In my younger days, well, a long, long time ago, I saw Billy Bragg at Melbourne Uni.
Now, let me be clear, I was a long way past being a student there. I was an old man in my thirties and there was a “Joh for PM” campaign going on at the time.
Billy made a few jokes about Joh, then looked like he going to play, but he paused.
Then he said that it’s all very well to laugh at Joh, but after that someone will come along and tell us all that he’s more reasonable. And we’ll buy that because it’s all a compatative thing.
I’m not sure if this is what he sang, but this is all about my memory.
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 sympathize with her but 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 people 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 organized 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 forwards, 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 understands
Start your own revolution, 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
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