The Town That Was Murdered
They shut the pits down long before
they closed the shipyard doors.
The steel that we were promised never came.
Then they said they’d dock our dole,
because we weren’t at home,
available for work that wasn’t there.
For twenty-seven days we marched,
just trying to be heard,
but government can only hear the rich.
Three hundred miles and all for nowt.
We might have bloody known.
That bastard Baldwin couldn’t give a shite.
So back we go, with nothing changed,
back to the town they murdered,
and I wonder when the North will rise again.
The Town That Was Murdered is the title of a book written by Ellen Wilkinson, MP for Jarrow from 1935 to 1947, about the plight of the town and the destructive effect of capitalism on working-class communities.
This poem was originally included in the anthology 'Noble Dissent', published by Beautiful Dragons in 2017.