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Left wing political parodies

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Jim Carroll 10 Nov 08 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 10 Nov 08 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 10 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM
Folkiedave 10 Nov 08 - 10:54 AM
dick greenhaus 10 Nov 08 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 11 Nov 08 - 03:44 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Nov 08 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 11 Nov 08 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 11 Nov 08 - 05:22 AM
dick greenhaus 11 Nov 08 - 01:10 PM
Mark Ross 11 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM
Joe_F 11 Nov 08 - 08:47 PM
Jon Bartlett 11 Nov 08 - 09:07 PM
Jon Bartlett 11 Nov 08 - 09:20 PM
Jon Bartlett 11 Nov 08 - 09:31 PM
Jon Bartlett 11 Nov 08 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Jim P 12 Nov 08 - 08:50 AM
mark gregory 12 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM
Jon Bartlett 12 Nov 08 - 08:15 PM
mark gregory 12 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM
Jon Bartlett 13 Nov 08 - 04:38 AM
Gulliver 16 Nov 08 - 07:17 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Nov 08 - 11:02 PM
toadfrog 22 Dec 10 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Fred Field 22 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM
Uke 29 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM
Bert 29 Mar 11 - 10:43 PM
Mark Ross 30 Mar 11 - 12:28 AM
Musket 30 Mar 11 - 04:57 AM
GUEST 05 Mar 12 - 11:04 AM
Joe_F 05 Mar 12 - 05:08 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Mar 12 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Roger W 06 Dec 12 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 06 Dec 12 - 06:27 AM
Musket 07 Dec 12 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 07 Dec 12 - 06:22 AM
Richard from Liverpool 07 Dec 12 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Guest 07 Dec 12 - 09:51 AM
Musket 07 Dec 12 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 07 Dec 12 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 07 Dec 12 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,999 07 Dec 12 - 10:26 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Dec 12 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 08 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM
Stringsinger 08 Dec 12 - 04:39 PM
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Subject: Left wing political parodies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 07:38 AM

Back in the 60s in Manchester I had a left-wing friend who had a largish repertoire of political parodies mostly of the sectarian kind, parodying left wing groups; mainly the various Trotskyists (of which he was one).
At the time I intended to write them down, but never got round to it.
The most popular tune was 'The Man Who Broke the Bank At Monte Carlo.
Remembered bits are.

As her walks around the the Kremlin with an independent air
You can here them all declare, "he's at least a commissar"

and

The Tibetans were theoretic and a very surly lot;
We had to liberate them and so most of them were shot.
And so without us giving a damn, we journeyed on into Assam

and (from the time of the Stalinist engineers sabotage trials)

In the factory there's machinery of the very latest brand,
It's with this little hand I sprinkle in the sand

and my favourite - to the tune of The Volga Boatmen

When Serge and I were young
We used to live in Omsk
And there we spent our time
Making great big beautiful bomsk-ski-ski
Great big beautiful bomsk

etc

Would be interested to learn if anybody knows any of these and could fill in the gaps.

Thanks in anticipation,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 08:36 AM

Yes I vaguely remember Serge and I.
The second verse simple went:

We were sent to school
In the town of Tomsk
Where we continued
To manufacture bombsk

At this distance in time it gets a bit hazy after that, except that the last verse is after stalinization and it ends with them going back to their beautiful bomsk for their exiled leader Trotsk! I'll think hard and see if I can get back any more.

