The Redskins’ second single Lean On Me/Unionize came out on CNT in 1983. The B side, Unionize, was the one that got the fans excited. Especially the punchy horns that the band had recently started including at gigs. The best recordings of the band are the October 1982 and August ’83 Peel sessions where they’d lost none of their punk fire and the soul flare of the horns stoked the flames.
The 12″ version of Unionize is their best on vinyl outing, the flurry of drums and them horns really kick.
At some of the early gigs where the horn section couldn’t make it, myself and Phill Jupitus sang the horn riffs (badly) into the mic’.
As we did back in the 80s poets are again doing gigs on picket lines. With the way the country is going we need a lot more orgainising, a lot more picket lines and a lot more poetry. Unionize.
The first thing that must be said
is hates all very well,
but hatred must be organised if dreams are to be realised
and anger is no substitute for disciplined rebellion.
To unionize is to organise.
Well all this talk of fighting back
is talk to be ignored
if we don’t know where our power lies
and utilize the tools we’ve got.
The bosses have the money
and the workers have no rights,
but our muscle is our labour
and we flex it when we go on strike.
We can talk of riots and petrol bombs
and revolutions all day long,
but if we fail to organise
we’ll waste our lives on protest songs.
A life worth living is waiting to be won, sure,
The day the bosses fall – the day the dream has come.
But stop romanticising hollow talk is just a curse.
The revolution won’t appear
we all have to build for it first.