Torture Garden: The Clearing Of Misery

The Haymarket monument in Chicago commemorates the revolutionary martyrs

Today is May Day – i.e. International Workers’ Day – so I am previewing some appropriate lyrics for an upcoming song by my band Torture Garden, on our new album The Great Depression.

The words were inspired by a section in News From Nowhere, the novel by William Morris. He describes how, in a future communist society:

“Once a year, on May-day, we hold a solemn feast in those easterly communes of London to commemorate The Clearing of Misery, as it is called. On that day we have music and dancing, and merry games and happy feasting on the site of some of the worst of the old slums, the traditional memory of which we have kept.”

The following are my lyrics, designed for that world which must come, and indeed for this one:

Sing like a skylark
On the first of May
Let your joy echo
Through glorious glades
Reclaimed by Mab
From grimmest grey
Sing like a skylark
On the first of May

No bed of Procrustes
Is to be found
Amongst the bounty
That springs from the ground
But tears fell
Upon this spot
When people wailed
And cursed their lot

So my children
Born into bliss
Remember their pain
And honour their gift
To our joyful
Radiant lives
Hatred vanished
And love now thrives

The International
Cleansed our race
Of old division
There is no trace
Such words are shrouded
In mists of time
Empires fell and
We drank of the vine

So my children
Born into bliss
Remember their pain
And honour their gift
To our joyful
Radiant lives
Hatered was vanquished
And love now thrives

Haymarket martyrs
Before they fell
Swore no allegiance
To the laws of hell
So in our heaven
We dance and play
We welcome the glorious
Month of May

So my children
Born into bliss
Remember their pain
And honour their gift
To our joyful
Radiant lives
Hatred was banished
And love now thrives

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