Populists will promise change, And the public rally support. These chancers sound like normal blokes, Not like the usual sort. They’re mostly charlatans and thugs, With a grin and a big cigar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
Perhaps it lies with the folk who flock To lap them up with cream. An unwashed swarm of Union Jacks, All daring now to dream – You love to sneer at their white vans From your chauffeured Jaguar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
The status quo has done you well, But done them poverty, Yet when they ask for change, you shrug And say “don’t bother me”. They may be serfs no longer But they’re still beneath the tzar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
With industry demantled, With the money all moved South, And those who have a full-time job Still living hand-to-mouth, Just to be called scroungers – Well, that’s sure to leave a scar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
Your ev’ry promise broken, And their ev’ry glimmer snuffed, They’ve tried to vote for Christmas But the system has them stuffed – Gerrymandered, rotten-boroughed, Struck off the registrar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
And just for once they had a voice, And gave their answer loud, And so you tried your damnedest-best To nullify the crowd. But hey, they all agree with you In your trendy Shoreditch bar. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
They’ll end up disappointed With the autocratic rule, Unlike their current freedom As a wage-slave or a mule. I guess the shining city Must seem ev’ry bit as far. And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
If they kick you out, no sweat, You’ll join a dozen boards – And still receive your payoff To the unelected Lords. And they claim there’s no democracy ? Who do they think they are ? And you wonder why the populists Are ever popular…?
You sneer at Dresden’s quaint rebuilding As oldè-world and fake – Covering up the brutal past, Denying us our wake. But would you rather the concrete of Coventry, Cancer choking its former bliss ? For sure, we’ll never forget the War In ugliness as ugly as this. The Luftwaffe came and finished the job That the Council already began, And one of the prettiest towns in England Was levelled in line with the Plan. I hear that Dresden has too many tourists, So why is there only one ? It seems we have a ration of beauty, But blandness will run and run. The perfect place to film your dystopian nightmares Or kitchen-sink soaps – Was ever a town more grey and rain-stained ?, As the concrete bullies and gropes. It’s called ‘brutalist’ for a reason – Cos it’s raw like a wound across the eyes. And meanwhile Dresden is putting on her ballgown – Enough masochism – let’s rise !
White men ran the slave trade, true, And I’m a man and also white – But don’t charge me for grievance due, I played no part in the blight. While others wreaked this tragedy, It’s not me, mate, and not my folks – I come from village farmhands, see, From ordinary blokes. While others banked the whole affair, Or snapped the chain or cracked the whip, We never owned a single share, Nor crewed a single ship. So don’t try laying on the guilt For crimes my bloodline never did – The damnable at which you tilt Were not my fam’ly, kid. I bear no blemish on my name, I bear no once-and-future sin – Don’t think that you can judge my blame By the colour of my skin. It’s not me mate, and not my genes, My hands are clean, my soul is light – So spare your wrath for dukes and queens, Not me, mate – get it right ! My ancestors were starved and bruised, And sometimes even outright killed – They all were wage-slaves, much abused By the lords whose lands they tilled. And so were yours – I get it, I do, But they’re not you and they’re not me. But even if my blood were blue, My conscience would still be free – For the faults of our great-great-grands back when Have died with them, and have passed away – Look, nobody alive back then Is still alive today. For none of us in here’s a slaver, No-one’s whitewashing the trade – So please, just do us all a favour, And find a new crusade.
1. May comes bounding down the year As eager as a springer spaniel. Ev’rybody knows she’s here, A bursting, blooming, early annual. May comes blowing from the south As teasing as a cuckoo’s call She’s closing up old Winter’s mouth By throwing off her woollen shawl.
2. A little rain in May Is sweeter than an April shower – Though the high Spring skies may glower, We know they will not last the day. The clouds are silvery, not grey, Less thunderheads than fairy towers, Washing lambs and spritzing flowers, Dropping by, then on their way.
3. May – the name says it all. The month when it might, When it should – Ah, but will it ? The month that may have a squall Or a heatwave, Or a dozen other weathers Come to fill it. Could be a late gasp of snow up on the hills While the valleys open windows, And the breezes spin the mills. Such is the fortune In the month of maybe May. When all of this could happen In a week, Or in a day.
Q’s without U’s, You’re not fooling me – You’re out to confuse With your Q’s floating free. But I know you’re trick – You’re just swirly K’s, With a kick and a click To anchor a phrase. Yet sometimes in French At the end of a word, A Q is what’s mentioned, But K is what’s heard. And Arabic full of ’em, Inuit too, With gutter and phlegm To push the sound through – Less plosive, more fricative, That’s what it’s telling – It’s purely indicative, Snobbish in spelling – For only a Scot could Hope to pronounce it – No Sassenach should, They’ll mangle and trounce it.
Stripped-down and unplugged, Going back-to-basics – These are words that fill my ears with dread. Guitars strummed and harps tugged, Waxed and polished double basses, Drummers told to stay at home instead.
I don’t want your simple sound, I want music complicated I want synths that growl and pound, Electrified, not automated. Full of intricate design, Not simply autotuned and gated – I want music of its time, Not scared of being dated.
Hashed out and doped up, Family-friendly faceless, Perfect songs for sending off the dead. Slowed-down and moped-up, Going back to basics – These are words this fill my soul with lead.
People love to grumble over supermarket bread – “It isn’t really fresh, you know” I’ve often heard it said, “It’s made in batch in Swindon and then frozen” they explain, “So all they do in bakeries is heat it up again.” Croissant, bap, or pumpernickel, Loaf-lovers sure are fickle – Kneeded crumpets, seeded squabblers, Talking sourdough and cobblers.
You know, that doesn’t bother me, as long as they still taste – And oh!, the smell of toasted carbs will never go to waste. But why are still-warm loaves just plonked on open racks for show In the air-conditioned hell that sucks all moisture from the dough ? Cardboard slices, leaden grain, With all self-raising turned to plain. Golden crust and pain-au-choc, As dry as dust and hard as rock.