Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Socialist A.B.C.

This is a great poem/folk song by Alex Glasgow (1935 -2001). A list of Alex's songs can be found at MWM Records. Glasgow was born the son of a coal miner in Gateshead, England. He was well known as a song-writer and radio broadcaster, working for the BBC. His work ranged from angry polemic to tender love songs, including writing the music for the 1968 musical Close the Coalhouse Door.

The Socialist A.B.C.

When that I was and a little, tiny boy,
Me daddy said to me,
'The time has come, me bonny, bonny bairn,
To learn your ABC.'

Now Daddy was a lodge chairman
In the coalfields of the Tyne
And his ABC was different
From the Enid Blyton kind.

He sang,

'A is for Alienation
That made me the man that I am, and

B's for the Boss who's a Bastard,
A Bourgeois who don't give a damn.

C is for Capitalism,
The bosses' reactionary creed, and

D's for Dictatorship, laddie,
But the best proletarian breed.

E is for Exploitation
That workers have suffered so long, and

F is for old Ludwig Feuerbach,
The first one to say it was wrong.

G is all Gerrymanderers,
Like Lord Muck and Sir Whatsisname, and

H is the Hell that they'll go to
When the workers have kindled the flame.

I's for Imperialism,
And America's kind is the worst, and

J is for sweet Jingoism,
That the Tories all think of the first.

K is for good old Kier
Hardy, Who fought out the working class fight, and

L is for Vladimir Lenin,
Who showed him the left was all right.

M is of course for Karl Marx,
The daddy and the mommy of them all, and

N is for Nationalisation -
Without it we'd tumble and fall.

O is for Overproduction,
That capitalist economy brings, and

P is for all Private Property,
The greatest of all of the sins.

Q's for the Quid pro quo,
That we'll deal out so well and so soon, when

R for Revolution is shouted and
The Red Flag becomes the top tune.

S is for Sad Stalinism
That gave us all such a bad name, and

T is for Trotsky, the hero,
Who had to take all of the blame.

U's for the Union of Workers -
The Union will stand to the end, and

V is for Vodka, yes, Vodka,
The one drink that don't bring the bends.

W's for all Willing Workers,
And that's where the memory fades,

For X, Y, and Zed,' my dear daddy said,
'Will be written on the street barricades.'

Now that I'm not a little tiny boy,
Me daddy says to me,
'Please try to forget those thing that I said,Especially the ABC.'

For daddy is no longer a union man,
And he's had to change his plea.

His alphabet is different now,
Since they made him a Labour MP.

A short biography of Alex Glasgow can be found here.

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