The one I remember much better concerned Gerry Healy of the Socialist Labour League/Workers Revolutionary Party:
To the tune of For All The Saints

For all the Trots who now have been expelled
Who gainst their leader furiously rebelled
And to resign have all now been compelled
By Gerry Healy, by Gerry Healy

We now are few who once were lots and lots
Such is the fate of little groups of Trots
But never mind we'll beat up Roger Protz
Says Gerry Healy, says Gerry Healy

Though we're adept at putting in the boot
Still Workers Press is losing tons of loot
I think it's time we kidnapped comrade Foot
Says Gerry Healy, says Gerry Healey

The situation now is very glum
The revolution it will never come
Till we have stuck an icepick in the bum
Of Gerry Healy, of Gerry Healy

For the uninitiated Healy was notorious for expelling any dissidents in his party. A friend of mine who had been in the SLL swears he sent a letter to the party taking issue with Healy over some minor point about economics he had made in a speech and concluded 'I enclose an sae for notice of my expulsion. Roger Pritz and Paul Foot were well known members of International Socialism/Socialist Workers Party


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM

Remembered a bit more:

We were sent to jail
In the town of Tomsk
Where we learnt to
Build much better bomsk

We returned to Omsk
When we were set free
And used our beautiful bomsk
To blast the bourgeoisie


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 10:54 AM

I can remember singing a version of "Red Fly the Banners Oh!" reminder of the words here which had "thirteen for the holes in Trotsky's head....."


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Nov 08 - 11:06 AM

As I walks around the the Kremlin with an highly furtive air
You can here them all declare, "he's at least a commissionaire"
You can see them try, but they'll never guess
You can see them sigh, but I won't confess
I'm the man who blows up railroad trains for Trotsky.

There's a nice collection of non-Stalinist left-wing songs called "My Darling Party Line", by Joe Glazer, on the Collector label. Available from CAMSCO, of course.

Tracks - Song of the Old Bosheviks, The Cloakmaker's Union, Our Line's Been Changed Again, The Lady With the Popular Front, The Land of the Daily Worker, In Old Moscow, Unite for Unity, Bill Bailey, The Last International, The Ballad of Harry Pollitt, Little Joe the Rustler, Nikita's Lament, Something Has Gone Awry, The Lady from Siberia, Sovietology


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 03:44 AM

And the last verse has now returned to me. Probably a couple still missing from the middle.

But we have not forgotsk
Our revolutionary pranks
And we use our beautiful bombsk
For our exiled leader Trotsk


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 04:33 AM

Suffolk Miracle
It's beginning to come back to me - thanks a million

When Serge and I were young,
We used to live in Omsk,
And there we spent our time
Making great big beautiful bombsk-ski-ski
Making great big.....

Then Serge and I grew up
And went to live in Tomsk
Where we did spend out time
Building better beautiful bombsk etc.

Then Serge and I were caught
And exiled to Murmansk
Where we did spend our time
Making revolutionary plansk

Now we will not forget
Our revolutionary plot
And we will not forget
Our exiled comrade Trotskeeee

Thanks for the "bourgeoisie" verse; don't think I ever heard it. Thanks also for the Gerry Healy song which I also never came across.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:19 AM

Not quite the same thing, but a callow young fellermelad called Terry Eagleton who used to sing the Healy song also sang (and wrote) this. He is now I believe a professor of English.

To the tune Land of Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance I

Chaucer was a class traitor
Shakespeare hated the mob
Donne sold out a bit later
Sidney was a snob
Bunyan was a defeatist
Keats was middle class
Byron was an elitist
But William Blake was a gas
There's a sniff of reaction
About Alexander Pope
Johnson was a Tory
And Walter Scott was a dope
Dickens was a reformist
Wordsworth he was too
Coleridge's faults were enormous
Tennyson was true blue
William Yeats was a fascist
So were Elliot and Pound
Lawrence was a sexist
Virginia Woolf was unsound
There are only three names to
Be plucked from this dismal set
Milton Blake and Shelley
Will smash the ruling class yet.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 05:22 AM

'Land of Elgar' is of course a typo: but there again I quite like it!


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 01:10 PM

Who's the leader of the cult
Of personality?
M-A-O T-S-E- Dash T-U-N-G
Mao Tse Tung!
Mao Tse Tung!
Dorever let us raise our banners high! (Red! Red! Red!)
Now's the time to say goodbye

To all the Bourgoisie
M-A-O T-S-E- Dash T-U-N-G


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Mark Ross
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 02:55 PM

And after every time you sing,"MAO TSE TUNG", somebody would answer,
"CHO EN LAI!"


