Double album compilation

Back To Basics

7th July 1987
Double album compilation of Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy and Brewing Up With Billy Bragg plus Between The Wars EP
Go! Discs AGOLP 8
Number of discs: 2

Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy

Milkman Of Human Kindness
If you’re lonely, I will call –
If you’re poorly, I will send poetry

I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

If you’re sleeping, I will wait
If your bed is wet, I will dry your tears

I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

Hold my hand for me I’m waking up
Hold my hand for me I’m waking up
Hold my hand for me I’m making up
Won’t you hold my hand – I’m making up

If you are falling, I’ll put out my hands
If you feel bitter, I will understand
I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

To Have And To Have Not
Up in the morning and out to school
Mother says there’ll be no work next year
Qualifications once the Golden Rule
Are now just pieces of paper

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because you’re going forwards
Doesn’t mean I’m going backwards

If you look the part you’ll get the job
In last year’s trousers and your old school shoes
The truth is son, it’s a buyer’s market
They can afford to pick and choose

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because I dress like this
Doesn’t mean I’m a communist

The factories are closing and the army’s full –
I don’t know what I’m going to do
But I’ve come to see in the Land of the Free
There’s only a future for the Chosen Few

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because you’re going forwards
Doesn’t mean I’m going backwards

At twenty one you’re on to of the scrapheap
At sixteen you were top of the class
All they taught you at school
Was how to be a good worker
The system has failed you, don’t fail yourself

Just because you’re better than me
Doesn’t mean I’m lazy
Just because you’re going forwards
Doesn’t mean I’m going backwards

Richard
Richard belongs to Jayne
And Jayne belongs to yesterday
How can I go on
When every alpha particle hides a neon nucleus

Neil belongs to love
And love belongs to no man
How can he go on
When no-one answers the adverts in his mind?

Chorus:
There will be parties, there will be fun
There will be prizes for everyone
And hey, hey, hey, here comes Richard
There will be ladies dressed in lace
I just want to see her face
When hey, hey, hey, here comes Richard

You helped me build this bed
But you won’t help me sleep in it
When I fall between you and the wall
Our titanic love affair sails on the morning tide

Chorus

I really love you style
Did you read it in the Look and Learn?
How long can we go on?
Do you think I only love you
Because you sleep with other boys

Chorus

A New England
I was twenty one years when I wrote this song
I’m twenty two now, but I won’t be for long
People ask when will you grow up to be a man
But all the girls I loved at school
are already pushing prams

I loved you then as I love you still
Tho I put you on a pedestal,
They put you on the pill
I don’t feel bad about letting you go
I just feel sad about letting you know

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl
I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl

I loved the words you wrote to me
But that was bloody yesterday
I can’t survive on what you send
Every time you need a friend

I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware
I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl

The Man in The Iron Mask
When he drops you off, I will not say
Who was that who so quickly drove away…
The things you’ve done and the places you’ve been
When I open the door for you
I will not let them in…

As long as you come back to me
I will never ask
For you I will be
The man in the iron mask

You said you love me and it broke my heart
I was always your prisoner right from the start
The nights you spend without me
this house is like a dungeon
And you only return to torture me more

You must have your reasons
I will no ask –
For you I will be
The Man in the Iron Mask

The Busy Girl Buys Beauty
The busy girl buys beauty
The pretty girl buys style
And the simple girl buys
What she’s told to buy
And sees her world
Through the brightly lit eyes
Of the glossy romance of fashion
Where she can learn…
Top tips for the gas cook
Successful secrets of a sexual kind
The daily drill for beautiful hair
And the truth about pain

What was Anna Ford wearing?
What did Angela Rippon say?
What will you do
When you wake up one morning
To find that God’s made you plain
In a beautiful person’s world?
And all those quick recipes
Have let you down
And you’re 20½ and not yet engaged
Will you go look for the boy who says
I love you let’s get married and have kids

The busy girl buys beauty
The pretty girl buys style
And the simple girl buys
What she’s told to buy
Through the brightly lit eyes
Of the glossy romance of fashion
Where she can learn…
Top tips for the gas cook
Successful secrets of a sexual kind
The daily drill for beautiful hair
In a mail order paradise…

Lovers Town Revisited
It’s that summer of the evening
Get ready and roll the cassette
There’s boys outside preaching genocide
And trying to think up some sort of threat
And the ladies in the cloakroom
Take no notice of me
I wish myself was back at home
But there’s nothing safe in watching TV

There’s something born tomorrow
That I lost when I was out for a drink
How many gangs is it gonna take
To change the way I think
It takes more than good intentions
And a big bloke on the door
And though it’s never the same after the first time
That doesn’t stop them coming back for more

Fighting in the dance halls happens anyway
Sometimes it makes me stop and think
Sometimes it makes me turn away
Sometimes it makes me stop and think
Sometimes it makes me turn away
Sometimes it makes me stop and think
But most times it makes me run away

Brewing Up With Billy Bragg

It says here that the Unions will never learn
It says here that the economy is on the upturn
And it says here we should be proud
That we are free
And our free press reflects our democracy

