View previous topic | View next topic

First against the wall when the revolution comes

Page 1 of 3
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

Mort
381716.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:31 am Reply with quote

I'm curious about the phrase 'When the revolution comes, you'll be the first against the wall' (or similar variants thereof). I've heard it many times, but I've no idea where it comes from or what it really even means.

Some gratutious googling tells me it is in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and is also a lyric quite appropriately in Paranoid Android by Radiohead), but I can't tell whether Douglas Adams first coined it or whether it is a reference to something else.

Help me QI, you're my only hope!

 
Amie
381727.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:06 am Reply with quote

I've only got as far back as 'Citizen Smith,' (1977):

Wolfie: [Ken has told Shirley that Wolfie will be coming to dinner] That's it mate. Come the revolution, you'll be first against the wall bop-bop-bop!
Ken: My God will be with me.
Wolfie: Well he better be wearing a bullet-proof toga!


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075492/quotes

 
Jenny
381738.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:47 am Reply with quote

I just took it as a reference to the merry habit people have of putting former rulers (qv the Tsar) against a wall and shooting them after a revolution.

 
tetsabb
381785.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:11 am Reply with quote

First thing that comes to my mind is Goya, depicting people up against the wall in 1808



Certainly, having studied the Russian Revolution and hung around with lefties of various stripes during the 70s, it was a phrase I had come across well before the much-lamented Mr Adams used it about the Marketing Division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

I imagine the phrase was possibly in use soon after the first person was put up against a wall after a revolution came -- possibly in French, c1789?

 
CB27
381811.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:59 am Reply with quote

It's one of those phrases that's exactly what it says on the tin. Come the revolution those who opposed it are often put up against a wall and shot.

 
mckeonj
381864.  Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:52 pm Reply with quote

"Come the revolution......."
is how I heard it used.

 
jaygeemack
382228.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:47 am Reply with quote

Michael Winner has my nomination . . .

 
dr.bob
382241.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:02 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
First thing that comes to my mind is Goya, depicting people up against the wall in 1808


That's not really a wall, so much as a grassy knoll.

 
AlmondFacialBar
382249.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:22 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
tetsabb wrote:
First thing that comes to my mind is Goya, depicting people up against the wall in 1808


That's not really a wall, so much as a grassy knoll.


yep, and the guy who is ACTUALLY shooting them is standing by the window in the building way back on the right...

as for the quote, i dare say that's as old as revolutions, so to speak. and when hitchhicker's was originally written it would have been much more en vogue than it is today, too.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Mr Grue
382529.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:27 pm Reply with quote

The pic of Goya reminds me of that wonderful story about Picasso. In 1938 a Nazi officer came to his studio. Picasso no big fan of the Nazis. Officer spies a colour print of Picasso's Guernica and said "did you do that?" and Picasso replies "No. You did."

PABIHIT (probably apocryphal, but I hope it's true)

 
tetsabb
382539.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:36 pm Reply with quote

Mr Grue wrote:
The pic of Goya reminds me of that wonderful story about Picasso. In 1938 a Nazi officer came to his studio. Picasso no big fan of the Nazis. Officer spies a colour print of Picasso's Guernica and said "did you do that?" and Picasso replies "No. You did."

PABIHIT (probably apocryphal, but I hope it's true)


Splendid.

And I like the acronym.

 
AlmondFacialBar
382649.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:41 pm Reply with quote

great story, i hope it's true, too.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
npower1
382675.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
'When the revolution comes, you'll be the first against the wall'


I associate this with the idea that first will be the Jews, then there will be the gypsies, then the disabled... Who will stand and defend me when it is my time to feel the power of the dictator.


This idea has been previously discussed on this forum.

 
Sadurian Mike
382682.  Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:24 pm Reply with quote

My old union used a similar sort of line when given sectors within the union were being threatened:

"When the cleaners were sacked you didn't defend them because you aren't a cleaner.
When the caterers were sacked you didn't defend them because you aren't a caterer.
When the warehouse operatives were sacked you didn't defend them because you don't work in a warehouse.
Now they want to sack you and there is nobody left to defend you."

 
Janet H
383215.  Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:00 pm Reply with quote

I always thought it was the bourgoise (SP?) who were first against the wall when the revolutions comes.

Speaking as a fully paid up capitalist pig, I rather hoped to have my own list................

 

Page 1 of 3
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group