Billy Bragg Volume 1

Disc 1

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

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 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

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

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 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…

Disc 2

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

Disc 3

Shirley,
it’s quite exciting to be sleeping here in this new room
Shirley,
you’re my reason to get out of bed before noon
Shirley,
you know when we sat out on the fire escape talking
Shirley,
what did you say about running before we were walking

Sometimes when we’re as close as this
It’s like we’re in a dream
How can you lie there and think of England
When you don’t even know who’s in the team

Shirley,
your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle
Shirley,
we are joined in the ideological cuddle

I’m celebrating my love for you
With a pint of beer and a new tattoo
And if you haven’t noticed yet
I’m more impressionable when my cement is wet

Politics and pregnancy
Are debated as we empty our glasses
And how I love those evening classes

Shirley,
you really know how to make a young man angry
Shirley,
can we get through the night without mentioning family

The people from your church agree
It’s not much of a career
Trying the handles of parked cars
Whoops, there goes another year
Whoops, there goes another pint of beer

Here we are in our summer years
Living on icecream and chocolate kisses
Would the leaves fall from the trees
If I was your old man and you were my missus

Shirley,
give my greetings to the new brunette

Sorry but no lyrics are available for this song.

I understand you needing
And wanting is no crime
But I can’t help feeling
That you and your mother are just wasting your time

Choosing Saturdays in Summer
I dare you to wear white
Love is just a moment of giving
And marriage is when we admit our parents were right

I just don’t understand it
What makes our love a sin
How can it make that difference
If you and I are wearing that bloody, bloody ring

If I share my bed with you
Must I also share my life
Love is just a moment of giving
And marriage is when we admit our parents were right

You just don’t understnd it
This tender trap we’re in
Those glossy catalogues of couples
Are cashing in on happiness again and again

So drag me to the altar
And I’ll make my sacrifice
Love is just a moment of giving
And marriage is when we admit our parents were right
And marriage is when we admit our parents were probably right

When one voice rules the nation
Just because they’re on top of the pile
Doesn’t mean their vision is the clearest
The voices of the people
Are falling on deaf ears
Our politicians all become careerists
They must declare their interests
But not their company cars
Is there more to a seat in parliament
Then sitting on your arse
And the best of all this bad bunch
Are shouting to be heard
Above the sound of ideologies clashing

Outside the patient millions
Who put them into power
Expect a little more back for their taxes
Like school books, beds in hospitals
And peace in our bloody time
All they get is old men grinding axes
Who’ve built their private fortunes
On the things they can rely
The courts, the secret handshake
The Stock Exchange and the old school tie
For God and Queen and Country
All things they justify
Above the sound of ideologies clashing

God bless the civil service
The nations saving grace
While we expect democracy
They’re laughing in our face
And although our cries get louder
Their laughter gets louder still
Above the sound of ideologies clashing

With the money from her accident
She bought herself a mobile home
So at least she could get some enjoyment
Out of being alone
No one could say that she was left up on the shelf
It’s you and me against the World kid she mumbled to herself

CHORUS:
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears run down his face

She ran away from home on her mother’s best coat
She was married before she was even entitled to vote
And her husband was one of those blokes
The sort that only laughs at his own jokes
The sort a war takes away
And when there wasn’t a war he left anyway

Norman Whitfield and Barratt Strong
Are here to make everything right that’s wrong
Holland and Holland and Lamont Dozier too
Are here to make it all okay with you

One dark night he came home from the sea
And put a hole in her body where no hole should be
It hurt her more to see him walking out the door
And though they stitched her back together they left her heart in pieces on the floor

When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs’ tears…

I can see the kitchen light
From the road where I park my bike
But it’s dark there as it often is these days
And the gloomy living room
Really needs a dust and a broom
But I can’t brush your memory away

Her father was an admiral
In someone else’s navy
And she had seen the World before I met her
She would wash and cook and clean
And all the other things between
And like a fool I just sat there and let her

CHORUS:
Now I can feed and wash and dress myself
And I can sleep without the light on
Honey, I’m a big boy now
I don’t know what she does With all the money that I sent her
She’s running round the town with the Young Pretender

I haven’t touched the garden
Since the day she walked away
From a love affair that bore only bitter fruit
She took everything she wanted
Which is why she left me here
With these pots and pans and my old wedding suit

A letter came one morning
That she would not let me see
And from that day I began to realise
That she would one day break
The home we tried to make
For sinners cannot live in paradise

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hands of a worker
But it all amounts to nothing if together we don’t stand There is power in a Union

Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers’ blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud
War has always been the bosses’ way, sir

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union

Now I long for the morning that they realise
Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
But who’ll defend the workers who cannot organise
When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
There is power in a Union

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union.

