Academic journal article Hecate

Songs of Sexual Politics from across the Sea

Academic journal article Hecate

Songs of Sexual Politics from across the Sea

Article excerpt

1. PRAISE OUR LEADERS

This song was written by the Brazen Hussies, a women's choir and performance group from Palmerston North, Aotearoa/New Zealand. It was inspired by the campaign launched by our then Tory government to develop a 'Code of Social Responsibility.' Much money was spent by the government sending a fatuous questionnaire to every household (!) asking for responses to questions about who was responsible for what--the underlying message being that parents were responsible for everything, including unemployment, social dislocation, poverty, etc. The Code of Social Responsibility has disappeared under a humiliating barrage of criticism and a huge nonresponse from the public.

2. SOLIDARITY FOREVER (Women's Version)

This song is one performed regularly by the choir I belong to, Union Made of Auckland. Some of our members replaced two verses of the IWW's songwriter, Ralph Chaplin's famous song written around a coalminers' strike in West Virginia. We made up the two middle verses you have here to make it the Women's Version of 'Solidarity Forever.' We sing it in a gospel kind of fashion, with 3 soloists doing the first 3 verses (mine is verse 3!), and the whole choir singing the choruses and the last verse.

PRAISE OUR LEADERS

(to the tune of Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven)

Praise our leaders in their wisdom

Sinful mortals such as we

Unemployed, disabled, homeless

We the undeserving be

Please redeem us, please redeem us

Teach responsibility.

Praise them for their wondrous guidance

Single mothers such as me

Ignorant of basic hygiene

Even what to make for tea

Teach us loving, teach us caring

Teach responsibility.

Praise them for the fine example

Parent politicians make

Seldom there for bedtime stories

PTA or birthday cake

Call a nanny, call a nanny

Teach us all the steps to take.

Praise them for their job creation

Work for dole and Taskforce Green

Part time, casual, seasonal, low paid

Fulltime jobs are seldom seen

Night work, weekends, doing three jobs

Still can't feed a family

Tell us leaders we implore thee

Where such jobs as yours might be

Vote yourselves another pay rise

Eat your meals at Bellamy's [*]

Spend our taxes, spend our taxes

May this trickle down on me. …

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