Ralph blew on the conch to signal the meeting had begun. He'd called everyone together, him and Piggy and the twins, the littluns and Jack and his hunters to settle finally who was in charge.
Jack hadn't wanted to come, he had his hunters who got the food and listened to him. But hunter Joe had told him the meeting would make it official and Ralph would let him be in charge.
“We've come here” Ralph started “because our shelters aren't built and the fires are going out too many times. You hunters need to start doing what you're supposed to. The littluns are too small and there aren't enough of us. We can't let the fires go out anymore. Someone might be coming soon.”
“Who put you in charge?” Jack spat back. “We find the food, we shouldn't have to listen to you.”
“We voted for Ralph,” reminded Piggy. “We're not Lookin' For a Leader now, we've got one we need to listen. He's got the conch which means he's allowed to talk.”
“You've not got the conch either,” Jack pointed out, and Piggy quietly dipped his head. “Yes we voted, but things have changed. We do all the work, and we've got that lazy Low Life in High Places now. He thinks he can tell us what to do, just because of some silly vote. We're the ones who get things done.” The other hunters joined in, jeering Ralph with cries of tyrant, and – English schoolboys to the last - declared they were Done With Bonaparte.
“Can't you see that if we follow Jack we'll never get rescued. All he's interested in is hunting. Yes we need food. But he promises to kill the Beast, there is no Beast. It doesn't exist. Can't you see it's a wild goose chase,” Ralph pleaded “he's the bloody Pied Piper.”
Growing anxious at the talk of the Beast, the littluns shuffled towards Jack and his hunters' spears. Some of the braver ones marched proudly to him letting out confused versions of the hunters revolutionary shouts: “Viva La Vida”, “Death to fire ants”.
Jack knew that he was winning. “I Wanna Be the Leader,” he proclaimed “why should someone who has never brought us food and won't protect the littluns from the Beast be the Man at the Top? I'm the Leader of the Band of hunters. I should be in charge!”
A few of his choirboy-hunters started to get nervous at the vicious tones in Jack's snarls and cautioned him that old Sister Rosa wouldn't want him acting behaving like that.
“Calm down Jack, we did vote for Ralph. Don't elections mean nothing? We did pick him.”
“Why? Why should we keep listening to him. He promised to get us rescued and we're still here!
His fires haven't attracted any ships. All those hours wasted could've been spent hunting the Beast. Why should he sit at the Head of the Table when he brings nothing to it?”
With that Jack led off his hunters across the beach. The littluns followed, slowly at first. But fear of another night with the Beast meant soon the rest trickled away, leaving Piggy and Ralph standing alone as the sunset and the tide rolled in. Piggy took his glasses off and wiped them with his shirt as Ralph let the conch slip to the ground.
“Bloody Revolutions,” he muttered.
Leading A-list playlist:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Joe
Neil Young – Lookin' for a Leader
Thunder – Low Life in High Places
Mark Knopfler – Done With Bonaparte
Bob and Marcia – Pied Piper
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
The Marcels – I Wanna be the Leader
Bruce Springsteen – Man at the Top
Dan Fogelberg – Leader of the Band
The Neville Brothers – Sister Rosa
Joan Armatrading – Head of the Table
rass – Bloody Revolutions
More-than-able-deputy B-list playlist:
Prince Far I – Light of Fire
Bat for Lashes- The Wizard
Jack Off Jill – When I Am Queen
Styx – Heavy Metal Poisoning
James Brown – Funky President
Tom T Hall – The Monkey That Became President
David Rovics – Song for Chavez
The Levellers – Happy Birthday Revolution
Oh What A Lovely War – Forward Joe Soap's Army
James Taylor – Line 'Em Up
Soul Asylum – Fearless Leader
ting/ Spitting Image – Every Bomb You Make
Guru's wildcard pick:
The Dogs D'Amour – Hotel Daze
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Songs about leadership … where is this leading? The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.