Help save the youth of America
Help save them from themselves
Help save the sun-tanned surfer boys
And the Californian girls

When the lights go out in the rest of the World
What do our cousins say
They’re playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun
Till Daddy takes the gun away

From the Big Church to the Big River
And out to the Shining Sea
This is the Land of Opportunity
And there’s a Monkey Trial on TV

A nation with their freezers full
Are dancing in their seats
While outside another nation
Is sleeping in the streets

Don’t tell me the old, old story
Tell me the truth this time
Is the Man in the Mask or the Indian
An enemy or a friend of mine

Help save the youth of America
Help save the youth of the world
Help save the boys in uniform
Their mothers and their faithful girls

Listen to the voice of the soldier
Down in the killing zone
Talking about the cost of living
And the price of bringing him home

They’re already shipping the body bags
Down by the Rio Grande
But you can fight for democracy at home
And not in some foreign land

And the fate of the great United States
Is entwined in the fate of us all
And the incident at Tschernobyl proves
The world we live in is very small

On Monday I wished it was Tuesday night
So I could wish for the weekend to come
On Tuesday I wished that the night would pass
So I could call you on the phone
Now a man can spend a lot of time
Wondering what was on Jack Ruby’s mind
And time is all I have without you here

On Wednesday when you hung up
It was as much as I could do
To stop from wishing Thursday
Would pass so quickly too
They’re out there making history
In the Lenin Shipyards today
And here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

There’s always room for one more soul
Down in the Human Zoo
I don’t want you to come here though
I want to come home to you
Somebody’s knocking at the door
Its later than I think
And its time to put on these stinking clothes
And get out there and stink

On Friday I wished there was something more
To be seen in the letters you send
On Saturday I wished it was Sunday
Oh will this torment ever end
Sometimes I get a notion to put a torch
To the tools of my trade
Here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

The fear of a daughter can run high
In the mind of a father to be
For something is growing inside
But we don’t talk about it, do we

In the long empty passionless night
Many times to herself she had prayed
That the baby will love her much more
Than the big boy who stole her away

chorus:
And sometimes it takes a grown man a long time to learn
Just what it would take a child a night to learn

It pains her to learn that some things will never be right
If the baby is just someone else to take sides in a fight
Harsh words between bride and groom
The distance is greater each day
He smokes alone in the next room
And she knits her life away

A long time ago she saw visions on the stairs
And when she felt dizzy her mother was always there
The home help is no help at all I have not committed a crime
Angels gaze down from the wall
Is there a God, Is there a next time

A rainy afternoon
Spent in the warmest room
She lay before me and said
Yes it’s true that I have seen some naked men
As she made for the door
Leaving me on the floor
I wish I’d done biology
For an urge within me wanted to do it then

Chorus:
And here she comes again
And I’m sitting on my hands
And she sings to me that siren song
Here she comes again and I’m biting my lip
But it won’t be long

As Brother Barry said
As he married Marion
The wife has three great attributes
Intelligence, a Swiss army knife and charm
But that’s not enough sometimes
And she did speak her mind
And told them all that she believed
The only way to disarm is to disarm

I know people whose idea of fun
Is throwing stones in the river in the afternoon sun
Oh let me be as free as them
Don’t let her pass this way again
Though you cannot be blamed
But I’ve become inflamed
With thoughts of lust and thoughts of power
Thoughts of love and thoughts of Chairman Mao
We have such little time
At your place or mine
I can’t wait till we take our blood tests
Oh baby let’s take our blood tests now

Father mows the lawn and Mother peels the potatoes
Grandma lays the table alone
And adjusts a photograph of the unknown soldier
In this Holy of Holies, the Home
And from the TV an unwatched voice
Suggests the answer is to plant more trees
The scrawl on the wall says what about the workers
And the voice of the people says more salt please