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 08:47 PM

A classic collection of such songs is The Bosses Song Book: Songs to Stifle the Flames of Discontent. I bought my copy in 1958, but I believe there was an earlier edition.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:07 PM

What Dick said, but the penultimate line is surely:

Now it`s time to say goodbye to all the bourgeoisie:

A Gerry Healy verse (Christ, this takes me back!)

When all the Trots have from their labours rest,
Hear the cry from Clapham loud above the rest,
We are the biggest Trots, and the best,
Says Gerry Healy, says Gerry Healy.

Another Terry Eagleton special (to the tune of "Say Something Stupid"):

The day I found Dick Hoggart was a popular reformist sentimentalist
Nostalgic petty bourgeois social democrat subjectivist empiricist
I saw the light of day, I turned to Ray, my structure of feeling it was born anew
Until I found he as a sentimenatlist nostalgic petty bourgeois too.

Well then I read some Lukacs that was fine, I towed the line about totality
And since I was a prole, it stirred my soul to know my consciousness could set men free
I was ignorant of Scott, but who was not? It didn't matter, Georgy was my man
That dirty low-down formulistic Stalinist historicist Hegelian.

Well, things were getting schlecht - I turned to Brecht and Piscator and Walter Benjamin
Productive forces shock Verfremdung contradiction, baby, it was just my scene
Though Benjamin was swell, well, what the hell, who could admire as his main theorist
An adjacentist eclectic individualist technologistic humanist.

More to come.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:20 PM

Probably also by Eagleton, and to the tune of "Shoals of Herring":

It was on a fair and a pleasant day
Down the High I heard a voice call, "Terry!"
And I turned around, saw a small dark Warden
Who said, "Let me full you full of sherry."

Well, though I don't drink, yet I'm never rude,
And I must have knocked back twenty glasses,
When he coyly coughed and he shyly whispered,
"Would you like to join the ruling classes?"

"We can rig you out in a cap and gown,
We can take those charming jeans and burn them,
Give deportment lectures in donnish gestures
And a set of Oxford vowels: just lean them.

"Well, the work," he said, "It is pretty hard,
Grouse and pheasant every night grow boring,
We live dingy lives, glumly swapping wives,
Trying to lecture through the sounds of snoring.

"Now we've heard," he said, "That you're rather Red,
But that's fine if you behave with prudence.
You can smoke your pot, you can be a Trot
But just don't incite those bloody students.

"And when they ask you, as they tend to do,
Why we pay our staff such lousy wages,
Why we dine on crab while they at raw cabbage -
Tell then they can all get stuffed – we're sages."

Well, they rigged me out in a cap and gown,
And since then I guess I've been quite prudent,
But I must admit, hearing all their shit,
That I'd rather be a bloody student.

More to come.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:31 PM

Concluding lines for the "Say Something Stupid" parody:

You may talk of Adorno but I don't know it's pretty tortuous and gloomy stuff
And Jameson is fine but to imbibe it after wine just leaves you feeling rough

Well I was in a spin, I couldn't win so I waxed slightly semiological
Till digging out deep structures was denounced by Macheray as metaphysical
Though Althusser is smart his views on art and ideology don't ring quite true
So hello Helen Gardner Donald Davie Denis Donoghue,I love you.

I've had this for years in a Finnish samizdat, anbd I've just discovered my missing last verse in the Eagleton Reader. Good on yer, Terry!

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 09:35 PM

God bless search engines!

