Poetry Corner: Harry was a Bolshie (The Ballad of Harry Pollitt)

Harry was a Bolshie (The Ballad of Harry Pollitt)

Taken from ‘A Socialist Songbook‘ published by Harrow Young Communist League, 17th February 1977, dedicated to the legendary General Secretary of the Communist Party, Harry Pollitt.


Harry was a Bolshie,
One of Lenin’s lads,
‘Till he was foully murdered,
By reactionary cads.

“That’s alright,” says Harry,
“I’m not afraid to die,
I’ll carry on my Party work
In the land beyond the sky.”

He went up to the pearly gates,
Saw Peter on his knees,
”O, can I speak to Comrade God?”
“I’m Harry Pollitt, please.”

Said Peter unto Harry,
“Are you humble and contrite?”
“I’m a friend of Lady Docker’s.”
Then, “O.K. you’ll be all right.”

They put him in the choir,
Put a harp into his hands,
But he taught the Internationale
To the Hallellujah band.

They put him with the angels,
But the hymns he did not like,
So he organised the angels,
And brought them out on strike.

One day as God was walking,
In the grounds to meditate,
Who should he see but Harry
Chalking slogans on the gate.

They brought him up for trial,
Before the Holy Ghost,
For spreading dissaffection,
Amongst the Heavenly Host.

The verdict it was guilty,
Said Harry, “Very well.”
And wrapped his nightie round his knees,
And floated down to Hell.

Now seven long years have passed,
And Harry’s doing swell,
He’s been made People’s Commissar,
For the Soviet Socialist Hell.

Now seven more years have passed,
And John Gollan’s there as well,
And all the little devils,
Have joined the YCL!

The moral of this story,
It isn’t hard to tell,
If you want to be a Bolshie
Then you’ve got to go to Hell!

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