Get Up And Fight





Notes on the song

A friend of mine in a local bar said to me "I like your music, but all the songs are like hymns". So inspired by Heaven 17's '(We Don't Need No) Fascist Groove Thing', the challenge was on to make a far more up beat track compared with the previous Red Eye songs/melancholic ballads. The result was 'Get Up And Fight'.

My objective when writing it was targeting apathy rather than advocating violence. It's aimed at protesting, mobilising and creating a physical and visual opposition to injustice. As Billy Bragg once wrote "wearing badges is not enough on days like these". These days, neither is a website/internet petition - we need to "Get Up and Fight".

These are becoming tough times with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Many people, young people in particular, are suffering from low wages (which fail to keep up with inflation), are unable to buy a house, have to pay further education/university fees, and are suffering from zero hour contracts and the gig economy. So it was young people, in particular, that I had in mind when I wrote the song.

Whilst I don't advocate violence, actual physical protests can, and have, achieve change and influence events. We are now in times when positive change is becoming more and more necessary. Especially as voting fails to result in any realistic or significant change in many parts of the world. Plus, while voting is important, and it's vital that more young people vote, the lyrics "Get Up and Vote" might not have had the same impact!

Here are some of the events when and where protests and protesters have helped achieve genuine change and improvement:

  •  Suffragettes
  •  Gandhi
  •  Rosa Parks
  •  French Revolution
  •  American Revolution
  •  Martin Luther King
  •  Selma
  •  Stonewall riots
  •  Nelson Mandela
  •  Marriage equality
  •  Poll tax riots
  •  Anti-apartheid sanctions
  •  Rock Against Racism
  •  Student sit-ins

It was The Clash that sang in 'Clampdown' "Anger can be Power" and Public Image in 'Rise' sang "Anger is an Energy", and as I saw in a old poster/photo in the US, "You are either a victim or a rebel".

Having written the song, finding vocalists who could perform the chants and inject some real passion and enthusiasm into the song was never going to be easy. Then I saw the Happy Freuds playing a gig in Spain and was totally impressed.

A young guys multinational rock band from Javea, Spain, they produce analogue and authentic style rock. Any tracks uploaded on their Reverbnation page are one-take recordings, whether live in the studio or from gigs. Music is intentionally produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes.

At the ages of 17 & 14, Swedish brothers Teo and Victor Holmstrom (lead guitar/vocals and drums) created the band with Jack Hunter (English) on bass & lead vocals, together with Sergio Canadas (Spanish) on second guitar. Like music itself, the Happy Freuds know no borders.

Happy Freuds

A different band playing the bar and small venue circuit by intentionally NOT doing the obvious crowd pleasing numbers or entertain as background music. Loud & proud and a very energetic live band. They are a fantastic band, who also write and perform their own material. It's really worth checking their stuff at their Soundcloud site. I am sure they are destined for great things and they were recently Number ONE for Rock Bands @ Reverbnation in Spain.

The final words are from the poem "The Masque of Anarchy" (or the Mask of Anarchy) which is a political poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelly in 1819 following the Peterloo massacre of that year. It is perhaps the first call for freedom and perhaps the first modern statement/poem of the principle of nonviolent resistance:

"Rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you: ye are many - they are few!"

You may download the song using this direct link or from the Download Music page.




Lyrics

1st Verse:

No job,
We can change that situation,
No pay, and no say.

No food,
You can stop that situation,
Just steal, what is yours.


Chorus:

Why don't you get up,
Get up and fight,
Don't just sit there,
You know it ain't right,
You don't change nothing 'till you get up and fight,
Why don't you get up, get up, get up, get up, get up.


2nd Verse:

No homes,
We can change that situation,
With force,
Things can change,

Don't take,
All this misery for granted,
When you,
Have all the power in your hands.


Chorus:

Why don't you get up,
Get up and fight,
Don't just sit there,
You know it ain't right,
You don't change nothing 'till you get up and fight,
Why don't you get up, get up, get up, get up, get up.


Mid8:

If you think society's working,
Then ask someone who ain't,
The worse the picture get,
More lies the media will paint.

If you can't eat at the table,
Then you must break off the legs,
'Cause there ain't gonna be no changes,
Without breaking a few heads.

Can't you hear,
What I'm saying,
Can't you hear,
What I've said


Can't you hear,    Why don't you get up,
What I'm saying    Get up and fight,
Can't you hear,    Don't just sit there,
What I've said.    You know it ain't right.
You don't change nothing 'till you get up and fight,
Why don't you get up, get up, get up, get up, get up.


3rd Verse:

No rights,
You can change that situation,
That strength, is in you,

The peace,
of this slavery is worse than,
The fight,
For your freedom and your rights.


Chorus:

Why don't you get up,
Get up and fight,
Don't just sit there,
You know it ain't right,
You don't change nothing 'till you get up and fight,
Why don't you get up, get up, get up, get up, get up.

Can't you hear,    Why don't you get up,
What I'm saying,    Get up and fight,
Can't you hear,    Don't just sit there,
What I've said.    You know it ain't right.
You don't change nothing 'till you get up and fight,
Why don't you get up, get up, get up, get up, get up

Can't you hear,    Why don't you get up,    El pueblo,
What I'm saying,    Get up and fight,    unidos,
Can't you hear,    Don't just sit there,    Jamas sera vencido.
What I've said.    You know it ain't right.    El pueblo,

You don't change nothing    unidos,
'till you get up and fight,    Jamas sera vencido,
Why don't you get up,    El pueblo,
get up, get up, get up, get up    unidos,
Jamas sera vencido.
El pueblo,
unidos,
Jamas sera vencido.




Reviews

Get Up And Fight was featured in the Sixteen Million Rising, Anti Brexit radio show/podcast Shout, a protest and marching songs special.

Sixteen Million Rising Shout Podcast

It's an excellent show, with great music and wise and amusing statements about the Brexit disaster and The People's Vote. You can listen to the show here.

The presenter said "SMR loves Red Eye - the new song is a winner - lovin' the vocals on this one!"