Two further songs, titled "The Ballad of James Joyce" and "The Ballad of W.B. Yeats" are also Eagleton-penned, but they are literary rather than political.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:50 AM

There's a song from the 70's supposedly about a real car that the songwriter saw on the streets of Berkeley (CA, where UC Berkeley is, in case that isn't apparent), TTTO 'Plastic Jesus':

I don't need no Red Book now,
Long as I got my Chairman Mao
Sittin' on the dashboard of my '68 Chevelle

It goes on, but I don't remember much more. I think I have a copy somewhere, if anyone really wants the rest I'll dig it up.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: mark gregory
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM

Australian bush songs got parodied too in this case Widgeeoweera Joe

The Back-Blocks Academic (Bob Brissenden)

I'm a back blocks academic, which may give rise to mirth
But selection committees know me well from Bribane through to Pert
I've often been short listed for may a famous chair
But somehow or other I don't know why I've never quite got there

Chorus
Hurrah, my applications in
I've got three referees
The field is strictly limited
There's no one from overseas
I'm wearing my suit to seminars
I've burnt my party card
And if I'm overlooked again
Then times is bloody hard

I don't write letters to the press but articles instead
I've tried out every possible lurk for a man to get ahead
The songs I sing at parties are less bawdy than before
I've even drunk the VCs scotch - a man cannot do more


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:15 PM

This is great, Mark!

Is there more? There oughta be!

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: mark gregory
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 08:35 PM

DT also has this old one from England (1950s ?)

RED FLY THE BANNERS, O

I'll sing you one, O
Red fly the banners, O
What is your one, O
One is workers' unity and evermore shall be so.

Twelve for the hours of the Moscow clock...
Eleven for the works of Lenin...
Ten for the days that shook the world...
Nine for the nine republics...
Eight for the Eighth Route Army...
Seven for the Seventh World Congress..
Six for the Tolpuddle martyrs...
Five for the years of the Five Year Plan...
Four for the four great teachers...
Three, three the Comintern...
Two, two the opposites, interpenetrating, O
One is workers' unity and ever more shall be so.

alternatives: Seven for the hours of the working day,
Four for the International,
Three, three the Rights of Man,
Two, two the worker's hands, working for their living, O
One for the thought of Mao Tse Tung, which etc.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 04:38 AM

This was my input. I learned it at a Young Socialist weekend school on the Common Market, c. 1961/2. A Weekend school typically (at least, in our part of the country, the southeast) was located at a country house, with accommodation for c. 30 people. There'd be lectures and workshops and discussions, et6c., all meals, and of course the Saturday night concert or unorganized spontaneous sing. I found the Young Socialists (the youth branch of the Labour Party) through the Aldermaston Marches (anti-bomb marches over the Easter weekend from Aldermaston Weapons Research Base to Trafalgar Square). The first song I ever sang alone in public was learned at this school: "Solidarity Forever".

Reflecting on this: where do people learn their politics today?

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Gulliver
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:17 PM

RED FLY THE BANNERS, O

In Dublin it was sung with following differences:

Twelve for the hours on the Kremlin clock
Eleven for Moscow Dynamo
Nine for ... (not the nine republics)
Seven for the stars in Connolly's flag
Four for the four years taken
Three, three, the rights of man
Two, two the workers' hands

Gulliver


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 11:02 PM

THE HARTLEY BILL (or the Bosses Solidarity song)

They have taken untold millions since the Wagner Act was passed
But without our liquid assets, they all would have starved so fast;
We are out to show them that they blew Taps on our graves too fast
Now the Hartley Bill's gone through.

cho: All they'll get to eat is baked beans (3x)
Now the Hartley Bill's gone through.

We will whip out an injunction any time they go on strike
We will can their organizers any bloody time we like,
And the ghost of Bill McKinley will go whooping down the pike
Now the Hartley Bill's gone through.

note: back in the 40's, the Taft Hartley Bill, severely cutting back
on many of the legal benefits unions had enjoyed since the mid-30s,
was passed. It was unpopular in the union movement.
from the Person's Songbook, U. of Chi. 1948.
also seeÿSOLIDART
TUNE FILE: JOHNBRWN
CLICK TO PLAY
@union @political @parody
filename[ HARTLY
RG


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: toadfrog
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:27 PM

Does anyone know the song, from Ballads for Sectarians, about small and doctrinaire parties, that begins:

"Bill Bailey belonged to every radical party......."

