No, surrender

My muse of the moment is Justin Currie, front man for Del Amitri, now solo. Some of his lyrics are nigh on poetry, so I thought I’d post this song, which has elements of Dylan at his best social critic. It’s from his 2007 album, What is Love For, which, despite the trite title, is a fantastic piece of songwriting and performance.

No, Surrender

Big Macs for the fat, 
Local wraps for the call centre battery hens,

Japanese snacks for the choice-spoilt citizens, 
Caviar kickbacks for the citadel denizens.

Airport shoeshines servicing the suits 
among the little silver stereos and hand-rolled cheroots,

First class passengers file on last 
After the scum are packed in with their tax-free loot.

Checkout calamity, you’re cheated out of loyalty points, 
Ten more years at this joint you’d be home and dry,

Beggars beat round the cash machines 
But you just slip between them with the usual lie.

Terrible tales of kidnapped kids 
Keep you focused on the family and filling up the fridge,

Neighbourhood watchers shop dole dodgers, 
Stick their semis* on the market and start racking up the bids.

Should you stand and fight,
Should you die for what you think is right 
So your useless contribution will be remembered? 
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Constant growth the cancerous cure, 
A swarming race of profiteers ensure

Cheap cars for the rich, cheap lives for the poor, 
Cheap weeks in the sun, free drinks at the door.

Puerile propaganda plugs up the TV, 
Keep folk following the money so they’ll never be free

Keep them swallowing the swill, the celebrities, the paedophiles,
The immigrants invading from the camp over the hill.

War talk, the big debate,
Foot soldiers in the capitol liberating new kinds of hate

Cum-shots of human dots caught in the spotlight’s glare;
He dies who dares.

Fatuous fast-trackers sneering at the shelf-stackers,
Little Middle-Englanders can’t stand the backpackers,

Fortress Freedom, come on in,
Take your chances – you might win.

Should you stand and fight,
Should you die for what you think is right 
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Sunset beaches security patrolled,
Keep out the undesirables who don’t accept the code

Equal opportunity to live in total poverty,
Execute the ignorant incarcerate the slow

Car caressing managers choking up the avenues,
Brain dead patriots standing in salute

Paperwork raining again and again
So that billionaires can claim there’s an enemy to shoot

Pill pushers, doorsteppers, personal goal shoppers,
Lifestyle trendsetters, meditating mindbenders,

Hare-brained share sellers pumping out stocks
‘Til you’re choking on a chain-letter avalanche of dross.

God squads crawling through every country
Tracking down fools who are bullshit hungry

Blinded by divinity followers
Fall into the man-traps set along the Wailing Wall.

Athletes compete in grand charades
While tanks flatten streets and a nation laughs,

Visa holders gape at the changing guards
While creeps bribe bums to take their photographs.

Film fans flock to the latest schlock,
Blockbusters block out even the vaguest thought

Bankrupt schools grind out fool after fool
Then feed them to a system where idiots rule.

Polling booths, phone votes, bogus questionnaires,
You get a say as if anybody cares

Joe Public doesn’t want to play
So liquidate his life as he looks the other way.

Don’t get sick, don’t get wise
Or they’ll gut you with a justice where everything is lies

March down Main Street, complain if you want
But it’s twenty years straight for the losers at the front.

If you’re asking me I say no, surrender


*A “semi” in Britspeak is a semidetached house

The lyrics are copyright the author. If asked I will take them down, but they are a damned fine piece of political poetry.

3 thoughts on “No, surrender

  1. I had to run off and listen to Chickentown and Beasley Street by John Cooper Clarke after reading it. Was a strong reminder of his rather accurate and cutting satires of life in early 80’s Britain.


  2. “We apologize for the inconvenience” – God’s Final Message to His Creation, written in letters of fire on the side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains. “I think,” Marvin murmured at last, from deep within his corroding rattling thorax, “I feel good about it.” (Douglas Adams, So Long and Thanks for all the Fish)

    “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” – Eric Idle.


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