I’m Dreaming of a White Smethwick

This poem by Brian Patten back in the 60s is just one reason why I hold him in high esteem.  His poem was a response to the awful, racist election in Smethwick in 1964 and the mood of certain sections in the population about immigration.  The fact that this was a white man writing shows that allies are to be found everywhere.  I like the poem but I love the fact that Brian Patten wrote it.

I’m Dreaming of a White Smethwick
(An old, never-to-be-forgotten song)

I’m Dreaming of a White Smethwick,
One I didn’t want to know,
Where they’ll have allwhite, allright children
And the White and White Minstrel Show.

I’m Dreaming of a White Smethwick
Where they’ll have a brandnew dance;
Teach their kids to close their eyes
And forget that once

Strange men came to Smethwick
With slogans whitewashed on their minds,
They campaigned about a while
And left their shit behind.

I saw black father christmasses
Burning in the snow,
Protesting to the Opposition
About what happened a while ago.

The last blackbird’s been shot in Smethwick
And the council’s doing allright,
The M.P.’s in the Commons
Making sure his words are white.

Chorus: May all your days be merry and bright
              And may all your citizens be white.

Note: As in numerous folk songs, the words may be improvised on to suit the present.

Brian Patten

blogsmethwick1964

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s