The chorus begins:
"Oh you may be a friend of Max Schachtman ...."

And after going through a litany of Trotskyist and other radical leaders, it ends:

"O you may belong to every radical party from the Hudson to the Rhine!
Oh, you may be a comrade of all of those folks,
But you ain't no comrade of mine!"


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Fred Field
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:21 PM

Lenin, Stalin Mao
Left poor Adolf in the dust
They killed so many many more
And the armchair left
Never seemed to be fussed

So raise the standard high
The good old flag so red
A suitably violent colour
To mourn the millions dead

(Old anarchist song...)


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Uke
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM

Jim,
Here is a longer text of 'Serge and I', as printed in the NZ left-wing song book "Kiwi Youth Sing" (1951). A note states that is is "Probably Australian in origin". My father recalls singing it at that time. Have you ever tried singing it as a kind of round? Sounds great (the second singer starts on the "and"):


When Serge and I were young
We used to live in Omsk,
Where we spent our tme
Learning to make bombsk.
When Serge and I grew up,
We went away to Tomsk,
Where we spent our time
Manufacturing bombsk.
Da, da, da, da, da.
Manufacturing bombsk.

When Serge and I were caught
They took us to Murmansk,
Where we spent our time
Fabricating plansk.
When Serge and I escaped
We hitch-hiked back to Omsk,
And blew up all the bourgeoisie
With our beautiful bombsk.
[Da, da, da... etc.]

Now Serge is Commissar
Of the Soviet of Omsk,
And I am Commissar
Of the Soviet of Tomsk.
But we would not give up
Our conspiratorial plotsk,
So we became the agents of
The exiled Comrade Trotsk!
[Da, da, da... etc.]


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Bert
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:43 PM

Raise the class more slickly
get the job done quickly
hang the rich from lampposts high
but don't hang me.
Stick to Marks my hearty
Damn the Labour Party
and keep the hell fires burning bright
for the bourgeoisie


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Mark Ross
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:28 AM

"The working class can kiss my ass,
I've got the foreman's job at last."

To the tune of The Red Flag

Learned at the 1973 IWW Convention.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Musket
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:57 AM

In the musical "Paint Your Wagon" Lee Marvin sang a tribute to Lenin;

"I was born
Under a squandering Czar."



I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 11:04 AM

and we blew up the bourgeois there with a ruddy great beatiful bomsk


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 05:08 PM

As Soon As This Pub Closes


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 06:03 PM

The Pink Flag

The Bourgeois flag is tinged with pink
We washed it in the kitchen sink.
And ere the water had grown cold
The dye had fled its every fold
So let the pallid banner fly!
'Neath ADA we'll live and die
THo Commies flinch and travelers sneer
We'll keep the pink flag flying here.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Roger W
Date: 06 Dec 12 - 06:19 AM

The pink/blue flag
from the late 60s - similar theme

The party's flag turned palest pink
When Gaitskill dropped it in the sink
When Harold* came with all his crew   (Harold Wilson)
It turned the lightest shade of blue
Don't let the scarlet banners float
We need the middle classes vote
Though cowards flee and traitors sneer
We'll sing the "Red Flag" once a year.

(last line refers to the closing of Labour Party conferences at that time where everyone sang the "Red Flag").


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Dec 12 - 06:27 AM

Here's one which the Liverpool Socialist Singers do. In fact we'll be doing it in about 1/2 hour's time, courtesy of a demo this afternoon against NHS cuts.

Lansley - Tory Boys' picnic
(tune: Teddy Bears' picnic, words: Liverpool Socialist Singers)
If you go out for a walk today
You'd better not catch a cold
You'll end up going to hospital
And finding that it's been sold
Cos Lansley's cut the National Health
And sold it off to private wealth
Today's the day we're gathering for a fightback.

