BORN IN THE FIFTIES, GREW UP IN THE SIXTIES, DESPERATE TO GET THINGS RIGHT

As I’m now seriously old – about as old as some of my friends from school – I have just been reflecting on things from the 60s and 70s – that is 1960s and 1970s because I gather we have moved into a new century.

Actually I know that but this century seems to be one that ought to be blanked out – a bit like all the centuries when normal people were fucked and screwed, which was most of them – but I have spent the evening listening to the music of my teen years – the sixties – and as ever I’m amazed.

You can take your pick, it’s all wonderful: the Beatles, the Hollies, the Swinging Blue Jeans etc, etc; listen to any song and remember the sense of freedom, of the possibility of doing things, of the willingness to be equal, to be in love with life, to be compassionate, to be forgiving and most of all the idea that things could change for the better, that all of us dispossessed, disempowered could be empowered and that we would do things properly.

Remember the “summer of love”? It wasn’t just about shagging in the sun. It was about understanding and tolerance.

Ok, I realise that I now might be losing some of my very old friends but just remember; Bus Stop, How Do You Do What You Do To Me, Hi Ho Silver Lining, Sweet Talking Guy, On a Carousel, The Locomotion, A Little Loving etc, etc, etc, not to mention all of the Beatles.

I know guys who moved through being Rockers, to Mods, to stale flower bedecked hippies. The thing is they were better in themselves and were better people when they were hippies. Ok the drugs helped.

Sorry about this rant but my old friends who were fucked over by the Thatcher revolution – which never ended but went underground and emerged in New Labour, Lib Dems and everyone else who pushes modern efficient capitalism. And if you think UKIP has any answer just look at their pathetically primitive economic policies – free trade, global corporations and modern slavery.

Immigration might be a problem but it’s not the real problem: the real problem is the drive to return the working class to slavery – wage slavery, mortgage slavery, debt slavery and worse intelligence slavery. And piss poor education and kidding people into reacting not thinking is how they do it.

I was lucky to be brought up in a great to community, in a great family, with smart and intelligent people and with music that lifted us above the shit and fed aspirations.

Some people tell me that the sixties music was all about “bread and circus”; in other words give the working class good music and they will keep quiet.

I don’t believe this; I still believe we can build a “world of our own” which we can all share.

Listen to the music and remember; we all seem to have been better then and we really need to be better now.

Children do not thrive on bitterness and hatred; walk them back to happiness, walk don’t run, to happiness (even if it’s Ken Dodd’s version)

My villages – Conisbrough and Denaby – were vital, bright and intelligent in the sixties. We thought we were changing things and that we had a bright and enlightened future.

Almost everyone I grew up with and went to school with felt that. The Thatcher years which evolved into the neo-liberal free market, screw everyone to grow international capital years which are now upon us suck that intelligence, that enlightment, that aspiration and that music out of us.

Has the music died? I don’t think so; not yet: Has the intelligent working class died? I hope not; pray not; and think not; but would like to see not.

Lawrence Woodward

Originally posted 6/2/17; reposted 9/2/17

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