Friday, February 9, 2018

The Anthem

Tom Robinson Band : Glad to be Gay

In February  of 1978 Tom Robinson Band released the Rising Free EP, featuring the single "Glad To Be Gay", which Robinson had written for a London Gay Pride event two years earlier.  The song would peak at U.K. #18 and become the unofficial U.K. gay anthem despite BBC 1's refusal to play the song. Instead, they played another Rising Free track,  "Don't Take No For An Answer"

"So with 'Glad To Be Gay' it was, right, fuck you," Robinson tells an interviewer on his website . "With the government falling apart, the NF and religious right on the rise, queerbashing on the increase and the police out of control in that hot summer of 1976 it just felt like there was no room for compromise any more."

Among the lyrics:

The British Police are the best in the world
 I don't believe one of these stories I've heard
 'Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all 
Lining the customers up by the wall 
Picking out people and knocking them down 
Resisting arrest as they're kicked on the ground 
Searching their houses and calling them queer 
I don't believe that sort of thing happens here 

Sing if you're glad to be gay 
Sing if you're happy that way 
Sing if you're glad to be gay 
Sing if you're happy that way...

 So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs 
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs 
Make sure your boyfriend's at least 21 
So only your friends and your brothers get done 
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks 
Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes 
Gay Lib's ridiculous, join their laughter 
'The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?'

TR in 1976

1 comment:

  1. I remember how controversial this was at the time.
    Nowadays thankfully most folk would hardly raise an eyebrow