        Boom time now for companies
        The private sector spivs are having a lovely time today
        Public sector wages freeze
        And lots of jobs for them to take away
        We won't let our service die
        You told a lie, that's why
        We're making a lot of noise
        Your time is up, Grim Reaper is coming
        To take you all away
        Because you're sick little Tory boys

All health workers who have been good
Are in for a big surprise
When every part of the NHS
Will vanish before their eyes.
They'll have to watch their patients die
While PFI is pie in the sky
Today's the day we're gathering for a fightback

        Boom time now for companies
        The private sector spivs are having a lovely time today
        Public sector wages freeze
        And lots of jobs for them to take away
        We won't let our service die
        You told a lie, that's why
        We're making a lot of noise
        Your time is up, Grim Reaper is coming
        To take you all away
        Because you're sick little Tory
Sad little Tory
Cruel little Tory Boys


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Musket
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 05:53 AM

Notwithstanding that the last Labour government brought in The Health Act 1999 which paved the way for more private provision for NHS patients.

Or indeed that most of the NHS care, 70% of all appointments to see a healthcare professional, has been, since 1948, using NHS funds to see a private contractor who runs a business with profit.

ie. Your GP.

There is a lot wrong with The NHS, but a lot right and in some ways getting better, in some ways getting sadly worse.

I just wish that people would stop making vulnerable people feel even more vulnerable and scared by getting a giggle out of performing scare stories that both miss the point, glaze over facts and feed uncertainty.

This government has got a lot wrong with their reforms of The NHS, but the cuts, (£20B) and PFI were a legacy from being enacted by good old socialist Broon. I was proud to lead an NHS trust as Chairman under the years of investment under the last government. but saddened when the same government squandered many of the gains with arbitrary redesign and self defeating targets. I may not always agree with where the investment is coming from and I may fear for the financial future of government liabilities, but the NHS services have had more investment and overhaul over the last two governments than ever, and despite the failures such as Mid Staffs and others, I would rather be a patient now than the last time the government of the day sang The Red Flag at conferences...

Funny how people ask us not to believe what we read in The Sun but at the same time treat misrepresentation of facts in the name of entertainment as OK.

Sorry, I forgot. It is socialist so doesn't have to follow the same rules as they blame Tories for not following... being neither, I can at least dismiss both sides as pedlars of withering drivel.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 06:22 AM

Musket. The song was not written to get a giggle as you put it. As a member of the Liverpool Socialist Singers I can tell you we have sung that song on demos all over the north west; and not for a laugh, but to raise the morale of those people who are bearing the brunt of the fight against cuts and austerity measures.

We sang it yesterday at a demo outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital in the freezing cold and rain, and we may well sing it tomorrow outside Starbucks, again in the freezing cold and rain.

Despite what you say, it is not a piece withering drivel. It is a very well crafted song as are most of the songs we perform. And no, I didn't write it.

Curious how precariously you manage to sit on the fence.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 06:57 AM

I liked the MC Nxtgen Andrew Lansley rap, which was a lot more scatching in some ways, not just because of its gratuitous use of the word "tosser", but largely because it spelled out some specifics about Lansley's relationship to certain interest groups and the perceived consequences of the bill. Quite an achievement, because a lot of political songs tend toward crowd-pleasing tribalism rather than necessarily elucidating an argument. As Fred says, theirs is a song specifically for those who are already convinced, to raise morale, and that has its function, although I think songs to persuade would need to be crafted in a different way. Personally, I'm a bit wary of the "them and us" rhetoric of some of these songs, partly because having seen the nature of politics in the US at close quarters I'm even more desperate to salvage consensus politics in the UK while there's still time. Reeks of fence sitting, I suppose, but then Gladstone was a Scouser too, and spent a lot of the 19th century trying to traverse different interest groups in the messy UK party system. His tradition is also one to be proud of.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 09:51 AM

From the '80s

To the tune of Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag -

If you think that Maggie Thatcher is an old shit-bag, then smile smile smile

If the thing that she reminds you o' is Hitler in drag, smile boys that's the style,

Her and a' her cabinet they should be biled in ile*

So if you think that Maggie Thatcher is an old shit-bag then smile smile smile

* boiled in oil biled in ile is Scots - Thatcher was particularly hated in Scotland


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Musket
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 10:35 AM

Fred, by asking how I sit on the fence, you manage to confirm my stance.

