The Gasman Cometh

Album: Stations Of The Crass (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • This song borrows the title and nothing else from the Flanders & Swann comedy classic. A group composition, it is an attack on political apathy from an anarchist perspective, and basically asks the question: Where will you be when there are black helicopters in the sky and your neighbors are being carted off to the concentration camps, or worse?
  • The song is not only totally devoid of melody but is also both dated and parochial in a manner that makes comprehension difficult for the few who might otherwise enjoy it. While the reference to Auschwitz will be recognized universally, how many people will realize that "coshes at Southall" is an allusion to the death of Blair Peach after a violent demonstration in April 1979, an incident that inspired the Hazel O'Connor song "Black Man"? >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

Comments: 1

  • Ross from Leicester, United Kingdom"Dated and parochial" - ouch! Crass lyrics were often written with direct reference to issues that were current at the time in the UK and were intended to challenge the views of listeners, including those already in the punk scene. I don't think Crass ever really thought people would still be paying much attention to these songs 30 years later. It's a bit like criticising a political leaflet for being dated! However Crass remain hugely influential internationally at an underground level so I guess you're wrong (not that I'd choose to lisen to most of their stuff either..!!)
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