Bragg 1984

Fight Songs

6th November 2011
Billy Bragg
Self released CD only BB5112
Number of discs: 1

Someone’s hiding in the bushes with a telephoto lens
While their editor assures them the means justifies the ends
We only hunt celebrities, it’s just a bit of fun
But scousers never buy The Sun

The parents of the missing girl cling desperately to hope
While a copper take improper payments in a thick brown envelope
And no-one in the newsroom asks where’s this headline from?
But scousers never buy The Sun

Tabloids make their money betting bullshit baffles brains
And they cynically hold up their hands if anyone complains
And they say “Look, all we’re doing is giving people what they want”
Well they’re crying out for justice, people crying out for justice

The man they call the Digger casts a proprietary eye
Over what happens in the gutter and what goes on in the sky
And he claims he’s fit and proper and the watchdog sings his song
But scousers never buy The Sun

International executives hang their heads in shame
And tell us with their hand on heart that the paperboy’s to blame
But you who love that kiss and tell, you must share the guilt as well
But scousers never buy The Sun

Tabloids making millions betting bullshit baffles brains
And they cynically hold up their hands if anyone complains
And they say “Look, all we’re doing is giving people what they want”
Well they’re crying out for justice, people crying out for justice

In the corridors of power, they all sit down to sup
With the Devil and his minions, as they ask for his opinions
And the politicians wring their hands and cry ‘what’s to be done?’
And scousers never buy The Sun

No-one comes out good from this, when all is said and done
But scousers never buy The Sun

Jonty was a banker and he made a lot of cash
Betting on derivatives, he kinda caused The Crash
Now that everybody wants to limit is income
Jonty’s packed his bags and he’s going on the run

He’s on the last flight out to Abu Dhabi,
The richest city in the world
He’s on the last flight out to Abu Dhabi

Bought himself a penthouse in a tower very high,
Booked himself a holiday, skiing in Dubai
Can’t go on a pub crawl cos all the bars are dry
Lost his box at Chelsea now he watches them on Sky

He’s on the last flight out to Abu Dhabi,
The richest city in the world
He’s on the last flight out to Abu Dhabi

He’s good and gone, gone, gone
Gone, he’s good and gone
He’s good and gone, gone, gone
Gone, he’s good and gone

Jonty was a banker and he made a lot of cash
Betting on derivatives, he kinda caused The Crash
Say’s that he’s an ex-pat but everybody knows
He’s an economic migrant everywhere he goes

Just like the heroes of Cable Street
No Pasaran! No Pasaran!
We fought the fascists to defeat
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Just like they did in the Second World War
No Pasaran! No Pasaran!
We booted the Nazi’s out the door
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Victory! Victory!
We came in our hundreds and we won a victory
And we dumped the fascists in the trash of history
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Like the punks and the rastas in the Seventies
No Pasaran! No Pasaran!
We fough the racists on the streets
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Just like the people of Dagenham
No Pasaran! No Pasaran!
We ran the fascists out of our town
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Hope not hate! Hope not hate!
We came in our hundreds in the name of hope not hate
And we defeated the enemy at the gate
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

Victory! Victory!
We came in our hundreds and we won a victory
And we dumped the fascists in the trash of history
And we’ll do it again tomorrow

My name it ain’t nothing, my age it means less
I’m far from my home flying o’er the mid west
And as I look down on some far city lights
I ask God to watch over my family tonight

I’m tired of hearing that God’s on the side
Of suicide bombers and jet planes that fly
To drop bombs on civilians to even the score
Where’s the God of the children in the rubble of war?

I believe the self-martyred at least have a choice
And the vengeful war-mongers have the loudest voice
But the innocent victims have no place to hide
When death comes without warning, with God on its side

The butcher-bird sings “an eye for an eye”
And echoes the words the wolf howls to the sky
When they call on their God to justify their attacks
The butcher-bird smiles, the wolf covers its tracks.

If you want all of your problems sorted
The answer is to have these people deported
Oh Adolf Eichmann won’t you please go home
Back to the dustbin of history
Because that’s where you belong
With your big lie

Jesus Christ was a white man with blonde hair
He had no time for peaceniks, he was pro the Iraq War
Oh Joseph Goebbels won’t you please go home
Back to the dustbin of history
Because that’s where you belong
With your big lie

The British National Party is led by
A man who believes six million Jews did not die
Oh Adolf Hitler won’t you please go home
Back to the dustbin of history
Because that’s where you belong
With your big lie

If you’re worried about Iraq,
I tell you this one thing I’m certain
This war is going to make the whole world
Safe for Halliburton

I got the Bush War blues
I got the Bush War blues
I got the Bush War blues
I’m gonna spread the news all around

They’ve spent a trillion dollars
On this illegal war
Could have paid all of our social security
For a 100 years or more

We’ve got to find some moderate Muslims
With whom we can converse
Might be an idea if we try to find
Some moderate Christians first

Here’s my simple
To our soldiers overseas
Wanna bring them from Baghdad
Send them down to New Orleans

Damn this war on terror
This invasion of Iraq
Lets declare war on poverty
Cut the working poor some slack

Cute little smile
Curly hair
It’s George Bush’s poodle
Goddam Tony Blair!