Those braying voices on the right of the House
Are echoed down the Street of Shame
Where politics mix with bingo and tits
In a strictly money and numbers game

Where they offer you a feature
On stockings and suspenders
Next to a call for stiffer penalties for sex offenders

It says here that this year’s prince is born
It says here do you ever wish
That you were better informed
And it says here that we can only stop the rot
With a large dose of Law and Order
And a touch of the short sharp shock

If this does not reflect your view you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land
And they’d rather you believe
In Coronation Street capers
In the war of circulation, it sells newspapers
Could it be an infringement
Of the freedom of the press
To print pictures of women in states of undress

When you wake up to the fact
That your paper is Tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story

The love of a woman
A fear of the phone
A secret message to a happy home
I’ve never been so scared
I never knew you cared
Love gets dangerous
Love gets dangerous
There’s a fear that comes from being in danger
Being in love with a total stranger
Putting our futures in jeopardy
When love is a secret, fear is the key
When we meet in the street
My terror is complete
Love gets dangerous
Love gets dangerous
Like a drug that threatens to take my life
Lust is a cancer, love is a vice
When she holds me I understand
Respect and fear go hand in hand
No need to act tough
It scares me just enough
Love gets dangerous
Love gets dangerous

I woke up this morning
To find that we have outlived the myth of trust
You woke up this morning
To the fact we’ve lost the things
We took for granted between us
And I grew up in awe of the girl next door
And the boy that never cried
And I was dreaming of those Elizabethan girls
While you were working in the market
To earn ourselves
And when you found out what happened yesterday
While you were away in this land of Cain
We were upstairs in the bedroom
Dancing disgusting
And flushing our babies down the drain
And the apple that don’t want to get eaten
Will still fall off the tree
When you’re in as deep as we are honey
It’s so easy to get washed out to sea
For the facts of life are not man and wife
But Man and Woman sadly
And the apple that don’t want to get eaten
Will still fall off the tree
I woke up this morning
To find that we have outlived the myth of trust

She said “Do these seats fold down”
I said “If you pull that handle”
All the time she’d been waiting for
Something with a little more
And all her mates on the new estates
Were walking out in confetti and sunshine
Her mother read her mail
And her Dad was a Policeman
Which I must say worried me
But some things have just got to be
So we passed very fast like ships in the night
Or cars in a contraflow system
Some people say love is blind
But I think that’s just a bit short-sighted
Some people just want it now
It doesn’t matter where or how
Satisfaction takes a second place
So long as they can get excited

I’ll never forget the first day I met her
That September morning was clear and fresh
The way she spoke and laughed at my jokes
And the way she rubbed herself
Against the edge of my desk
She became a magic mystery to me
And we’d sit together in double
History twice a week
And some days we’d walk the same way home
And it’s surprising how quick
A little rain can clear the streets
We dreamed of her and compared our dreams
But that was all that I ever tasted
She lied to me with her body you see
I lied to myself ’bout the chances I’d wasted
The times we were close
Were far and few between
In the darkness at the dances in the school canteen
Did she close her eyes like I did
As we held each other tight
And la la la la la la la la means I love you
She danced with me and I still hold that memory
Soft and sweet
And I stare up at her window
As I walk down her street
But I never made the first team,
I just made the first team laugh
And she never came to the phone
She was always in the bath
I had to look in the dictionary
To find out the meaning of unrequited
While she was giving herself for free
At a party to which I was never invited
I never understood my failings then
And I hide my humble hopes now
Thinking back she made us want her
A girl not old enough to shave her legs

Digging all day and digging all night
To keep my foxhole out of sight
Digging into dinner on a plate on my knees
The smell of damp webbing in the morning breeze
Fear in my stomach, fear in the sky
I eat my dinner with a weary eye
After all this it won’t be the same
Messing around on Salisbury Plain
Pick up your feet, fall in, move out
We’re going to a party way down South
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity
I hate this flat land, there’s no cover
for sons and fathers and brothers and lovers
I can take the killing, I can take the slaughter
But I don’t talk to Sun reporters
I never thought that I would be
Fighting fascists in the Southern Sea
I saw one today and in his hand
Was a weapon that was made in Birmingham
Pick up your feet, fall in, move out
We’re going to a party way down South
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity
I wish Kipling and the Captain were here
To record our pursuits for posterity
Me and the Corporal out on a spree
Damned from here to eternity

Thinking back now,
I suppose you were just stating your views
What was it all for
For the weather or the Battle of Agincourt
And the times that we all hoped would last
Like a train they have gone by so fast
And though we stood together
At the edge of the platform
We were not moved by them

With my own hands
When I make love to your memory
It’s not the same
I miss the thunder
I miss the rain
And the fact that you don’t understand
Casts a shadow over this land
But the sun still shines from behind it.

