Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Lamentation of Celia Stubbs

to the tune of ‘Dives and Lazarus’

He came here from New Zealand on a mission to teach
special needs kids in east London,
a man of wit and feeling was my partner Blair Peach
and I loved him with abandon.

From Bethnal Green ’cross to Southall town
we fought the fuzz with fury;
but they came equipped with metal sticks
and they beat my love to jelly.

He stood up to the racists on Commercial Road
till his strength sent the bastards packing;
stopped the Tyndall fascists from spreading their word
’gainst Bengali folk on Brick Lane.

On St George’s Day morning, back in ’79,
the NF gathered in Southall.
Behind the rozzers arrayed in a riot-shield line,
they shouted shite from the Town Hall.

We were five thousand mighty (though the filth said fewer),
when we marched up Southall Broadway.
From all over the city, we advanced together,
for to reclaim Shakespeare’s birthday.

From Bethnal Green ’cross to Southall town
we fought the fuzz with fury;
but they came equipped with metal sticks
and they beat my love to jelly.

Among the ‘Kill the Bill’ chants and the banners of red,
no-one noticed the SPG
come flying out from their vans with their coshes of lead,
to bludgeon an anti-Nazi.

When they smashed Blair to the ground with a barrage of blows,
he was stamped on, kicked and spat on.
Though I screamed I made no sound as I clasped him close:
he’d been knocked out cold by batons.

The coroner was biased; he detested the Left,
stated Sikhs could not be trusted.
Some witnesses were silenced; to others he was deaf.
His report was done and dusted.

From Bethnal Green ’cross to Southall town
we fought the fuzz with fury;
but they came equipped with metal sticks
and they beat my love to jelly.

All the coppers had grown beards to disguise their guilt;
their witness statements were censored.
McNee, the Commissioner, said his men had played no part.
It was ‘death by misadventure’.

And as I dwell upon Blair and his terrible fate,
take heed, my brothers and sisters:
one day there will be fairness for my passionate mate
and a victory for justice.

So come all you good people who believe in the truth,
make a stand against oppression,
and wake up from your sleepwalk into premature death
by opposing State repression.

From Bethnal Green ’cross to Southall town
we fought the fuzz with fury;
but they came equipped with metal sticks
and they beat my love to jelly;
yes, they beat my man to jelly.

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