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After the break-up of the band Sector 27 in the early 1980s, Tom Robinson re-located to Germany, learned a bit of German and started playing shows over there. Apparently this song was written under the influence and initially came over as a sprawling stream of consciousness, but was eventually edited down into a coherent song. Like all great songs, the initial message, which in this case was about the conflict between East and West Germany, eventually became a universal song for the listener to interpret however he or she feels appropriate. The song is still being performed by Robinson, most recently at the Great British Folk Festival.