Henry's Songbook

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Holy Joe From Scabsville

  • (Ewan MacColl)

    The kids all call you 'Brown-nose', Holy Joe
    They say the Coal Board bought you long ago
    A scab has covered wife and kids with shame
    If they've got any sense they'll change their name

    There's a bloke I know in Scabsville who is known as Holy Joe
    He's working at a face down in the mine
    On his way to work you'll see him give the finger to his mates
    As the cops have got him through the picket line

    You can see this man of principle performing on the box
    'Freedom' is a favourite word of Joe's
    It's a case of 'I'm all right Jack' and he's free to be a scab
    And that's the only principle he knows

    You can tell him that his job's in danger, he won't turn a hair
    He doesn't understand a simple fact
    But when they start to close the pits they don't know where to stop
    And won't hesitate to give Brown-nose the sack

    Joe just loves his video, his telly, and his car
    He doesn't think the unions all that hot
    He's forgotten the old times as those who made the unions strong
    Fought for all the benefits he's got

    The other night I dreamt that Holy Joe came to the pit
    Butch MacGregor with an axe was standing guard
    He said, We're grateful for the way you helped to smash the NUM
    Now you've served your purpose, here's your cards

    Holy Joe went pale as death and cried, You can't do that to me
    Sucker, d'ye wanna bet? said Mac
    We can flush you down the toilet, we can bury you in slag
    Now you don't have any union at your back

    The moral of this story is directed at the mugs
    Who've taken on the blacklegs' dirty role
    By scabbing you're endangering the future of the mines
    And are asking for a lifetime on the dole

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1989:] The miners' strike [of 1984/85] lasted 358 days, and [...] cost fourteen deaths (one of them officially a murder), nearly 10,000 arrests, thousands of injuries to both miners and police, and over £7 billion of taxpayers' money. It was a dispute about pit closures and the future of mining communities that was seen by much of the media and the public in more simple terms, as a show of strength between a hard-line left-winger, Arthur Scargill, the miners' leader, and an apostle of market forces, Margaret Thatcher. The media, for the most part, reflected public opinion in their hostility towards the miners, particularly as the bitterness and violence grew. (Denselow, Music 212)


Quelle: England

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