I've been reading Umberto Eco's "The Prague Cemetery," and about halfway way through there is mention of uprisings in Paris. I went and did more reading on the subject and discovered the nearly total disaster that was the European revolutions of 1848: There were a good dozen countries in Europe that had leftist uprisings of various stripes, and almost all of them ended with reactionaries taking control. Here's the Wikipedia article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutions_of_1848
France's 1848 revolution in particular had an incredibly ironic outcome: Not only did it fail to reestablish the republic after deposing the last king of France (who was comparatively reasonable as Monarchs go) but the elections that followed saw a Napoleon elected President and -- wouldn't you know it, just like the last two guys named "Napoleon," he declared himself emperor after a little bit of time in office pretending he totally wasn't going to do that.
I realized that someone could have been a child at the time of the first revolution (old enough to remember and understand what was happening) and still be old enough to be approached to "do his part" by revolutionaries. In the song he tells them why he won't bother supporting them, because he thinks that it will end just as badly as it did before.
The narrator offers basically no hope, so I guess that qualifies as the most depressing "political" song I've written. Hooray.
I chose the chord structure and part of the instrumentation as a direct homage to one of my favorite Mark Knopfler songs, "Done With Bonaparte" off his 1996 album Golden Heart; that one's the story of a soldier in Napoleon's army on retreat from Russia. It's an amazing and beautiful traditional-sounding song.