The Red Wedding

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour “Scarecrow”

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour where the house band for Radikal Words, a night I ran at Northern Stage in Newcastle. Then they became famous and I couldn’t afford  the fee


they rightly deserved and we parted. I also had the pleasure of working with Bridie on the “RiverRuns” a stage show we wrote and performed with a group of poets, writers and singer songwriters. The song I have chosen is “Scarecrow”. A wonderful haunting song from the pen of Louis Barabbas. Sadly, The Arbour are no more but Bridie continues to perform and record her music’

I have been to and indeed taken part in a few weddings in my time but in that strange way the muse can sometimes take you, as I listened to the track, I was also thinking of the Labour Party (stay with me on this one). In the 1970’s I was a member of the Labour Party Young Socialists and also an enthusiastic supporter of the Militant. The relationship fell apart following the Miners Strike and what I felt was the betrayal  of the Labour leadership and factional politics of the left.

It has taken a long time for the wounds to heal but the revitalised and reinvigorated Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn have got me once again handing out leaflets and knocking on doors. Jeremy stuck with the party rather than going off in a sulk like I did. From the back benches he fought what must at times seemed like a hopeless task but he prevailed. Marriage is a bit like that for it to work you have to work through the tough times as well as enjoying the good ones (there… got there in the end).

The​ ​Red Wedding


You dressed in a red flag for our wedding

I was wore faded jeans and a slogan t-shirt

​You​ ​were​ ​older but I loved where you had come from

I​ ​promised​ ​you​ ​my​ ​undying​ ​devotion

You​ ​offered​ ​me​ ​the​ ​full​ ​fruits​ ​of​ ​my​ ​labour

​I​ ​became​ ​more​ ​demanding eager for change

You​ ​slandered​ ​my​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​then​ ​expelled​ ​them

I walked out disillusioned and bitter

You started dressing like a bank manager

I reluctantly supported you at the ballot box

You went to war and rained death on civilians

I cynically sulked on the sidelines

You found a new voice and rediscovered your heart

I want you to give me a second chance


© Jeff Price October 2017


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