Category Archives: Music

Dial-A-Poem Poets

An American album from 1984: Giorno Poetry Systems 10-track vinyl LP comprising works by Dial A Poems finest – William S. Burroughs, Meredith Monk and Anne Walgmann, and from the New York noise/punk scene: poet and punk musician Jim Carrol, DNS’s Arto Lindsay with Mars’ Lucy Hamilton, Lydia Lunch with Clint Ruin, Richard Hell and an utterly necessary version of ‘Unclean’ by industrial giants Psychic TV – Genesis P-Orridge, Wife Paule, and Alternative TV’s Alex Fergusson…

Side 1:
1. David Johansen – Imaginatin’ Coctail
2. John Giorno – Exiled In Domestic Life
3. William S. Burroughs (Research Recording, 1984)
4. Psychic TV – Unclean
5. Lydia Lunch – What It Is

Side 2:
1. Meredith Monk – Candy Bullets And Moon
2. Jim Carrol – A Peculiar Looking Girl
3. Anne Waldman – Uh-oh Plutonium
4. Richard Hell – The Rev. Hell Gets Confused
5. Arto Lindsay – Alisa

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Something Else

What yoof TV used to be. This episode of BBC’s Something Else, a series that ran from 1978 is from 2 October, 1981. There’s poetry from Anne Clark and Aidan Cant – incidental music by Paul Weller – a bit about youth clubs, as well as music from The Jam, The Questions and the much missed Dolly Mixture. There’s an also a section where young people talk about what class they are as they awkwardly sit around a table (not) drinking.
Of particular interest is some talk on ‘zines from Tony Fletcher of Jamming! Also featured is Making Time and the item is very centred on poetry. The young reporter even talks to Faber and Faber about what they are, and aren’t, publishing and this links right back to the class item. Now there’s a suprise.

The Socialist ABC

Alex Glasgow (1935-2001) was a Geordie singer/songwriter. He also wrote the songs and music for the successful musical plays Close the Coal House Door and On Your Way, Riley! by Alan Plater, and scripts for the TV drama When the Boat Comes In, the theme song of which he sang.

The Socialist ABC
(Alex Glasgow)

When that I was and a little, tiny boy,
Me daddy said to me,
‘The time has come, me bonny, bonny bairn,
To learn your ABC.’

Now Daddy was a lodge chairman
In the coalfields of the time
And his ABC was different
From the Enid Blighton kind.

He sang, ‘A is for Alienation
That made me the man that I am, and

B’s for the Boss who’s a Bastard,
A Bourgeois who don’t give a damn.

C is for Capitalism,
The bosses’ reactionary creed, and

D’s for Dictatorship, laddie,
But the best proletarian breed.

E is for Exploitation
That workers have suffered so long, and

F is for old Ludwig Feuerbach,
The first one to say it was wrong.

G is all Gerrymanderers,
Like Lord Muck and Sir Whatsisname, and

H is the Hell that they’ll go to
When the workers have kindled the flame.

I’s for Imperialism,
And America’s kind is the worst, and

J is for sweet Jingoism,
That the Tories all think of the first.

K is for good old Kier Hardy,
Who fought out the working class fight, and

L is for Vladimir Lenin,
Who showed him the left was all right.

M is of course for Karl Marx,
The daddy and the mommy of them all, and

N is for Nationalisation –
Without it we’d tumble and fall.

O is for Overproduction,
That capitalist economy brings, and

P is for all Private Property,
The greatest of all of the sins.

Q’s for the Quid pro quo,
That we’ll deal out so well and so soon, when

R for Revolution is shouted and
The Red Flag becomes the top tune.

S is for Sad Stalinism
That gave us all such a bad name, and

T is for Trotsky, the hero,
Who had to take all of the blame.

U’s for the Union of Workers –
The Union will stand to the end, and

V is for Vodka, yes, Vodka,
The vun drink that vont bring the bends.

W’s for all Willing Workers,
And that’s where the memory fades,

For X, Y, and Zed,’ my dear daddy said,
‘Will be written on the street barricades.’

Now that I’m not a little tiny boy,
Me daddy says to me,
‘Please try to forget those thing that I said,
Especially the ABC.’

For daddy is no longer a union man,
And he’s had to change his plea.
His alphabet is different now,
Since they made him a Labour MP.