Come people and listen to Liberty’s song
It’s time we were righting a very old wrong
While the fiddlers and flunkey’s of Parliament play
The rights of the people are fading away

Climbing, climbing, time we were climbing
Climbing Constitution Hill
They’ll treat us like fools until we write the rules
And we’re climbing Constitution Hill

Come all you young people and listen to me
It’s time to stand up and make history
Put down your distractions, the clamour it mounts,
It’s time to hold all the old men to account

Climbing, climbing, time we were climbing
Climbing Constitution Hill
Let’s not wait for favours, let’s be our own saviours
And climb up Constitution Hill

Come Parliamentarians, please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway don’t block up the hall
For they’ll be no trust nor rule by consent
Til the people are sovereign in parliament

Climbing, climbing, time we were climbing
Climbing Constitution Hill
If the crown just won’t budge then we’ll give it a nudge
When we’re climbing Constitution Hill

Climbing, climbing, time we were climbing
Climbing Constitution Hill
They’ll treat you like fools until you write the rules
And you climb up Constitution Hill

I’ve got a mate who lives in Vermont
He couldn’t find the music he wants
Sick and tired of the corporations
Started his own little radio station
Now he’s on the air each day
Telling folks about a different way
He plays Billy Bragg and a bit of Green Day
And I’m So Bored With The USA!
People are on the move
People got a lot to prove
I’ve got a buddy who delivers the post
Up and down the north-east coast
When The Clash came to town
He never missed ‘em
He still wants to bust the system
But he has to go to work
That doesn’t mean he’s some kind of a jerk
He puts food on the table
You know how that feels?
It doesn’t mean he’s lost his ideals

People are moving on
George Bush will soon be gone
The clampdown is still coming down hard
Police and thieves all over my yard
But these heavy manners don’t worry me
Cos I’m a heavier dude than I used to be
People are moving on
Tony Blair will soon be gone
Co-operation is not competition
Co-operation is not sedition

Voices on the radio
Tell us that we’re going to war
Those brave men and women in uniform
Want to know what they’re fighting for
The generals want to hear the end game
The allies won’t approve the plan
But the oil men in the White House
They just don’t give a damn

It’s all about the price of oil
It’s all about the price of oil
Don’t give me no shit about blood, sweat, tears and toil
It’s all about the price of oil

I ain’t no fan of Saddam Hussein
Please don’t get me wrong
If it’s freeing the Iraqi people you’re after
Then why have we waited so long?
Why didn’t we sort this out last time?
Was he less evil then than he is now?
The stock market holds the answer
To why him, why here, why now?

Saddam killed his own people
Just like General Pinochet
And once upon a time
Both these evil men where supported by the USA
And whisper it: even Bin Laden
Once drank from America’s cup
Just like that election down in Florida
This shit doesn’t all add up

An Israeli bulldozer killed poor Rachel Corrie
As she stood in its path in the town of Rafah
She lost her young life in an act of compassion
Trying to protect the poor people of Gaza
Whose homes are destroyed by tank shells and bulldozers
And whose plight is exploited by suicide bombers
Who kill in the name of the people of Gaza
But Rachel Corrie believed in non-violent resistance
Put herself in harm’s way as a shield of the people
And paid with her life in a manner most brutal

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain’t the time for your tears.

Rachel Corrie had 23 years
She was born in the town of Olympia, Washington
A skinny, messy, list-making chain-smoker
Who volunteered to protect the Palestinian people
Who had become non-persons in the eyes of the media
So that people were suffering and no one was seeing
Or hearing or talking or caring or acting
And the horrible math of the awful equation
That brought Rachel Corrie into this confrontation
Is that the spilt blood of a single American
Is worth more than the blood of a hundred Palestinians

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain’t the time for your tears.

The artistic director of a New York theatre
Cancelled a play based on Rachel’s writings
But she wasn’t a bomber or a killer or fighter
But one who acted in the spirit of the Freedom Riders
Is there no place for a voice in America
That doesn’t conform to the Fox News agenda?
Who believes in non-violence instead of brute force
Who is willing to confront the might of an army
Whose passionate beliefs were matched by her bravery
The question she asked rings out round the world
If America is truly the beacon of freedom
Then how can it stand by while they bring down the curtain
And turn Rachel Corrie into a non-person?

Oh, but you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears.

He doesn’t even notice
How much it has cost him for the year
He’s banking on his bonus
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas

And the snow falls down on the good and on the bad
Falls upon the happy and the sad
That’s the think about the weather
It’s the only time you can be sure
We’re all in this together

She can’t afford to heat
The home that she’s been left in with her kids
Her wages have been frozen
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men
If we hope to get there in the end
This is not the way to Bethlehem
We’re following the wrong star

And they’re marching on the streets again
They’re answering the call
People marching through the streets again
Down into the city and into the shopping malls

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© Billy Bragg 2019