Momus – I Was A Maoist Intellectual

From the album ‘Slender Sherbet‘ (1995).


I always knew that I could seize the world’s imagination
And show the possibilities for rapid transformation
I saw a nation in decay, but also a solution: permanent cultural revolution
Whenever I played my protest songs the press applauded me
Rolled out the red carpet, parted the Red Sea
But the petit bourgeois philistines stayed away
They preferred their artists to have nothing much to say

How did I pass my time on earth? Now it can be revealed:
I was a Maoist intellectual in the entertainment field

I showed the people how they lived and told them it was bad
Showed them the insanity inside the bureaucrat
And the archetypes and stereotypes that were my stock in trade
Toppled all the ivory towers that privilege had made
Though I tried to change your mind I never tried your patience
All I tried to do was to point out your exploitation
But the powers that be took this to be a personal insult
And refused to help me build my personality cult

How did I pass my time an earth and what on earth got into me?
I was a Maoist intellectual in the music industry

I left the normal world behind and started living in
A hinterland between dissolution and self-discipline
I burned the midnight oil to build my way of seeing
Like a miner at the coal face of meaning
The rich despised the songs I wrote which told the poor their worth
Told the shy to speak and told the meek to take the earth
But my downfall came from being three things the working classes hated:
Agitated, organised and over-educated

How did I pass my time on earth? Rrrr- get me a witness!
I was a Maoist intellectual in the entertainment business
And how was I treated in this world and in this industry?
As a Maoist intellectual in a business would be

I became a hotel doorman, I stood there on the doormat
Clutching my forgotten discs in their forgotten format
Trying to hand them out to all the stars who sauntered in
The ones who hadn’t been like me, who hadn’t lived in vain
I gave up ideology the day I lost my looks
I never found a publisher for my little red books
When I died the energy released by my frustration
Was nearly enough for re-incarnation

But if I could live my life again the last thing that I’d be
Is a Maoist intellectual in the music industry
No, if I could live my life again I think I’d like to be
The man whose job is to stop the men who think like me
Yeah! If l could live my life again that’d be the thing to be
The man who plots the stumbling blocks
In the lives of the likes of me!

next >>>