Johnny Bang-Bang


‘Bang-Bang’ Johnny loomed large above my youth:

A cowboy hero shooting baddies down,

He made the world a better place to live.

Part comic-book, part black and white TV,

He had the most profound effect on me.


I never questioned what is right and wrong

Or asked myself about the shades of grey.

I just assumed that guys with guns and stripes

Would constitute a proper force for good.

I never wondered why; perhaps I should.


The fire bombs looked pretty as they dropped;

The air crews were the rock stars of their time.

The generals, with parties in full swing,

Would shrug off what was inconvenient.

You know, I once thought Johnny heaven-sent.


I should have understood why wars are fought

And why the big battalions will win;

Why baddies thrive and innocents are slain,

Why rabbits run and tumble one by one,

As power celebrates a job well done.

◄ Beethoven

Less obvious ►


Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Thu 16th Sep 2021 16:31

Thanks to Hugh and John for like and to K J for the thought-provoking comment.

Profile image

kJ Walker

Thu 16th Sep 2021 07:12

The victors get to write the history, so the good will always win.

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Wed 15th Sep 2021 17:01

Thanks to Nigel, Angel, Bramwell, Stephen, Rudyard and Holden for reading and liking this one.

I suppose it is a metaphor for disillusion and the collapse of certainty. You start off believing that everything in life is well-ordered, the lines between good and bad are neatly drawn, and then realise that things are much less clear. This does mot mean, of course, that one can't tell the difference when it matters!

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message