Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Battle Hymn of the Revolting
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Young folks, firebrands, everybody come,
Join our demonstration and make yourselves at home;
Bring your fags and plastic mugs and drop them on the floor,
And we'll tell you libel stories that you've never heard before.

Vice-chancellors are baddies, who simply loathe the young,
They have the most colossal cheek in which to keep their tongue,
They wield their autocratic power with tyranny sadistic,
And when they show us kindness they are too paternalistic.

Young folks, firebrands, everybody come,
Join our demonstration and make yourselves at home;
Bring your fags and plastic mugs and drop them on the floor,
And we'll tell you libel stories that you've never heard before.

Proctors are outrageous men, as full of gall as guile,
Who spy upon our privacy and put it in a file,
To try to reason with such scum inevitably fails —
They sneer and reassure us that they only file their nails.

Young folks, firebrands, everybody come,
Join our demonstration and make yourselves at home;
Bring your fags and plastic mugs and drop them on the floor,
And we'll tell you libel stories that you've never heard before.

Deans and Moral Tutors are a soggy lot of crooks,
And our stupid fellow-students  keep their noses in their books.
Alas! We look in vain for hope, below, around, above;
We'd love to hold a love-in, but there's nobody to love.

Young folks, firebrands, everybody come,
Join our demonstration and make yourselves at home;
Bring your fags and plastic mugs and drop them on the floor,
And we'll tell you libel stories that you've never heard before.



Between 1968 and 1970, student demonstrations took place in many countries. These followed a number of wider movements for reform but often included that of university governance and the (supposed) existence of secret files on personal and political activity.

Oxford Times, 13 March 1970