Sunday, 8 July 2012

Silver Lining Revisited

I was chatrouletting with Seamus the other day. I'm pretty sure it was the day that sweet Dave Cameron announced he wished to terminate hausing benefit for the under-25s. Anyway, the auld SLF song Silver Lining ("Don't be told, don't be consoled, because things are so bad you can never make do") was repeating itself in my head for most of the day. It was one of two great songs on their last good album Go For It (1981 I think) and it lead to a bit of a discussion and what emerged really is that in Silver Lining our auld pal Jake Burns is not just rejecting the ruling class but he's also saying that he will not be party to a labour aristocracy either.

Further, Jake is saying explicitly that not only would he like to see us all change our relationship with the means of production, he's also saying implicitly that while Gramsci's thesis still applies, it doesn't necessarily have to be this way. Now, we may have been getting ahead of ourselves a bit there, but I think that's substantially what was going down. Of course Jake was talking about thirty years ago, but it feels sort of prescient all the same (although for presicent you can maybe read nothing new under the sun).


They tell you not to worry
They say they're terribly sorry
But that's the way it has to be 
For the likes of you and me

Just be good and know your station
Always look on the bright side
Keep your faith and keep your patience 
Your reward is after you've died

So don't be told 
Don't be consoled 
Things are so bad 
You can never make do 
And there's always someone better off than you

They tell you that's your future 
It's all down to human nature 
Simply settle for what you got 
That's destiny and that's your lot 
All of us cannot come first 
Yes what you have is second-best 
But it might be a good deal worse 
Third world peasants get even less

So don't be told 
Don't be consoled 
Things are so bad 
You can never make do 
And there's always someone better off than you

Do you care that it's not fair? 
Is this the way we have to live? 
I know I care 
And I want an equal share 
Even if it means I have to give

The people who are on top 
Say that you should keep your chin up 
And they are keen to show you 
The unhappy ones below you 
But I want no more of that stuff 
That's looking at it upside down 
And the world has got money enough 
For us to make it go around

Don't be told 
Don't be consoled 
Don't be ruled 
Don't be fooled 
Because things are so bad you can never make do 
And there's always someone better off than you

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