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Only Doing Their Job

  • (Ewan MacColl)

    If there's anyone there has a moment to spare
    And can give undivided attention
    I'd be grateful if you'd give a minute a two
    And consider some points I would mention
    There are slanderous tongues always ready to wrong
    And murder the fine reputation
    Of the lads with big feet who by pounding the beat
    Are protecting the peace of the nation

    There are shortsighted folks who insist that these blokes
    Are just uniformed masters of thuggery
    There can be no dispute if they didn't put the boot in
    The country would all go to buggery
    So try and keep calm when they're twisting your arm
    Or planting a fist in your gob
    When they're giving you hell in a cold prison cell
    They're only just doing their job

    When Hitler and Co. were running the show
    Assisted by Germany's coppers
    If a nose was too big or a mind was too active
    Its owner was sure of the chopper
    Socialists, Communists, Jews and trades unionists
    Landed up dead or in quod
    And the police were in there of course doing their share
    But they were just doing their job

    Il Duce the bully and Franco his cully
    Both loaded their countries with chains
    And in the front ranks of these two mountebanks
    Were the police of both Italy and Spain
    In South Africa, El Salvador, Guatemala
    Where they call working people 'the mob'
    The screams and the yells from the punishment cells
    Show the police are just doing their job

    If you're black or just brown, if you're jobless and down
    If you speak for a world which is saner
    If you stand up and fight for what's yours by right
    If you're an anti-nuclear campaigner
    Remember the chap in the comical hat
    Is one of humanity's crosses
    Wherever there's trouble, whatever the struggle
    He'll be on the side of the bosses

    Tune: ad. from The Chapter of Kings

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1988:] As in the miners' strike of 1844, [in the 1984-85 strike] a profusion of poems and songs sprang from those involved and from their supporters. [...] The veteran singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl contributed what are probably the outstanding songs: [Daddy What Did You Do In The Strike and this one]. The tune for the latter is based on The Chapter of Kings, which was used for both Jone o' Grinfilt and The Keelman's Stick. (Palmer, History 117f)

Quelle: England

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