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Alistair Hulett

"Don't Sign Up for War" (karaoke)

"Don't Sign Up for War" (sheet music)


See yon Arthur Henderson,

Heid bummer o' the workin' men;

When war broke oot, he pressed his suit,

And he ran tae catch the train.

He signed a deal in London:

Nae mair strikes until the fightin's done;

In Glesga toon, the word went 'roon,

"Tak tent o' John Maclean!"

 

He said, "A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war, my friend.

Don't sign up for war."

 

When they turned him oot o' Langside Hall,

John stood up at the fountain;

Whit he said was tailor-made

Tae magnify the friction.

"Ye patriots can roar and bawl.

It's nought but braggarts' fiction.

The only war worth fightin' for

Is war against oppression."

 

He said, "A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war my friend.

Don't sign up for war."

 

The polis wheeched him oot o' there

And doon tae Queen's Park station;

They telt him plain, "Offend again

And we'll make ye rue the day, son."

But Johnny didnae turn a hair;

He ca'd for a demonstration.

A mighty thrang ten thoosan strang

Turned oot against conscription.

 

He said, "A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war, my friend.

Don't sign up for war."

 

The next time that they came for him,

John kent they meant the business;

He didnae plea for mercy;

He said, "Gi'e me British justice."

The justice that he ca'd for

Stunned many intae silence;

When oot o' hell the hammer fell,

Three years was the sentence.

 

He said, "A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war, my friend.

Don't sign up for war."

 

The clamor tae release Maclean

Reached fever pitch and mair, man;

In a year an' a hauf, they ca'd it aff,

But Christ, it taxed him sair, man;

He came back auld afore his time,

But he didnae seem to care, man.

"Dae a' ye can. I'm still the wan

Wha'll cause ye tae beware, man."

 

The last time that they jailed Maclean,

He came gey close tae scunnert;

Wi' a rubber hose pit up his nose,

They kept him swap suppert.

Let him oot or keep him in,

Red Clyde was ower blaistert;

Ilk wey they turnt, the government

Was weel an' brawly gouthart.

 

He said, "A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war, my friend.

 

A bayonet, that's a weapon

Wi' a workin' man at either end.

Betray your country; serve your class.

Don't sign up for war, my friend.

Don't sign up for war."


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