Bump Me Into Parliament



Source: Interesting report from the Sydney courts where an ILP member was arrested for singing Bump Me Into Parliament.
SITE SOURCE: Labour History

Bump Me Into Parliament

‘Constable James gave evidence for the Crown and stated that Defendant (Douglas Sinclair) was a speaker at an ILP meeting
on Sydney Domain on July 7 (1918) and sang a song entitled ‘Bump Me Into Parliament’ indicating the use of profane language to wit, the words:

I have read my Bible through and through,
And Jesus justifies me,
And those who don’t vote for me,
By Christ they crucify me.

In summing up his case the defendant told the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that it was a quotation which had been passed by the Censor, and it was a song sung Sunday after Sunday on the Yarra Bank, Melbourne, in Broken Hill and Brisbane, and on the Domain for the past two months. He pointed out that it would constitute such a precedent that quotations could be in future an offence, and the quoting of passages from Henry Lawson’s works would be considered as obscene language.

The case was dismissed with Douglas offering to pay a five-pound inconvenience fine.

Apparently the editor of Solidarity had cleared the printing of the verses prior to publishing in Solidarity. Scary times.