The Milkman of Human Kindness

Life’s A Riot Etc (with the Between the Wars EP)

1st January 1985
Billy Bragg
CD Presents USA CD035
Number of discs: 1

First American release compiles album with EP. Says on cover Pay No More Than $6.98

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

Between The Wars

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

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

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© Billy Bragg 2021