Must Listening These Days: Billy Bragg’s “Between The Wars”

In recent weeks, I’ve found myself particularly drawn to articles, discussions, and songs, pertaining to class struggle and the labour movement…Yes, more than the usual.

Why’s that? Well, as we watch Donnie’s horror show unfold in the U.S., a lot of intelligent folks have been arguing, and rightfully so, that the left has not been focusing enough on issues tied to the working class. Well, Bernie did, and did so quite well, but the corporate Dems wanted no part of that.

Anyways, one of the songs that has been receiving a lot of play in my household is Billy Bragg’s “Between the Wars”. If you’re not familiar with the song, then check out the lyrics below, and you’ll understand why:

I was a miner
I was a docker
I was a railway man
Between the wars
I raised a family
In times of austerity
With sweat at the foundry
Between the wars

I paid the union and as times got harder
I looked to the government to help the working man
And they brought prosperity down at the armory
We’re arming for peace, me boys
Between the wars

I kept the faith and I kept voting
Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
For theirs is a land with a wall around it
And mine is a faith in my fellow man
Theirs is a land of hope and glory
Mine is the green field and the factory floor
Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
And mine is the peace we know
Between the wars

Call up the craftsmen
Bring me the draftsmen
Build me a path from cradle to grave
And I’ll give my consent
To any government
That does not deny a man a living wage

Photo credit above: Kris Krug / Wikipedia


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