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"Glad To Be Gay" was originally written by Tom Robinson for a London Gay Pride march in 1976. An out gay songwriter, he subsequently formed the TOM ROBINSON BAND with three (non-gay) musicians and - inspired by directness and confrontational style of The Sex Pistols - the band released a four-track EP called "Rising Free" on EMI Records in Feb 1978 which included the song.

The EP made the UK Top 20 - reaching 18 in the UK singles chart within a week of release. BBC Radio 1 refused to play "Glad To be Gay" choosing instead the less controversial opening track "Don't Take No For An Answer". However, listeners to rival station Capital Radio voted it No.1 on their Listeners' Hitline for six consecutive weeks.

The song was subsequently included on the North American release of TRB's "Power In The Darkness" album later in 1978 and performed at Amnesty International's historic Secret Policeman's Ball concert in 1979 (see above) The song has been performed - with the lyrics occasionally updated - ever since. Audio and lyrics of the original 1978 version are below.

MP3 of "Glad To Be Gay" click for MP3 of original 1978 version


The British Police are the best in the world
I don't believe one of these stories I've heard
'Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people and knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they're kicked on the ground
Searching their houses and calling them queer
I don't believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There's no nudes in Gay News our last magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
The News of The World and the Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It's there in the paper, it must be the truth

Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way

Don't try to kid us that if you're discreet
You're perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don't have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
Got lonely one evening and went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him and kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week

Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way

So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend's at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib's ridiculous, join their laughter
"The buggers are legal now,
what more are they after ?"

Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way, hey
Sing if you're glad to be gay
Sing if you're happy that way, hey