Hmm, my attention’s been drawn to the sleeve note of Salvation’s “Twelve Strings To The Beau” vinyl release.
About the song, “Why Do You Laugh?” written in 1974, the note says this:
10 Why Do You Laugh? (8.50)
‘Why Do You Laugh?’ is a collection of vignettes based around newspaper articles and news snippets from 1974. Opening with the Troubles in
, along the way we visit vandalism, social deprivation, the impoverished British National Health Service, post-traumatic stress and a whole bunch of other ills of the moment. The piece ends as it began; on an Irish connection. Someone at the time was loudly bemoaning his treatment by the critics, and I thought of Brendan Behan’s immortal line, “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.” Northern Ireland
Initially the song was to be called ‘The Laughable Recluse’. Its slightly arch perceptions were after all mine, and mine alone. But in the event, these were not amusing times. The title was later broadened out beyond that simple phrase from verse seven.
The interesting bit is the comment about the NHS! Forty-odd years on, it seems the times they are not a’changin’!