Billy Bragg, “Help save the youth of America” (live at “Late Night with David Letterman”)


Help save the youth of America, help save them from themselves / Help save the sun-tanned surfer boys and the Californian girls

When the lights go out in the rest of the world, what do our cousins say? / They’re playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun, till daddy takes the gun away

From the big Church to the big river, and out to the shining sea / This is the Land of Opportunity and there’s a Monkey Trial on TV

A Nation with their freezers full are dancing in their seats / While outside another Nation is sleeping in the streets

Don’t tell me the old, old story, tell me the truth this time / Is the man in the mask or the Indian an enemy or a friend of mine?

Help save the youth of America, help save the youth of the world / Help save the boys in uniform, their mothers and their faithful girls

Listen to the voice of the soldier down in the killing zone / Talking about the cost of living and the price of bringing him home

They’re already shipping the body bags down below the Rio Grande / But you can fight for democracy at home and not in some foreign land

And the fate of the great United States is entwined in the fate of us all / And the incident at Chernobyl proves, the world we live in is very small

And the cities of Europe have burned before, and they may yet burn again / And if they do I hope you understand that Washington will burn with them, Omaha will burn with them, Los Alamos will burn with them

[By Billy Bragg © Elektra – Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 1988]