"Pink Flag" as written by and Robert Gotobed Graham Lewis....
I was sold up the river to the red slave trade
The stores were gathered, the plans were laid
Synchronised watches at 18:05
How many dead or alive
In ninteen fifty-five?

The pink flags was screaming
Bugle boys sucked and blew
No time for expression, orders given
Books were cooked, on the fourth or the third
How many seen or heard
On the twelfth of the third?

How many dead or alive? (how many)
How many dead or alive? (how many)
How many dead or alive? (how many)
How many dead or alive? (how many)
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many
How many, how many?
How many, how many?
How many?
Yeah!


Lyrics submitted by exact

"Pink Flag" as written by Colin John Newman Bruce Clifford Gilbert

Lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC

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Pink Flag song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song seems to be about a disaster that happened in 1955; involving slave trade and mass murder.
    MysticSnowmanon August 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could be wrong, but I think this song is about the general kinds of things that happen, not about a specific event. Disappearances, slavers, brutal local wars, calculating aggressors—these were all sadly common things in the Third World during the Cold War. But the specific war hinted at in this song doesn't exist.

    If you write about an actual past or present war, like Eritrea or Vietnam, many people are going to get bogged down in the details, or even feel the need to pick a side. If you write about a near-future war with a real country, people will discuss its plausibility as a prediction rather than taking it as a commentary. But if you write about something that clearly never actually happened, you sidestep all of that, and let people actually take in the horrors.

    It's the same reason Joe Haldeman, Norman Spinrad, etc. were writing so many SF novels about interstellar wars in the 70s.

    And you can see the same idea in other Wire songs. For example, Reuters isn't about the collapse of any particular government, it's about what happens in general when civilization falls apart.

    Of course anyone thinking about wars in the Third World in 1977 would have Vietnam on their mind. And I suspect someone in Wire had recently been reading about the end of the First Indochina War, and Operation Passage to Freedom and its aftermath. All of the details resonate with events in 1955, while clearly not being about those specific events (starting with the 18.05.1955 deadline, while in the song 18:05 is a time rather than a date).
    falcotronon March 03, 2018   Link

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