The End of the Empire
© Bill Watkins
Notes: This is a song I wrote for Andy M. Stewart as the British flag came down over their old opium port of Hong Kong. It can be sung to the tune of The Humours of Whiskey, but the melody pattern is just A B, not A B B.
The Streets of Old London
Support an abundance of
Flag-waving wankers in working-class pubs
Whilst the old Tory bosses and lordly old tossers
Still snooze in the corners of gentleman's clubs
Bucolic old colonels are writing their journals
Of halcyon days on the old Hindu cush
'Til the downtrodden natives became educated
Got armed and elated and gave them the push.
This devious shower of imperial power
Had crassness to sour the patience of Job
The great British Empire bit like a vampire
The necks of poor nations all over the globe
If you think these marauders and swindlers and frauders
Should lecture the world on how to behave
Just stretch out a map in the midst of your lap
And look for a country they didn't invade.
Whilst never empire-ish the poor bloody Irish
Had 800 years under slavery's yoke
Till in 1916 when the boys in the green
Crept up on the bastards and gave them the poke
From Hong Kong to Poona, to Tristan de Chuna
The Pillars of empire came tumbling down
Now what have they got of the whole shaggin' lot
'cept Belfast, the Falklands and Ould Derry Town?
So come good folks unite and we'll take up the fight
And smash the foul might of imperious greed
As the old system crashes, stands up to its lashes, we'll
Scatter its ashes along with its seed
I hope and I pray that may God speed the day
When it's battered and beggared and burning in Hell
And the shrieks and the groans of the empire's old moans
Cannot drown out the tones
Of sweet Liberty's Bell.