to lose as well

Now they say “we’re all in this together” 

The rent’s due and there’s nothing left to sell.

We’ll all have to work harder and get less

Is there an alternative? I say yes –

 

Make the rich pay, why not?

Make the rich pay, why not?

We don’t have any money cos they’ve got lots and lots 

Make the rich pay, why not?

 

It’s funny how the rich keep getting richer,

It’s funny how the money’s all been lost,

You wonder where it went to at the checkout

When you find out just how much more things now cost.

When the ask you “how’d you like to pay,

Cash or credit card?” Here’s what I say:

 

Make the rich pay, why not?...

 

When I’m strolling down the London Road

There’s this Oxfam where I sometimes likes to go

There’s clothes that only cost a quid or two

and it goes to those less fortunate than you.

But when it comes to global poverty

There’s only one solution, you’ll agree:

 

Make the rich pay, why not?...

 

They say

Money is the root of all that evil

and an apple’s why we’re in the state we’re in,

Some people think we’re waiting for The Rapture

When Jesus comes for payback on our sins

On judgement day my conscience will be clear,

I’ll hear the angels singing loud and clear:

 

Make the rich pay, why not?

 

15. To My Countrymen/Proletarian Lullaby  (3.30) (Brecht/Eisler. Translation Alasdair Clayre)

 

You who live on in towns that passed away

Now show yourselves some mercy I implore

Do not go marching to some new war

As if the old wars had not had there day

But show yourselves some mercy I implore

 

You men reach for the spade and not the knife

You'd have a roof right now above your head

If you had taken up the spade instead

And with a roof one has a better life.

You men reach for the spade and not the knife.

 

You children that you may all remain alive

Your fathers and your mothers you must waken

And if in ruins you would not survive

Telll them you will not take what they have taken

You children that you may all remain alive.

 

You mothers - since the word is yours to give

To stand for war or not to stand for war

I beg you let your children live

Let birth not death be what they thank you for

I beg you mothers let your children live.

--------

My son whatever you do or you try to do

There's lines of them waiting with truncheons steady

There's only one bit of space on this earth for you

That's the rubbish dump and it's occupied already.

 

My son you must listen to your mother when she tells you

It's worse than the plague this life you've got in store.

Do you think I brought you into the world so painfully

To have you lie down under it and meekly ask for more?

 

What you don't have, don't ever abandon

What they don't give you take yourself and keep

I, your mother, haven't born and fed you

To see you crawl one night under a railway arch to sleep.

 

I don't say you're made of anything special

I can't give you money or kneel by you and pray

But I hope, and I've nothing but you to build on,

You won't let the dole queue slowly gnaw your life away.

 

When in the night I lie and stare unsleeping

I often reach out for your hand

How can I make you see through their lying?

I know you've been numbered for wars they've already planned.

 

Your mother my son has never pretended

That you're the special son of someone's special daughter

But neither did she bring you up in so much hardship

To hang on the barbed wire some day crying out for water.

 

And so, my son, you must stay with your own kind

So power like the dust can spread to every place

And you, my son, and I and all our people

Must stand together to unite the human race

That unequal classes no more

Will divide the human race.

 

CD and Lyrics

The Anticapitalist Roadshow

Celebrating Subversion