Of the two word title of this section one reflects my political colouring and the other the density of my involvement at this age. My political songs fall into two categories. The serious and the satirical. The latter are rather ephemeral but can serve as a slice of history, useful for future 'cultural maintenance workers' as they probe the past.
The first satirical song I wrote was about the Mr Bolte's King St Bridge in Melbourne. Later published in 'Tradition',the Folk Magazine master minded by Wendy Lowenstein. The first of what I see as more long lasting political songs was 'Dark-Eyed Daughter' not put into this section as it has a place on the album of that name on this site. It was written as a release of strong emotion. Many of these songs were written for that reason. At their time of writing they were used for a meeting, a concert or a demo where topical subjects were appropriate to be explored in song. Protest songs can be safety valves or verbal swords. Wise regimes recognise this double purpose and take heed. Suppression may kill a people, it can't kill a song or the need for a safety valve. The regimes of the past banned the song I use here by way of an introduction to my contribution to the body of material that serves the noble cause of protest or should I say PROTEST, that song is 'Die Gedanken Sind Frei'. I hope to record this and others of mine so will add the tunes as they are recorded. My reasons for political writing were sharpened by reading the oft quoted letter from Pastor Martin Niemoller, a prisoner held in German concentration camps.
Written circa 1945.
- "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
- And then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
- And then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
- And then . . . they came for me . . . and by that time there was no one left to speak up."