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No Pasarán

No Pasaran

When the sons of Wat Tyler meet
With the rhythm of a rock steady beat
Then we move our feet
Down to Cable Street

There's a neighbourhood bully banging on the door
Selling me a ticket for a third world war
Everyone's invited - like it or not
Everything you need costs everything you've got

This is the time of our lives, rabbits with lights in our eyes
Civilised we lie paralyzed, IS THIS the time?

When the sons of Wat Tyler meet with the rhythm of a rock steady beat
then we move our feet down to Cable Street
Down to Cable Street

History teaches nothing, we make the same mistakes
Blindly follow fools criminals and fakes
Buying phone-y freedom and dancing to the beat
Of the rhythm of jack boots marching down the street

This is the time of our lives, rabbits with lights in our eyes
Civilised we lie paralyzed, IS THIS the time?

When the sons of Wat Tyler meet with the rhythm of a rock steady beat
then we move our feet down to Cable Street

When the sons of Wat Tyler meet with the rhythm of a rock steady beat
then we move our feet down to Cable Street
Down to Cable Street

No No Pasarán, No No Pasarán, No No Pasarán, No No Pasarán, No No Pasarán,
No No Pasarán

We're all safe and sound with our heads underground.
Lie me down so deep
Are we so meek so frightened to speak?
Are the Sons of Wat Tyler asleep?

No
No Pasarán
No
No Pasarán
No!

No-Pasaran

Awhile ago I wrote the beginning of a lyric called "The Sons of Wat Tyler" - living where I do, South East London - I am rather fond of Wat - he led the people's revolt up to Blackheath and they camped there. There's a road called Wat Tyler Road - and on that road there's a little church dedicated to John Ball - who travelled with Tyler from Rochester. Together they changed the course of the history of this country - people stood up and died - but not in vain - a change was set in motion - 200 years before any other whisper of democracy really took hold. Please go and look into Wat's story. It ain't a happy ending - if it indeed has come to an end - I like to think it's a work in progress.

History teaches nothing? We make the same mistakes?

My lyric asked the question - are the sons of Wat Tyler asleep? Why aren't we rising up. What is keeping us so meek and mild? We see social injustice, we see things in our hearts and minds we know are wrong. I'm not taking a political side - I'm taking an ethical view.

I hadn't finished it.

I was also writing another song called The Battle of Cable Street - 1936 - a time when the sons of Wat Tyler were awake and stood up again - and made a difference again - there were plenty of people in this country - the pigs who tried to smash up the protesters all the way up (or down) to the government and the ruling classes who would have supported Moseley - but the cockneys of the East End of London, the Irish, the Jews, the other immigrants, the socialists and many others all said "Fuck Off you stupid little twat" - then - they laughed at him. It's a shame the German people never got the chance to laugh at their stupid little twat, or the Spanish twat and Italian twat - cos stupid little twats can do an awful lot of harm if left un-laughed at.

Finally - I was writing a little rap type thing - one of my series of 21st century grizzles - called The Time of our Lives - a wee look at some of the distractions that keep us asleep, keep us de-sensitized or keep us frightened.

You put all that together. What does it all add up to say?

Well, I was standing in the doorway of the Duke of York Theatre early one morning waiting for the daily box office to open - a Londoners treat - get to the box office when it opens and you can buy front row seats for any play in the West End for £10.00 - but u gotta be there when it opens - please don't spread this information about 🙂 - it's a small perk for the cost of living here!!! Anyway - it was pre-heat wave and I was standing in the doorway watching the world drift by. Office drones, street cleaners, drunken revellers (at 7.30am!!!), a man and a woman with a bottle of champagne, arm in arm, still dressed in evening attire, walking up St Martin's, delivery men and women, sleepy people like me - heading for various theatres for their crafty tickets or other such assignations, a punk band - noisy like it's 10.00pm heading to a gig - WTF???

This is London - I can't put stories to all of these people - but here I stand, coffee in hand - watching it unfold. Then, out of the blue (or in this case, grey) skies - I hear the melody:

When the sons of Wat Tyler meet,
with the rhythm of a rock steady beat
then we move our feet
down to Cable Street

I take out my voice recorder - carry it everywhere - and - in the corner of the box office door - sing the song - so i remember it.

From then on - it's in my head - and i am thinking about the structure of it and how i want things to sound - I'm thinking - it's a London song - the city i love - so it's gotta have a bit of Clash attitude - it's gotta have a bit of Jagger Swagger (I just happen to know a singer who's got a lotta Jagger Swagger) - but the name?

Well, it came to me straight away - maybe it's cos of my little spanish chum and the mess going on in Barcelona - dunno - but i knew immediately what it was called - cos this city welcomes people from all over the world - all except little twats - and I was thinking about Trumps visit - so No Pasaran was the obvious title.

Graeme

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