When I was young, I had a teacher at school called Mrs Hilary and she taught us for singing. Mrs Hilary’s repertoire was drawn from the folk music of the 1960s. We all learned about the little boxes made of ticky-tacky and speculated what we would do if we had a hammer. She told us the long and tragic story of Jackie Paper and we all sang in agreement that our house was a very very very fine house.
One of the saddest and most haunting songs was Where Have All The Flowers Gone? I found it almost unbearable to sing. I actually wanted to know where the flowers had gone. I asked Mrs Hilary several times if she could let me know. She couldn’t. In fact she once kept me in after school to write the word ‘facetious’ 200 times because she thought I was being facetious. I wasn’t, I just ask the questions no one else is asking.
The most haunting question raised by the song is: when will they ever learn? I didn’t understand this either. Who were we waiting to learn?
Now I know.
It’s the whole damn establishment with their focus groups and their constituency surgeries and their speech writers and their restraining orders. Where have all the people gone? Long time passing every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they eeeeever learn?*
I have learned. I still ask the questions. Because I know they aren’t gone. #tag2012
* No copyright infringement intended.