Nationalism, History, and Memory in Eastern Europe

Presenting the Personal Research and Writings of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Iliescu’s Little Helper (1990 Nervous Breakdown)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on June 5, 2010

–a personal flashback by Richard Andrew Hall

In July 1990, while backpacking through Romania, I met a group of Romanians in Sibiu and I ended up going camping and spelunking with them near the Fagaras.  The trip was an opportunity for a lot of dark humor about the brutality of the miners in Bucharest the previous month.  I would yell “Iliescu” into the cave and an echo of “Ceausescu” would come back…On the trains back to Sibiu–one of those grimy double-decker local trains that looked like they had been built in anticipation of nuclear winter–we passed around a bottle of tuica and I and one Cristian Popescu came up with something along the lines of the following…with obvious and understandable apologies to the Rolling Stones…

Iliescu’s Little Helper (1990 Nervous Breakdown)

What a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag it is getting old

“Students* are different today,”

I hear ev’ry miner say

They just don’t appreciate a helping hand

And if you didn’t vote the Rose

They will smash you in the nose

And you’ll go running for shelter from Iliescu’s little helper

They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day

[You better stop.  Look around.

Here they come, here they come, here they come, here they come

Here comes the Front’s 1990 nervous breakdown.]


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