Old Rottenhat

Robert Wyatt


Robert Wyatt

There is a kind of compromise you are master of
Your endless gentle nudging left us polarised
It's hard to talk to enemies and we are enemies
What we had in common makes it even worse
You're proud of being middle class (meaning upper class)
You say you're self sufficient (but you don't dig your own coal)
I think that what you're frightened of more than anything
Is knowing you need workers more than they need you
"A herd of independent minds" Chomsky got it right
Jogging into battle waving old school ties

Illustration : Jean-Michel Marchetti


There are degrees of amnesia, ways to forget
Ways to remember all the good that you've done
And if you can't get a witness remind yourselves
Nobody's just perfectly good all the time
And if you killed all those redskins long, long ago
Well, they'd all be dead now anyway, anyway
Don't let that ghost disconcert you (the) lord will provide
(a) nice little headstone for the brave Cherokee
(So let's have) no reservations let's have a clean sweep
Clearing the way for the land of the free
Let's hear it for civilisation once more
Build your aryan empire in peace


East Timor
Who's your fancy friend, Indonesia?
What did Gillespie do to help you?


Please note :
"What did Gillespie do to help you?" in the liner notes
becomes "What did Kennedy do to help you?" in Robert's own handwriting in the MW book.


They say the working class is dead, we're all consumers now
They say that we have moved ahead—we're all just people now There's people doing 'frightfully well' there's others on the shelf
But never mind the second kind this is the Age of Self
They say we need new images to help our movement grow
They say that life is broader based as if we didn't know
While Martin J. and Robert M. play with printer's ink
The workers 'round the world still die for Rio Tinto Zinc
And it seems to me if we forget
Our roots and where we stand
The movement will disintegrate
Like castles built on sand.



Beyond the dotted line
Over the border
Out of control
Behind the dotted line
South of the border
Beyond the pale
Going too far



Those foreigners are at it again
When will they learn to fight like our men
There's nothing new under the mirror
And it's time for one more bedtime story
Get beauty sleep for morning glory
How can I rise if you don't fall?

Illustration : Jean-Michel Marchetti



And as history slips out of view bated breath for the nine o'clock new
Reassembled right before your very eyes: innuendo rumour and lies
Endless fun and games steal a headline, name some names
We're so proud that our press feel so free to manipulate them you and me
And as each campaign begins to absolve us of our sins
I see freedom sold by the yard it's so easy why make it hard?



It's so easy to decide on a name It's a name caller's game
It's so easy to look down from above Helicopter vision
Get the picture when you're outside the frame Retrospective my eye
Call it art and you can say what you like It's a name caller's game
Your perspective describes where I stand Out of line, out of mind
Calling myopia 'focus', of course, makes it easier still
Gharbzadegi means nothing to me Westernitis to you
... We get so out of touch Words take the place of meaning



Poor little Alfie trying to draw
Poor little Alfie trying to sleep