I have no doubt of your sincerity and expression of your views. However, having a stance is not being at one end of an argument or another. it is not about being left or right, socialist or capitalist or indeed seeing The NHS as the service it is or the political model it is portrayed as.

I do sit on the fence for a simple reason. I want a social model that cares for society but I accept that it also needs funding and the most efficient way of doing this is promoting a sound economy. The NHS requires at present £107Billion each and every year. That is real money and needs a real piggy bank. Enterprise and taxes from those enterprises is the only way if you exclude IMF bail outs and spending money we haven't got.

if acknowledging the limitations of any political stance puts me on the fence, then I have two parallel sores running the length of my arse.

You are right, the song is catchy, clever and warns of what could happen if anybody's political dogma goes to its logical conclusion.

I doubt however that the staff or indeed the patients who were getting on with treatment and care behind you when you were outside The Royal would have been anything more than bemused by it.

Mind you, my earlier post is not questioning your integrity, just concerned that your predictions engender fear in those who rely their NHS, which is potentially all of us. 1.4 million people work hard to ensure that care counts, so the withering drivel (yes) about don't catch a cold and have to go to hospital and watching patients die is at best irresponsible and at worst worthy of the Murdoch approach to truth, which judging by your location would be ironic.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 01:02 PM

The song is neither irresponsible nor is it in any way Murdochesque. It simply states our collective opinion as socialists.

BTW., why do you people always assume that because we call ourselves socialists and criticise the Tories, we must be supporters of Labour. Labour wasn't in power when the Liverpool Socialist Singers got going, otherwise we'd have a repertoire of songs about what an awful shower they were. Personally, Labour lost any commitment I ever felt to that party when they elected Tony Blair as leader.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 08:19 PM

The peoples flag is brightest pink,
it's not as red as the people think.....

...all I remember.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 10:26 PM

'"The Red Flag" was parodied by singer-songwriter Leon Rosselson as the "Battle Hymn of the New Socialist Party," also known as "The Red Flag Once a Year" or "The People's Flag Is Palest Pink."'

from Wikipedia

(Apologies if this has already been noted.)


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 02:54 AM

'"The Red Flag" was parodied..."

BATTLE HYMN OF THE NEW LABOUR PARTY
The people's flag, red white and blue,
It flies for me, it flies for you.
And though he tried to tear it down,
It even flies for old George Brown (deputy Prime Minister in the 60s)
So raise the umbrella high,
The cloth cap and the old school tie,
And just to show we're still sincere
We'll sing the red flag once a year.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM

I didn't make any assumptions re Labour. I merely pointed out that the Tories are carrying out the plans Labour introduced.

I made an assumption of course. I assumed you are a socialist. I didn't assume any link with Labour. Blair&co promoted enterprise to a degree. Socialism tends to be the art of having nothing and wishing to share it.


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Subject: RE: Left wing political parodies
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 04:39 PM

There's an old New York street rhyme I learned from Tom Paley.

"When I grow to old to fight,
I'll become a Trotskyite.
When I grow to old to see,
A "Forwards" reader I shall be.

"Forwards" was the Yiddish newspaper in New York.

Bob Gibson and I wrote,
"Sing a song for People's Artists,
balladeers unite
Buy your latest People's Songbook,
There's a hoot tonight".

Then there's Tom Lehrers "Folk Song Army" which is funny.


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