Thanks all the same
But I just can’t bring myself to answer your letters
It’s not your fault
But your honesty touches me like a fire
The Polaroids that hold us together
Will surely fade away
Like the love that we spoke of forever
On St Swithin’s Day

Blues eyes fighting the grey eyes fighting the tears
Armed to the teeth for a war of words
Reaching all the years
I advanced across a poppy field
I saw the gleam as you raised your shield
And love screamed down
With the sun behind its back

Our Fathers were all soldiers,
Shall we be soldiers too
Fighting and falling like soldiers do

Nothing is clear in this tactical unclear war
I can’t be bothered to find out
What we are fighting for
No one can win this war of the senses
I see no reason to drop my defences
So stand fast my emotions,
Rally round my shaking heart

Our Fathers were all soldiers,
Shall we be soldiers too
Fighting and falling like soldiers do

Blue eyes fighting the grey eyes fighting the tears
Armed to the teeth for a war of words
Reaching all the years
I advanced across a poppy field
I saw the gleam as you raised your shield
And love screamed down
With the sun behind its back
I knew once again I was under attack
So stand fast my emotions,
Rally round my shaking heart

Our Fathers were all soldiers,
Shall we be soldiers too
Fighting and falling like soldiers
Fighting and falling like soldiers
Fighting and falling like soldiers do

Sandra met Raymond at the Race Relations
Much to the dismay of her family and friends
The love that we have is so important

The time that it takes to make a baby
Can be the time it takes to make a cup of tea
The love that we have is so important

He still goes dancing and she still cuts hair
They put the baby into Council care
The love that we have is so important

All winter long while I was locked in my room
Your face at the window and my hair on the floor
I was thinking of you
All winter long while I was locked in my room
Your face at the window and my hair on the floor
I was thinking of you
But the phone rang all night long
To tell me I was wrong
And I watched while the officer
Wrote all their ages down

Strange things happen
When you’re not around
Our love is so strong
It moves objects in my house
Strange things happen
When you’re not around
Those magical moments
Have found their way back home again

All winter long while I was locked in my room
Your face at the window and my hair on the floor
I was thinking of you
All winter long while I was locked in my room
Your face at the window
And that book of old spells
I was thinking of you
And all the spells we cast
Have lately come to pass
And the flowers in the garden have all fallen down

Strange things happen…

You and I are victims of a love
That lost a lot in the translation
When I think of all the time that I spent
Sitting on the edge of your bed in anticipation
Of you giving in and us living in sin

A hot day, the smell of hairspray
And the sound of a shower running softly
It’s things like this that remind me of how I felt
The first time you came back for coffee
The way you took it amazed me

Walking in the park, kissing in the dark
And my head against your pillow
Late at night a lover sings
Adam and Eve are finding out all about love
I say Adam and Eve are finding out all about love

There is no real substitute
For a ball struck squarely and firmly
And you’re the kind of girl who wants to
open up the bottle of pop
Too early in the journey
Our love went flat just like that

It doesn’t matter the colour of the car
But what goes on beneath the bonnet
Is there a flag that flies above your heart
And is my name writ there upon it
Wedding cake and toothache
Equals love and pain

Walking in the park, kissing on the carpet
And your tights around your ankles
Late at night a lover thinks of these things
Adam and Eve are finding out all about love
I say Adam and Eve are finding out all about love
Adam and Eve are finding out all about
Adam and Eve are finding out all about love
Teresa and Steve are finding out all about love

Brewing Up With Billy Bragg

I was a miner
I was a docker
I was a railway man
Between the wars
I raised a family
In times of austerity
With sweat at the foundry
Between the wars

I paid the union and as times got harder
I looked to the government to help the working man
And they brought prosperity down at the armoury
We’re arming for peace, me boys
Between the wars

I kept the faith and I kept voting
Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
For theirs is a land with a wall around it
And mine is a faith in my fellow man
Theirs is a land of hope and glory
Mine is the green field and the factory floor
Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
And mine is the peace we knew
Between the wars

Call up the craftsmen
Bring me the draftsmen
Build me a path from cradle to grave
And I’ll give my consent
To any government
That does not deny a man a living wage

Go find the young men never to fight again
Bring up the banners from the days gone by
Sweet moderation
Heart of this nation
Desert us not, we are
Between the wars

This government had an idea
And parliament made it law
It seems like it’s illegal
To fight for the union any more

Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on
Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on

We went out to join the picket line
For together we cannot fail
We got stopped by police at the county line
They said, “Go home boys or you’re going to jail”

Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on
Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on

It’s hard to explain to a crying child
Why her Daddy can’t go back
So the family suffer
But it hurts me more
To hear a scab say Sod you Jack

Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on
Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on

I’m bound to follow my conscience
And do whatever I can
But it’ll take much more than the union law
To knock the fight out of a working man

Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on
Which side are you on, boys
Which side are you on

WORDS & MUSIC – Florence Reece
Adapted 1984 by Billy Bragg © 1946 Stormking Music Inc assigned to Harmony Music Ltd Reproduced by kind permission of Harmony Music Ltd

In 1649
To St George’s Hill
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Come to show the people’s will
They defied the landlords
They defied the law
They were the dispossessed
Reclaiming what was theirs

‘We come in peace’ they said
‘To dig and sow
We come to work the land in common
And to make the waste land grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it can be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No one has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Rise up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feeds the rich
While poor men starve

We work, we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to masters
Or pay rent to the lords
We are free men
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers’ claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
Al people one
We come in peace –
The order came to cut them down

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© Billy Bragg 2019