Greetings To The New Brunette

3rd November 1986
Billy Bragg
Go! Discs 7” GOD 15 12” GODX 15
Number of discs: 1

Deportees/The Tatler/Jeane/There Is Power In A Union (instrumental)

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

The crops are all in and the peaches are rotting
The oranges are piled in their creosote dumps
Flying us back to the Mexican border
Spend all our money to wade back again
Father’s own father, he waded that river
It took all the money he made in his life
My brothers and sisters come to work in the fruit trees
And they ride the trucks ’til they took down and died
Goodbye to my Juan
Goodbye Rosalita
Adios mis amigos
Jesus y Maria
You won’t have a name when you ride the big airplane
And all they will call you will be deportees
Some of us are illegal and others not wanted
Our work contract’s out and we’ve got to move on
Six hundred miles to the Mexican border
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves
We died in your hills and we died in your deserts
We died in your valleys, we died in your plains
We died ‘neath your trees, we died in your oceans
Both sides of the river and we died just the same
Skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos canyon
A fireball of lightning, it shook all our hills
Who are these friends who are scattered like dry leaves
The radio says they are just deportees
Is this the best way we can grow big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
Scattered like dry leaves that rot on your topsoil
We’re known by no name except deportees

Whenever you find a man
That loves every woman he sees
There’s always some kind of woman
That’s putting him up a tree

Well that kind of man he ain’t got
As much sense as a mule
You know every woman don’t love you
They’re just playing you for a fool

Ooh, oh no
It’s not hard for you to understand
True love can be such a sweet harmony
If you do the best that you can

If you marry the wrong kind of woman
And you get where you can’t agree
Well you just as well forget your plan
Let that woman be

But a man ought to make a good husband
And quit trying to lead a fast life
Going around dressing up other women
Won’t put clothes on his own wife

Ooh, oh no
It’s not hard for you to understand
True love can be such a sweet harmony
If you do the best that you can

Well there’s lots of good women want to marry
And they want to live well at home
But they’re ‘fraid they might get hold of some rowdy man
Can’t let other women alone

And there’s lots of good men want to marry
And they want to live well at home
But everytime they turn their back there’s a man there
Asking, “Darling, is he gone?”

Ooh, oh no
It’s not hard for you to understand
True love can be such a sweet harmony
If you do the best that you can

True love can be such a sweet harmony
If you do the best that you can

Jeane
The low-life has lost its appeal
And I’m tired of walking these streets
To a room with its cupboard bare

Jeane
I’m not sure what happiness is
But I look in your eyes
And I know that it isn’t there

We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried

Oh, Jeane
There’s ice on the sink where we bathe
So how can you call this a home
When you know it’s a grave

But you still hope for ridding grace
As you tidy the place
But it will never be clean, Jeane

No heavenly choirs
Not for me and not for you
Because I think that you know
I really think you know
I think you know the truth, Jeane

We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried

Cash on the nail
It’s just a fairy tale
And I don’t believe in magic anymore, Jeane

But I think you know
I really think you know
Oh, you know the truth, Jeane

We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried and we failed
We tried

Oh, Jeane

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