The Howard Years

The Howard Years

tune and original words “Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers
new words by Paul Spencer, 2012
with research by Cath Blakey

[NOTE: verses 5, 8 and 10 are new. In verse 5, the verse takes up the whole verse and chorus tune, then you go back and sing the chorus again. There’s just so much to say!]

1. Oh the year was 1996
   How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
The Liberal Party was voted in,
With the scummiest leader I’ve ever seen,
   God damn John Howard! We were dragged
   Along behind the American flag,
   To serve his rich, corporate peers,
   Now let’s remember all those bitter tears,
   Lest we forget the Howard years.

2. John Howard cried he’d a mandate then,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
To slam the poor with a GST,
And tell us tampons are a luxury,
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

3. Oh the wharf dispute was a sickening fight,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
He made up new laws on the fly,
While they trained their scabs over in Dubai.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

4. At Kyoto he refused to sign,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
But he signed our rights and jobs away,
In a free-trade deal with the USA.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

5. Well he rolled back Native Title rights,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
Then he played some sneaky funding tricks,
And closed down ATSIC just for kicks,
But that’s not all,
For he sent in troops to outback indigenous camps,
To break their will,
Steal their land,
And it’s clear when all the facts are scanned,
The mining lobby had it planned.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

6. Well he turned his back on David Hicks,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
Sixty-six months in Guantanamo Bay,
And Howard betrayed him all the way.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

7. Oh the Yankees called him to their war,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
Though 70% were against it, still,
He sent our troops to do Dubya’s will.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

8. Well he came down hard on refugees,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
He lied about them just for votes,
And he sent them to prison for being on boats.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

9. Well he gave out tax cuts to the rich,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
Then he sold off Telstra to fill the hole,
And took from students and the dole.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

10. Well he scrapped our pay and rights at work,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
It’s the final straw that got him the sack,
And Labor still hasn’t rolled it back,
God damn John Howard! (etc.)

11. He’s a downright nasty piece of work,
How I’m glad he’s not in power now,
For decades it’s been blinding clear,
But he only got hit with a shoe last year.
God damn John Howard! (etc.)