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Happy Birthday, Leonid Brezhnev

Joan Baez


Happy birthday, Leonid Brezhnev
What a lovely seventy-fifth
We watched the party on TV
You seemed to be
Taking things casually
What a mighty heart
Must beat in your breast
To hold forty-nine medals on your chest
Think of all the gifts that you've got
Some were acquired and some were not
Like a natural talent for marionettes
Who do your dirty work and cover your bets
So with one hand waving free
The other one crushed a budding democracy

Congratulations, Jaruzelski
What a wonderful job you have done
Let me mention to a sane man's eye
You've lost the meaning of compromise
They're comparing you
To General Pinochet
It's a dubious compliment at best
Your people are freezing
The workers are bleeding
You've already
Arranged numerous deaths
The only difference in the camps
From the stadiums
Is not much
For the doomed all cry
It's only the weather
And the songs people sing
Just before they die

Do you hear us, Lech Walesa?
What a terrible price you have paid
For being ahead of your time
Has surely constituted a crime
Oh, Mr. Brezhnev, look
Somebody read the little red book
And took it all seriously
The way you did
When you were young and you believed
And you workers and you black Madonna
You're not supposed to utter a word
But the courage of you
And your man of the year
Is a symphony the world
Has seldom seen or heard
Through the Siberian gates of hell
The Pope and the bishops
Are wishing you well
We see your candles in the park
Hear your fearless promises in the dark
How they cheat and when tried to win
They didn't know that there
Would always be within you
And we hear you, Lech Walesa
Yes, we hear you, Lech Walesa
Yes, we hear you, Lech Walesa
Yes, we hear you, Lech Walesa

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