Mutiny on the Waves
“Caroline had to sing before London could swing”
– Arthur Holford-Twigg
One hour per week, that’s all they give us –
One hour for Shadows & Beatles & Stones.
Just take what we’re given and don’t make a fuss
Of the hours and hours of classics and drones.
But lo ! Here come the free-marketeers,
With long hair and old spice and fresh new ideas !
And the great ship of state is under attack,
She’s running aground and unable to tack –
Her deck-chair arranging
Is only estranging –
The times are a-changing and cannot change back.
And into this fray comes the Gentleman Comrade –
What can he tell us to settle the storm ?
Sharp as a cutlass and slick as pomade,
And surely he favours free speech and reform ?
But lo ! It turns out that the new guard are blackguards
Their postmen are flatfoots, their viscount are braggarts.
The great ship of state is a quivering wreck,
With us in the galleys and them up on deck.
But the Spring tide is swelling,
The crew is rebelling –
The white heat you’re selling can’t keep us in check.
So who is the cutthroat and who is the tar ?
We’re hated by Churchill and hated by Marx.
We’re strung from the yardarm and lashed to the spar,
The system is rigged and we’re thrown to the sharks.
But lo ! The victory’s ours in the end,
And even these turncoats will learn how to bend.
The great ship of state has now squandered her rum,
So lay off the fiddle and bang a new drum.
A hard rain is falling
The future is calling
You’re only forestalling the booty to come.
I wrote this shortly after Tony Benn’s passing, and was reminded how BBC Radio 1 only came in existence due to his inability to shut down the (legal) pirate stations. Such mixed legacies we leave behind.