Spirit of History

In about three hours time I should be ensconced in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA ready to partake of the privilege of The Men They Couldn’t Hang.

(source:-   caitlinmccuskercoursework.blogspot.com )

Hopefully, ‘cos I’m ever hopeful, :), listening to this. Spot the bit that’s just ace.

England, 1936.
The grip of the Sabbath day
In London town the only sound
Is a whisper in an alleyway
Men put on their gloves and boots
Have a smoke before they go
From the west there is a warning of
A wind about to blow

Like Caesar marching to the East
Marches Mosley with his men
Dressed in their clothes of deepest black
Like a gathering hurricane
This is the British Union
With its flag of black and red
A flag that casts a shadow in
Berlin and in Madrid

So listen to the sound of marching feet
And the voices of the ghosts of Cable Street
Fists and stones and batons and the gun
With courage we shall beat those blackshirts down

So mile by mile they come on down
To a place called Cable Street
And other men are waiting there
Preparations are complete
Mosley comes so close
They now can see his outstretched arm
A hand raised up that way
Never took the future in its palm

Listen to the sound of marching feet
And the voices of the ghosts of Cable Street
Fists and stones and batons and the gun
With courage we shall beat those blackshirts down

The battle broke as the fists and the batons fell
Through the barricades came the sound of the wounded yells
Jack Spot burst through with a chair leg made of lead
Brought down a crashing blow on Mosley’s head

And so we learn from history generations have to fight
And those who crave for mastery
Must be faced down on sight
And if that means by words, by fists, by stones or by the gun

Remember those who stood up for
Their daughters and their sons

Listen to the sound of marching feet
And the voices of the ghosts of Cable Street
Fists and stones and batons and the gun
With courage we shall beat those blackshirts down

Listen to the sound of marching feet
And the voices of the ghosts of Cable Street
Fists … stones … batons and the gun
With courage we shall beat those blackshirts down

 

Funny thing,

that we get far enough away from events

we call them history.

Then we look at it

and get a new perspective.

Or more than one.

No one says we have to look at history.

Everything only happened yesterday.

Yesterday is upon us every day.

Marching.

Demanding action.

The pendulum swings

to extremes,

all sorts of extremes.

If we don’t learn, we repeat.

I’ve repeated this song a lot.

Funny thing is,

I’m a pacifist.

By choice and persuasion.

And a coward..except.

Most of us would fight – in some shape or form – for what we believe to be right.

If only we could learn from history what that is.

Separating the myths from the legends.

We’re not obliged to learn.

It’s simply desirable.

To keep the music flowing.

To keep life going.

To keep on keeping on.

Let the spirit of history live.

 

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17 thoughts on “Spirit of History”

  1. If that’s true, heaven help us if you ever get a turbo charged machine 🙂
    Great song, poem and thethoughts it inspires. There’s never an end to killing, not as long as men ar willing to sacrifice someone else for the coins in their pockets. A truly sad indictment.

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  2. OMGOMGOMG! I am SO jealous, Anne-Marie! I have ‘Waiting for Bonaparte’ on vinyl! (and some of their other stuff in various other formats- but I lovedlovedloved that album like crazy!) Have a fantastic time- and post a review, if you can. xo

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  3. Very informative for me. Love the links included for us American folk who are not so familiar with U.K. history. In going along with this, I have to also note what I come upon a lot in looking at historical events. There are so many conflicting views, expert opinions, and different versions in history books (if they are included at all), learning what ‘really’ happened is often impossible. Once I find I have made a educated opinion about an event, an attempt to share often gets lost in someone, or a few people, who write to say this is not how it occurred. In posting the History courses from John Green the comments are often flooded with people complaining this didn’t happen that way, or the meaning was totally different than what is being offered in the lesson. This is not only true for older history, but for events happening right now. Ferguson, the Boston Bombing, 9/11, and so many other events are under constant scrutiny as to who, what, when, and how. I am not sure if the Internet and all our technical advances makes knowing the ‘truth’ harder or easier.

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    1. Oh, I know, Rene. Contradictions everywhere and separating them out is a task in itself. Maybe the most important thing to remember is that, as you quite rightly say, today’s news will be tomorrow’s history and there are contradictions still that we need to try to filter through. I’m glad the internet is available though as I certainly no longer trust the mainstream news to deliver a fraction of what is going on.

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