Hey! Fascist

Lyrics

(1)

When I'm walking down the street
It's always you I seem to meet
Car coat on and steel boots on your feet (2)
And write your letters to the Evening News (3)
I pick up a knife and sing this tune:

It goes, Hey fascist! Hey fascist! Hey fascist!
You're gonna get it through the head,
I said Hey fascist! Hey fascist! Hey fascist!
You're gonna get it through the head, I said wah wah...

When walking to work,
It's always you I seem to meet
...in your hair, smelly in the heat
And you kick the shit out of some poor kid
I pick up a knife, I flip my lid

CHORUS.

I said I woka-to-ma, woka-to-ma
Woka-to-ma, wah wah wah 

The dead director of the BBC
I'll show you what I'd love to see (4)
Swastikas and swimming pools (5)
I pick up a knife I sing this tune:

CHORUS.

I said I woka-to-ma, woka-to-ma
Woka-to-ma, wah wah wah 

I said-a fascist...oh

 

Notes

1. According to some reports, this was originally called "Hey! Student," but when the band reflected how many of their fans were students, they picked a less controversial target. By the time they finally recorded a studio version, it was back to "Hey! Student." Many of the lyrics are the same for both songs, and many are almost impossible to make out on the versions I have; if anyone can improve on the above, please contact me. 

MES introduces the song at Foxes at the Greyhound (5/7/78) by saying, "This next number is for brain fascists and musical fascists."

^

2. A car coat is a mid-thigh length jacket designed for wearing in an open car or convertible. 

^

3. The London newspaper The Evening News folded in 1980; there is also a Manchester Evening News.

^

4. On some versions this may be "I'm sure he would have loved to see."

^

5. According to Danny:

I reckon this could be a reference to the opera singer Karl Ridderbusch, who is alleged/rumoured to have had a swastika tiled into the bottom of his swimming pool...

Private Eye, No. 409a, Friday 19 August 1977, p.5, "Opera News" (misspellings left intact): "What a good joke of Covent Garden to open the opera season (with The Trojans) on Yom Kippur, thereby ensuring a half-empty house. Evil-minded gossips at the opera house think that the idea may be to punish musical director Colin Davis who has been heard expressing ethnic views of a kind which would come as a surprise to his old school-friend B. Levin. Davis may be suffering under the influence of his lovely, strong-minded, Persian (i.e. Aryan) wife. Or he may have picked it up during his collaboration on The Ring with producer Gotz Friedrich who, when he lets his East Berlin hair down, has been known to speak his mind about the Jewish problem in accents reminiscent of Wagner himself. At one point no long ago, semi-official representations were made to the management of Covent Garden about this sort of thing. The complainers should think themselves lucky that the German bass Karl Riddersbuch has not been around lately to add his own contribution to the subject: he actually has a swastika in tiles at the bottom of his swimming pool." [byline: Sparafucile]

^

Comments (7)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 31/08/2013

It's surely "kicking the shit out of some poor kid."

Dan

bzfgt
  • 2. bzfgt | 31/08/2013

I'll buy that.

dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 23/04/2014

I've long felt that the line about swastikas and swimming pools and the dead director of the BBC have some real-world reference points, but I haven't found anything definitive yet.

However, worth noting that Manchester Public Library has a swastika design around it: https://www.flickr.com/groups/swastika/discuss/108362/

The dead director of the BBC could be Lord Reith, who died in 1971. Perhaps he'd be turning in his grave at BBC programmes about nazis and swimming pools or something. There was also the death of Cyril Bennett, a London Weekend Television executive, in November 1976. He felt out of the window at his Dolphin Square flat. But he wasn't BBC (MES may have misremembered or altered it). Haven't found any other relevant TV director deaths, or indeed any actual link to swimming pools or swastikas. Mind you, is it director as in executive, or director as in actual director?

But there must be something!

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 25/04/2014

"Swastikas and swimming pools"

I have a theory.

I reckon this could be a reference to the opera singer Karl Ridderbusch, who is alleged/rumoured to have had a swastika tiled into the bottom of his swimming pool. I have found a 1977 reference in Private Eye to this. This doesn't mean it's true, of course. The story is told that Ridderbusch showed off his swimming pool to certain visitors, so perhaps this included someone from the BBC in a version of the story.

I'm trying to track down the issue of Private Eye the story appears in, to see if that helps back this theory up, or not.

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 12/05/2014

Here's the reference.

Private Eye, No. 409a, Friday 19 August 1977, p.5, "Opera News" (misspellings left intact):

"What a good joke of Covent Garden to open the opera season (with The Trojans) on Yom Kippur, thereby ensuring a half-empty house. Evil-minded gossips at the opera house think that the idea may be to punish musical director Colin Davis who has been heard expressing ethnic views of a kind which would come as a surprise to his old school-friend B. Levin. Davis may be suffering under the influence of his lovely, strong-minded, Persian (i.e. Aryan) wife. Or he may have picked it up during his collaboration on The Ring with producer Gotz Friedrich who, when he lets his East Berlin hair down, has been known to speak his mind about the Jewish problem in accents reminiscent of Wagner himself. At one point no long ago, semi-official representations were made to the management of Covent Garden about this sort of thing. The complainers should think themselves lucky that the German bass Karl Riddersbuch has not been around lately to add his own contribution to the subject: he actually has a swastika in tiles at the bottom of his swimming pool." [byline: Sparafucile]

dannyno
  • 6. dannyno | 29/05/2014

According to an article in the Guardian of 4 August 1977 (on controversies surrounding a production of The Ring), Ridderbusch was interviewed :

"in a Stern interview where he was also photographed in his living-room beneath a swastika, which is one of his treasured Nazi relics."

dannyno
  • 7. dannyno | 31/05/2014

On 12 February 1977, a documentary was aired on BBC2 called "The Confessions of Winifred Wagner", an edit of a film by Hans Jurgen Syberberg. Wagner was a friend of Hitler, which is why she was frozen out of Bayreuth after the war.

The "dead director of the BBC" line has become much clearer in mind having read an article in the New York Times of 22 September 1975, headed "Diaries reveal founder of BBC 'loathed people'"

The story relates to the publication of Lord Reith's diaries (he was BBC director general 1927-1938). Quote:

"in private, Lord Reith was confiding to his diaries his hatred of Winston S. Churchill... And before the war he had expressed admiration for Hitler and Mussolini. "Hitler continues his magnificent efficiency," he wrote after Prague was occupied in 1939."

So I wonder if MES had read the diaries (published in 1975) recently, or remembered the story.

Add a comment

You're using an AdBlock like software. Disable it to allow submit.