The summer of 1979



summer, 1979
punk rock was booming,
bringing pseudo-anarchy to the UK
giving us spitting in the street
laced DMs and black PVC
a new ripped-jeans generation
lolled by the road, smoking rollies
swearing and hoping someone would notice.

greetings were a sneer or a two-fingered salute,
the rich said they were skint, and dressed with care, to suit
joining ragged queues to prove their identity
playing follow-the-leader, proclaiming on live TV
and waggling their sharp mohicans to show they agree

but the music
it rang in my ears
at local gigs we’d hear songs
bursting with rage against the system
written by those too young to know the difference
and having too much fun to take an interest
yelling hurriedly-scribbled lyrics
only to be drowned out by screaming electrical feedback
from cheap guitars
sweat dripping, we’d pogo in the mosh pit
buzzing, bumping, spilling beer,
never wanting the night to finish

some summer evenings
our band-member friends would visit
we’d sit on the floor drinking coffee
smoking cigarettes
and making jokey plans for revolution

it would begin in the park and end in time for tea
deep down we all wished our plans were real
and we were waiting for a signal

seeing how successive governments
have damaged this land
it might have been a good idea
but I’m still waiting

The Daily Post #Waiting

ยฉJane Paterson Basil

31 thoughts on “The summer of 1979

  1. 1979.
    The year my idol was at his peak.
    The ultimate wordsmith / poet ever.
    And the best band of the 70s.

    Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I was writing this, I thought of you – and Ian Dury; that night when he exploded onto my on TV screen. I’d never even heard of him.
      The thrill when he came on stage and yelled “Blockheads.”
      Then he sang.
      Like a sudden electric storm. You throw your clothes off, and dance naked in the rain, and you never want it to stop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m more into literature that music,
        always have been.
        But, when I first heard “What a waste”
        on the radio back in 1977 it totally blew
        me away.
        I haven’t been to many concerts throughout
        the years, but I did see Ian Dury and the Blockheads
        at the Shepherds Bush Empire in 1982.

        A night I shall never forget. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “it would begin in the park and end in time for tea…” We all had such big plans to make the world better, didn’t we, no matter what country we were in… I guess there just weren’t enough of us?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The last big march I attended, my daughter Claire went with me. It was a huge protest, and the first one she’s attended. We marched to Hyde Park, London. As we stood with the crowd, listening to the speeches, Claire said “This will make a difference, won’t it?” I couldn’t tell her that it wouldn’t change anything. There are never enough of us.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked it when everything was black and white, when I thought there was always a right answer to every question – just one right answer, and every problem could be solved.
      We were going to change the world. At least we tried…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. Again, I read directly at Poets Corner or go directly to your blog and still my comments land in the spam. Thank You for taking your time to go through your emails/notices and see/read that I’m happily, constantly following You and your work, words, poetry. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When people thought anarchy was the answer. I’m not sure it is – lots of people will get hurt in the process – but we’re all so used to being ignored by politicians now most of use don’t bother to moan as we lose services, face endless cutbacks.
    Perhaps that’s why Brexit happened – no one who voted out really thought their protest vote would be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t help that they were protesting against the wrong things.
      Speaking of which, we held a march in Barnstaple yesterday, to protest against the horrifying proposed cuts to our hospital services. Thousands of us turned out, all wearing red.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I hear you on that one! There’s always that problematic balance between what’s right and decent and moral and what politcians think the country can afford. Sadly, often not the same thing ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

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