Mother shakes her head and reads aloud from the newspaper
As Father puts another lock on the door
And reflects upon the violent times that we are living in
While chatting with the wife beater next door
If paradise to you is cheap beer and overtime
Home truths are easily missed
Something that every football fan knows
It only takes five fingers to form a fist

And when it rains here it rains so hard
But never hard enough to wash away the sorrow
I’ll trade my love today for a greater love tomorrow
The lonely child looks out and dreams of independence
From this family life sentence

Mother sees but does not read the peeling posters
And can’t believe that there’s a world to be won
But in the public schools and in the public houses
The Battle of Britain goes on
The constant promise of jam tomorrow
Is the New Breed’s litany and verse
If it takes another war to fill the churches of England
Then the world the meek inherit, what will it be worth

Mother fights the tears and Father, his sense of outrage
And attempts to justify the sacrifice
To pass their creed down to another generation
‘Anything for the quiet life’
In the Land of a Thousand Doses
Where nostalgia is the opium of the age
Our place in History is as
clock watchers, old timers, window shoppers

Disc 4

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…

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

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

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

If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness
Take the A road, the okay road that’s the best
Go motorin’ on the A13

If you’re looking for a thrill that’s new
Take in Fords, Dartford Tunnel and the river too
Go motorin’ on the A13

It starts down in Wapping
There ain’t no stopping
By-pass Barking and straight through Dagenham
Down to Grays Thurrock
And rather near Basildon
Pitsea, Thundersley, Hadleigh, Leigh-On-Sea,
Chalkwell, Prittlewell
Southend’s the end

If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness
Take the A road, the okay road that’s the best
Go motorin’ on the A13

Standing waiting for a man to show
Wide eyed one eye fixed on the door
This waiting’s killing me, it’s wearing me down
Day in day out, my feet are burning holes in the ground

Darkness warmer than a bedroom floor
Want someone to hold me close forever more
I’m a sleeping dog, but you can’t tell
When I’m on the prowl you’ld better run like hell
You know it makes sense, don’t even think about it
Life and death are just things you do when you’re bored

Say fear’s a man’s best friend
You add it up it brings you down
Home is living like a man on the run
Trails leading nowhere, where to my son?
We’re already dead, just not yet in the ground
Take my helping hand I’ll show you around
You know it makes sense, don’t even think about it
Life and death are just things you do when you’re bored

Say fear’s a man’s best friend
You add it up it brings you down

Father mows the lawn and Mother peels the potatoes
Grandma lays the table alone
And adjusts a photograph of the unknown soldier
In this Holy of Holies, the Home
And from the TV an unwatched voice
Suggests the answer is to plant more trees
The scrawl on the wall says what about the workers
And the voice of the people says more salt please

Mother shakes her head and reads aloud from the newspaper
As Father puts another lock on the door
And reflects upon the violent times that we are living in
While chatting with the wife beater next door
If paradise to you is cheap beer and overtime
Home truths are easily missed
Something that every football fan knows
It only takes five fingers to form a fist

And when it rains here it rains so hard
But never hard enough to wash away the sorrow
I’ll trade my love today for a greater love tomorrow
The lonely child looks out and dreams of independence
From this family life sentence

Mother sees but does not read the peeling posters
And can’t believe that there’s a world to be won
But in the public schools and in the public houses
The Battle of Britain goes on
The constant promise of jam tomorrow
Is the New Breed’s litany and verse
If it takes another war to fill the churches of England
Then the world the meek inherit, what will it be worth

Mother fights the tears and Father, his sense of outrage
And attempts to justify the sacrifice
To pass their creed down to another generation
‘Anything for the quiet life’
In the Land of a Thousand Doses
Where nostalgia is the opium of the age
Our place in History is as
clock watchers, old timers, window shoppers

Disc 5

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

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

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

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

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

Disc 6

Sorry but no lyrics are available for this song.

Sorry but no lyrics are available for this song.

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hands of a worker
But it all amounts to nothing if together we don’t stand There is power in a Union

Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers’ blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud
War has always been the bosses’ way, sir

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union

Now I long for the morning that they realise
Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
But who’ll defend the workers who cannot organise
When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
There is power in a Union

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union.

