Friday, September 23, 2011

Legal Illegal - Frances Black

Songwriter: Ewan McColl

Every time you pick up a newspaper,
Every time you switch on the T.V.,
You can bet your old boots that at some point you'll see,
A high ranking Garda or else a T.P.
Calling on all who are meant to be free,
To stand up and defend law and order.

It's illegal to rip off a payroll,
It's illegal to hold up a train,
But it's legal to rip off a million or two,
That comes from the labour that other folk do,
To plunder the many on behalf of the few,
Is a thing that is perfectly legal.

It's illegal to kill off your landlord
Or to trespass upon his estate
But to charge a high rent for a slum is O.K.
To condemn two adults and three children to stay
In a hovel that's rotten with damp and decay
It's a thing that is perfectly legal.

If your job turns you into a zombie
Then it's legal to feel some despair
But don't get agressive and don't get too smart
For Christ's sake don't upset the old applecart
Remember you boss has your interest at heart
And it grieves him to see you unhappy.

If you fashion a bomb in your kitchen,
You're guilty of breaking the law,
But a bloody great nuclear plant is O.K.,
And plutonium processing hastens the day,
This tight little isle will be blasted away,
Nonetheless it is perfectly legal.

It's illegal if you are a traveller,
To camp by the side of the road,
But it's proper and right for the rich and the great,
To live in a mansion or own an estate,
That was got from the people by pillage and rape,
That is what they call a tradition.

It's illegal to kill off your missus,
Or put poison in your old man's tea,
But poison the river's the seas or the skies,
And poison the minds of a nation with lies,
It's all in the interest of free enterprise,
Nonetheless it's perfectly legal.

Well it's legal to sing on the telly,
But make bloody sure that you don't,
To sing about racists and fascists and creeps,
And those in high places who live off the weak,
And hose who are selling us right up the creek,
The twisters, the takers, the conmen, the fakers,
The whole bloody gang of exploiters.


Anonymous said...

yep thats brilliant and totally true,,,

sorry didnt get a poem in on the last one john,,,so will have a go now....

respects neil

Anonymous said...

and by the shack of disgrace
where leaders all failed
in the root of their low down desire

in grim self importance,
within hells own fortress
the hatred they gathered grows tired

new days are spun,
hearts beating like one
on the rythms of truths open fire

and people shall see
by the tides of the sea
the rape that governments inspired

to keep the rich rich
the poor kept poor
and falsehood supposedly admired

but times change the ways
the truths like a blaze
will burn down the house of all liars


john said...

Cheers Neil. yes it's a good song isn't it? Thanks very much for the poem, that's excellent. Hopefully I'll get some new photos up soon, I just thought it would be nice for people to listen to a song here for a change. Cheers for now.

nobody said...

Marvellous, thanks John.

john said...

Cheers nobody. I should have put a bit more information about the song here. The earliest version I can find seems to be Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and is from 1978.