When a man is running from his boss
Who hold a gun that fires “cost”
And people die from being cold
Or left alone because they’re old
And bombs are dropped on fighting cats
And children’s dreams are run with rats
If you complain you disappear
Just like the lesbians and queers
No one can love without the grace
Of some unseen and distant face
And you get beaten up by blacks
Who though they worked still got the sack
And when your soul tells you to hide
Your very right to die denied
And in the battle on the streets
You fight computers and receipts
And when a man is trying to change
But only causes further pain
You realize that all along
Something in us going wrong…
You stop dancing.
Many of us contemplate our lives and wonder, will it ever become better? W’re always trying to define what ‘it’ is – equal rights, fairer pay, less war, less poverty, less starvation and disease. As we watch the political firestorm intensify in the United States and other countries, we wonder, how did we arrive at this moment. It’s educational to look back on songs like the above. These battles have been going on for as long as humanity.
Progress is being made. It used to be that such problems and challenges were accepted as ‘that’s the way it is’ or not acknowledged as issues. It used to be that some humans could hold other humans as slaves and decree their fate. Women were held as inferior. So were people who weren’t like us, whether it was by religion, skin color, sexual orientation, or their ethnicity or cultural heritage. We are moving on to equal rights and better lives for all, but it’s a shift as slow as the Earth’s tectonic plates.
‘Helpless Dancer’ is a song by The Who. It was included on ‘Quadraphenia’, an album that was released in October, 1973. Speaking to my teenage angst and frustration and laden with drums, guitars and angry lyrics, it became one of my it albums, alongside ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Pink Floyd.