I’m down but I’m not out, but Lord, I’m hurting
I’m down but I’m not out but I feel blue

I sold all my vinyl yesterday
At a boot sale out on the highway
And now my room is full of fresh air

I’m down but I’m not out, but Lord, I’m hurting
I’m down but I’m not out but I feel blue

Somebody owns all my albums now
They probably don’t even wonder how
My name got written on the sleeves

So I’m down but I’m not out, but Lord, I’m hurting
I’m down but I’m not out but I feel blue

I opened the window, I let in the sun
My record collection has ended
For someone else it’s just begun

So I’m down but I’m not out, but Lord, I’m hurting
I’m down but I’m not out but I feel blue

On Monday I wished it was Tuesday night
So I could wish for the weekend to come
On Tuesday I wished that the night would pass
So I could call you on the phone
Now a man can spend a lot of time
Wondering what was on Jack Ruby’s mind
And time is all I have without you here

On Wednesday when you hung up
It was as much as I could do
To stop from wishing Thursday
Would pass so quickly too
They’re out there making history
In the Lenin Shipyards today
And here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

There’s always room for one more soul
Down in the Human Zoo
I don’t want you to come here though
I want to come home to you
Somebody’s knocking at the door
Its later than I think
And its time to put on these stinking clothes
And get out there and stink

On Friday I wished there was something more
To be seen in the letters you send
On Saturday I wished it was Sunday
Oh will this torment ever end
Sometimes I get a notion to put a torch
To the tools of my trade
Here I am in the Hammersmith Hotel
Wishing the days away

Shirley,
it’s quite exciting to be sleeping here in this new room
Shirley,
you’re my reason to get out of bed before noon
Shirley,
you know when we sat out on the fire escape talking
Shirley,
what did you say about running before we were walking

Sometimes when we’re as close as this
It’s like we’re in a dream
How can you lie there and think of England
When you don’t even know who’s in the team

Shirley,
your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle
Shirley,
we are joined in the ideological cuddle

I’m celebrating my love for you
With a pint of beer and a new tattoo
And if you haven’t noticed yet
I’m more impressionable when my cement is wet

Politics and pregnancy
Are debated as we empty our glasses
And how I love those evening classes

Shirley,
you really know how to make a young man angry
Shirley,
can we get through the night without mentioning family

The people from your church agree
It’s not much of a career
Trying the handles of parked cars
Whoops, there goes another year
Whoops, there goes another pint of beer

Here we are in our summer years
Living on icecream and chocolate kisses
Would the leaves fall from the trees
If I was your old man and you were my missus

Shirley,
give my greetings to the new brunette

Disc 7

Stand up, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Don’t cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing, if you have no rights
Let racist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all

Chorus:
So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on
The Internationale
Unites the world in song
So comrades come rally
For this is the time and place
The international ideal
Unites the human race

Let no one build walls to divide us
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone
In our world poisoned by exploitation
Those who have taken, now they must give
And end the vanity of nations
We’ve but one Earth on which to live

And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields
We stand unbowed before their armour
We defy their guns and shields
When we fight, provoked by their aggression
Let us be inspired by like and love
For though they offer us concessions
Change will not come from above

I dreamed I saw Phil Ochs last night
Alive as you and me
Says I to Phil “You’re ten years dead”
“I never died” says he
“I never died” says he

The music business killed you Phil
They ignored the things you said
And cast you out when fashions changed
Says Phil “But I ain’t dead”
Says Phil “But I ain’t dead”

The FBI harassed you Phil
They smeared you with their lies
Says he “But they could never kill
What they could not compromise
I never compromised”

“Though fashion’s changed and critics sneered
The songs that I have sung
Are just as true tonight as then
The struggle carries on
The struggle carries on”

With the song of freedom rings out loud
From valleys and from hills
Where people stand up for their rights
Phil Ochs is with us still
Phil Ochs inspires us still

Here we are, seeking out the Reds
Trying to keep the communists in order
Just remember when you’re sleeping in your beds
They’re only two days drive from the Texas border

How can a country large as ours
Be scared of such a threat
Well if they won’t work for us
They’re against us you can bet
They may be sovereign countries
But you folks at home forget
That they all want what we’ve got
But they don’t know it yet

We’re making the world safe for capitalism

Here we come with our candy and our guns
And our corporate muscle marches in behind us
For freedom’s just another world for nothing left to sell
And if you want narcotics we can get you those as well

