Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards


plus Wishing The Days Away/Sin City

It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro’s brother spies a rich lady who’s crying
Over luxury’s disappointment
So he walks over and he’s trying
To sympathise with her but he thinks that he should warn her
That the Third World is just around the corner

In the Soviet Union a scientist is blinded
By the resumption of nuclear testing and he is reminded
That Dr Robert Oppenheimer’s optimism fell
At the first hurdle

In the Cheese Pavilion and the only noise I hear
Is the sound of someone stacking chairs
And mopping up spilt beer
And someone asking questions and basking in the light
Of the fifteen fame filled minutes of the fanzine writer

Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I’m looking for the Great Leap Forwards

Jumble sales are organised and pamphlets have been posted
Even after closing time there’s still parties to be hosted
You can be active with the activists
Or sleep in with the sleepers
While you’re waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

One leap forward, two leaps back
Will politics get me the sack?

Here comes the future and you can’t run from it
If you’ve got a blacklist I want to be on it

It’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n roll
From Top of the Pops to drawing the dole

If no one seems to understand
Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman

In a perfect world we’d all sing in tune
But this is reality so give me some room

So join the struggle while you may
The Revolution is just a T-shirt away
Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

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

This old town’s filled with sin
It’ll swallow you in
If you’ve got some money to burn
Take it home right away
You’ve got three years to pay
And Satan is waiting his turn

This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poor house
It seems like this whole town’s insane
On the 31st floor, a gold plated door
Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain

The scientists say
It’ll all wash away
But we don’t believe any more
‘Cos we got our recruits
And our green mohair suits
So please show your ID at the door

A friend came around
Tried to clean up this town
His ideas made some people mad
But he trusted his crowd
So he spoke right out loud
And they lost the best friend they had

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© Billy Bragg 2019