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Monday, March 15, 2010

You're Right Ally by John/Togs Tognolin

Alistair Hulett’s died from cancer in his beloved Glasgow in late January. He wrote a large number of songs and as was a chronicler of our times. I read You're Right Ally at the Blue Mountains Music Festival's Deninis Kevans Poets Breakfast on Sunday 14-3-10. It’s based on three of Alistair Hulett’s songs Lads of the BLF


Yuppietown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYrLfXRVF_0

and Swaggies. These three songs were written in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when Alistair lived in Sydney.

 You're Right Ally

The times have changed

Our backs are still up against the wall

Workers' power must organise

Or there'll be no workers' power at all

Corporations rule this land

Democracy's a sham

And then don't give a damn

From the boys in the building trade

We who fought under the flag of the old Stockade

Down with the Right and up with the Left

A salute to you Ally from the lads in the B.L.F.

We who bore the brunt of the bosses' wrath

To stand for the rights of the working class

Our cause was bagged in Murdoch’s papers

That we still wouldn't use to wipe our arse

Bob Hawke and his traitor crew

Renewed by Rudd and Gillard

Revived Howard and Abbot's Anti-Union Gestapo the ABCC*

The rich still get richer by the day

The cancer of the nation

You're right Ally.

People who lived IN NEWTOWN IN THE 1988 didn’t have that much.

They made do with things others wouldn’t even touch

People who lived there used to work in the factories and Cockatoo Island Dockyard

And we should have watched out

The new breed took over

And drove us out

They gave us the old once over

Tore the place down and turn it into Yuppietown

We remember how it used to be

How we’d natter to our neighbour on the street or stop in for a cup of tea

We used like to having a beer and all

But since the old pub changed hands they stopped us getting in overalls

We’re the ones who pushed off west - Katoomba, Wellington.

We’re the people, who lived down there in Newtown,

We’re the ones, like our kids can’t afford the price of real estate in Sydney,

Dearer now than London or New York mate

We’re the descendents of those who came to this country in fetters and chains

Outlaws and rebels with numbers for names

And on the triangle were beaten and maimed

Whose Blood stained the soil of Australia

It quickened our heart beat

To see tar and concrete

Cover the tracks of the old bullock dray

We haven’t grown heartless

To christen it progress

When the swaggies have all waltzed Matilda away

Driven like dogs from their own native home

Hardship and poverty caused them to roam

Over the bracken and over the foam

Blood stained the soil of Australia

Then in the fervour for fortune and fame

They caused the poor Kooris to suffer the same

Imprisoned on missions or hunted for game

Blood stained the soil of Australia

It’s over two-hundred years since they came to this land

Betrayed by the girl with the black velvet band

Koori and White, old Australian and new

Brothers and sisters of every hue

The future is ours, take the wealth from the few

And raise the red flag in Australia

Rest ye Ally Gael punk and folk singer from Caledonia

You died there in Glasgow town

But you live in our hearts with the words of your songs

*Australian Building Construction Commission

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