For centuries in Spain a grand coalition
Of monarchists and zealous catholic bishops
Had ruthlessly ruled the Iberian nation
Leaving the poor to starve or feed themselves on slops.
With the possible exception of czarist Russia
Spain’s the poorest nation in the whole of Europe
Kings and priests getting wealthier and wealthier
While poor peasants led a life where lost was all hope.
Protests were met with torture, trade unions were banned
The valiant army with ferocious generals
To go into battle were always at hand
The enemy being their own nationals.
They’d fight to the death to maintain the status quo
Keep the poor poor and the rich shall get richer
The unholy compact of the holy duo
Was thus cemented deeper and closer.
Grasping owners of massive latifundia
Were becoming greedier and greedier.
The priests got it wrong teaching the people
To read, forbidding all else but the bible
For this easily developed into a weapon
In the hands of the peasants for their advancement
They were never happy to be preyed upon
And were determined to end their predicament.
It was inevitable that that some day the pot
Would boil over and conflagration would erupt
And the rulers would find themselves in a tight spot
They knew for too long with the devil they had supped.
The Frente finally got a majority
In parliament, and they damn well meant business
For the workers the end of scarcity
But the generals promised to deal with this mess.
Francisco Franco Bahamonde is the man
He was known a saviour, a man with the iron hand
When the miners of the Asturias went on strike
He was the man to confront them and their guns to spike.
After fourteen hundred miners were gunned down
Franco had the battle ‘gainst the people won.
The famously neutral Brits sent an airplane
With Bond and Boy Robin aka Bebb and Pollard
To the Canaries to take Franco to Tetuan
In Spanish Morocco where he, no sluggard
Organised the Spanish African regiment
To be hastily despatched to Madrid
To confront the elected government-
A coup cowardly treacherous, and sordid.
Which saw the new-born Spanish democracy
Go down shamelessly into the Iberian sea.
Cyril Bebb and Major Pollard got their just reward
The White Cross and Order of Civil Merit
For having bravely done more than their bit
Towards the rebirth in Spain of fascism
And the strangling at its birth of socialism
From the blessed Caudillo’s own iron hand
And the ever so neutral and fair-minded Brits
Like a fairy wielding her magic wan
With in mind some political benefits
Made appear for Franco the Dragon Rapide
Which conveyed him from Tetuan to Madrid
And it is now displayed in the Museo del Aire
Which can be seen by all on a cheap away day.
When the Franco faction began its mutiny
Most of the top brass in the the legal army
Deserted in droves to the Nacionalistas
Impatient to join Franco and kiss his ass
They took with them their guns and artillery
And received secret shipments of weaponry
From Italy, Portugal and Germany
To say nothing of neutral countries
Those who stayed loyal were novices and trainees
Whose aims produced few hits and many more misses
The Soviets sent arms, old and obsolete
The Mexicans miles away sent promises
The International brigade did little but bleat
Neutral governments sent nothing_ they were neutral
So the war was between hardened veterans
With arms, money and all the wherewithal
Whilst the other side the Republicans
Had only heroism and sing alongs.
But they were ready to fight hammer and tongs.
Some commanders plan for minimum bloodshed
Others want the enemy eradicated
Franco planned to decimate the opposition
So it would never be in a position
To regroup later and instigate a coup
His Nazi friends were busy preparing
For the war they were about to launch
And were keen to carry out some testing
To see how staunch and deadly was their punch.
Use Spain as your testing ground Franco offered
And the Germans readily concurred
And were joined by the Italian air force
Ready to carry out their inglorious worse
The Condor Legion and the Regia Aeronautica
On the last Monday in April, a market day
Set out on the mission to destroy Guernica
The death toll was barely one hundred some say
At the other end others say five thousand
Pablo Picasso captured the carnage
The scattered limbs, the bull the wounded horse
The dying bird losing its plumage
A wailing mother and baby who’s dead of course
That day of infamy will be replicated
Many times in the world war being incubated.
Half a million civilians and soldiers dead
But Franco wanted to feather his bed
With more corpses _ he wasn’t going to rest
Until he had uprooted the vipers’ nest.
Those who had survived the war faced the firing squad
Many sought safety from Franco’s jihad
By crossing the Pyrenees to neutral France
Where they lived until the coming Nazi advance
When the Maréchal at Hitler’s behest
Who knew that obeying orders was for the best
Ferried them to Nazi extermination camps
Via Drancy for the extinction of their lamps.
Some stayed hidden thirty years in captivity
On Franco’s list after the end of hostility