We help the multi-nationals
When they cry out protect us
The locals scream and shout a bit
But we don’t let that affect us
We’re here to lend a helping hand
In case they don’t elect us
How dare they buy our products
Yet still they don’t respect us

We’re making the world safe for capitalism

If you thought the army
Was here protecting people like yourself
I’ve some news for you
We’re here to defend wealth
Away with nuns and bishops
The Good Lord will help those that help themselves
I’ve some news for you
We’re here to defend wealth

We’re making the world safe for capitalism

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Amongst these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of Fire.
I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

Oh Nicaragua Nicaraguita
The most beautiful flower dearest to my heart
The hero and martyr Diriangen
Died for you
Nicaraguita
Oh Nicaragua you are even sweeter
Than the honey from Tamagas
But now that you are free
Nicaraguita
I love you much more
But now that you are free
Nicaraguita
I love you much more

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

Chorus:
Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath its 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 its colour now

Chorus

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

My youngest son came home today
His friends marched with him all the way
The fife and drum beat out the time
While in his box of polished pine
Like dead meat on a butcher’s tray
My youngest son same home today

My youngest son was a fine young man
With a wife, a daughter and two sons
And a man he would have lived and died
Till by a bullet sanctified
Now he’s a saint or so they say
They brought their young saint home today

An Irish sky looks down and weeps
Upon the narrow Belfast streets
At children’s blood in gutters spilled
In dreams of glory unfulfilled
As part of freedom’s price to pay
My youngest son came home today

My youngest son came home today
His friends marched with him all the way
The pipe and drum beat out the time
While in his box of polished pine
Like dead meat on a butcher’s tray
My youngest son came home today
And this time he’s here to stay

Help save the youth of America
Help save them from themselves
Help save the sun-tanned surfer boys
And the Californian girls

When the lights go out in the rest of the World
What do our cousins say
They’re playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun
Till Daddy takes the gun away

From the Big Church to the Big River
And out to the Shining Sea
This is the Land of Opportunity
And there’s a Monkey Trial on TV

A nation with their freezers full
Are dancing in their seats
While outside another nation
Is sleeping in the streets

Don’t tell me the old, old story
Tell me the truth this time
Is the Man in the Mask or the Indian
An enemy or a friend of mine

Help save the youth of America
Help save the youth of the world
Help save the boys in uniform
Their mothers and their faithful girls

Listen to the voice of the soldier
Down in the killing zone
Talking about the cost of living
And the price of bringing him home

They’re already shipping the body bags
Down by the Rio Grande
But you can fight for democracy at home
And not in some foreign land

And the fate of the great United States
Is entwined in the fate of us all
And the incident at Tschernobyl proves
The world we live in is very small

Sorry but no lyrics are available for this song.

Chile your waters run red through Soweto
If you heard about Chile then you heard about Soweto
Where the blood of oppression runs deep as the mine
Chile your waters run red though Soweto

The hand that choked the spirit of Allende
Pulls the trigger of a gun on the children of Soweto
Chile your waters run red through Soweto
The hand that cut short the song of Victor Jara
Put young Steven Biko in a dusty hill grave
Chile your waters run red through Soweto

The hand of oppression is the hand of hunger
The waters of Chile lap the shores of Cape Fear
Chile your waters run red through Soweto
The same hand
The same water

The party that became so powerful by sinking
foreign boats
Is dreaming up new promises because promises
win votes
And being resolute in conference with the
ad man’s expertise
The majority by their silence shall pay for days like these

The right to build communities is back behind
closed doors
‘Tween government and people stands the right arm
of the law
And shame upon the patriot when the mark of the
Bulldog Breed
Is a family without a home and a pensioner in need

Those whose lives are ruled by dogma are waiting
for a sign
The Better Dead Than Red Brigade are listening on the line
And the liberal, with a small L cries in front of the TV
And another demonstration passes on to history
Peace, bread, work, and freedom is the best we
can achieve
And wearing badges is not enough in days like these

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

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hands of a worker
But it all amounts to nothing if together we don’t stand There is power in a Union

Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers’ blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud
War has always been the bosses’ way, sir

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union

Now I long for the morning that they realise
Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
But who’ll defend the workers who cannot organise
When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
There is power in a Union

The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and out sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union.

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© Billy Bragg 2019