Monday, 23 March 2015

Love of the common people . . .

This blog post is dedicated to the common people . . . 

Living on free food tickets
Water in the milk from a hole in the roof
Where the rain come through
What can you do?

Tears from your little sister
Crying 'cause she doesn't have a dress
Without a patch for the party to go
But you know she'll get by

I have written indirectly about Paul Young before as he was a featured soloist on the Feed the world (Do they know it's Christmas) single released by Band Aid.  I loved watching Paul Young on TV music shows of the 80s.  His most memorable hits for me include Everytime you go away and What becomes of the broken hearted?

The government hasn't really been thinking about the "common people" of Aotearoa as of late.  
The state housing situation in Aotearoa is dire, with the government unwilling to make housing affordable for ordinary New Zealanders who are entitled to have housing for their families.  As an educator I have always struggled to think about how to support children of all cultures, ethnic backgrounds and identities in my line of work - notedly when their parents and caregivers are trying to do as much as possible, trying to work as hard as they can to make ends meet and provide their children.  It is hard for children to learn and achieve to their potential when they live in damp homes, with no food to eat and school uniforms that prevent them from even attending school.

It's a good thing you don't have bus fare
It would fall through the hole in your pocket and you'd lose it
In the snow on the ground
You got to walk into town to find a job

Trying' to keep your hands warm
When the hole in your shoe lets the snow come through
And chills you to the bone
Now you'd better go home to where it's warm

In my experience as a teacher, children have opted to stay home and avoid the drama that comes with not having 'enough' when they enter the school gates.  The images that the words in these verses conjure help to illustrate how things worth doing, the basic necessities in life that we can often take for granted, are a constant burden for other people to provide for their families - warmth that provides comfort, a home that provides shelter and a place to rest, a job that provides the economic means to be self-sufficient.  How can our government promise to provide these things and then take them away because profit is more important to line their own private pockets?

Living on a dream ain't easy
But the closer the knit, the tighter the fit
And the chills stay away
Keeping 'em in stride for family pride 

You know that faith is in your foundation
And with a whole lot of love and warm conversation
But don't forget to pray
'Cause making it strong where you belong. . . 

I am a strong believer in having faith in your foundation, whether it be faith in God or another spiritual being that you choose to put your faith in - it is important to ensure that you draw strength from something or someone who will help to steer you through.  In the absence of practical help and assistance that we should come to rely on, it's no wonder that people continue to search for answers from the universe to push them along, to help keep them afloat in these trying times.  Are you strong where you belong?

'Cause she's living in the love of the common people
Smile's from the heart of a family man
Daddy's gonna buy you a dream to cling to
Mamma's gonna love you just as much as she can, and she can. . . 

The chorus of this song reminds me of the children's poem/song Hush little baby, don't say a word because it uses the same reference to the parents, in particular to Papa and what he will buy for his child.  It makes me think about those fathers who may be struggling with trying to buy things for their children.  How can we as a society help our fathers to help their children?

I hope that no matter how far you get in life, that you remember where you come from, where you once belonged.  I hope that you remember that when you were once the common people, that you remember to do things for the love of the common people. . .