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Lay for the Day
18th July


A day for trouble.
On this day in AD64 the Great Fire of Rome began. It burned for five days and six nights and destroyed the greater part of the city. Nero probably didn’t fiddle to the flames, in fact.
On this day in 1925, Adolf Hitler published his autobiography, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).
On this day in 1936, Francisco Franco launched his military coup against the recently formed republican government of Spain, and plunged the country into civil war.
Four great artists who died on 18th July: Petrarch in 1374; Caravaggio in 1610; Watteau in 1721; and Jane Austen in 1817.
Three troublemakers born on 18th July: Nelson Mandela in 1918; Yevgeny Yevtushenko in 1933; and Hunter S. Thompson in 1939.
So, a good day for the Pope to be declared infallible (in 1870); and for Elvis Presley to make his first recording (‘My Happiness’, in 1953, as a birthday present for his mother).



When Are These Good Times Going to End?

You say we never had it so good,
You wouldn’t change it if you could.
When are these good times going to end?
When are these good times going to end?

Now the bad man’s getting away
And the good woman’s getting no pay.
When are these good times going to end?
When are these good times going to end?

When these good times end
We will call up all our friends,
We’ll party in the street until the dawn.
When these good times quit
Will we miss them one least little bit?
We won’t be walking round wondering if we’re born.

Bright lights shine on the never-never.
Are these good times going to last for ever?
You hear the whip crack down of backlash
And see the bush burning into black ash.

Now the rich dog’s having his day
And the poor dog’s running astray.
When are these good times going to end?
When are these good times going to end?

When these good times end
We will call up all our friends,
We’ll party in the street until the dawn.
When these good times cease
Maybe we shall have some peace
But it won’t be next week, you have been warned.

You say we never had it so good,
You wouldn’t change it if you could.
When are these good times going to end?
When are these good times going to end?

 

Words and music by The Children

 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar