Went to see Jeffrey Lewis and the Jackals at the Scala last night. He is a folk singer from New York. I could quote lyrics from many of his amazing songs, but I thought I’d post some lyrics from the Crass song he covered: Systematic Death. Jeffrey has an album called 12 Crass songs, each one of them has brilliant lyrics!
Here is ‘Systematic Death’:
(This reads better over on www.becominggreen.co.uk!)
System, system, system.Death in life.System, system, system.The surgeons knife.System, system, system.Hacking at the cord.System, system, system.A child is born.Poor little fucker, poor little kid,Never asked for life, no she never did.Poor little baby, poor little mite,Crying out for food as her parents fight.Crying out for food as her parents fight.System, system, system.Send him to school.System, system, system.Force him to crawl.System, system, system.Teach him how to cheat.System, system, system.Kick him off his feet.Poor little schoolboy, poor little lad,They'll pat him if he's good and they'll beat him if he's bad.Poor little kiddy, poor little chap,They'll force feed his mind with their useless crap.They'll force feed his mind with their useless crap.System, system, system.They'll teach her how to cook.System, system, system.Teach her how to look.System, system, system.They'll teach her all the tricks,System, system, system.Create another victim for their greasy pricks.Poor little girly, poor little wench,Another little object to prod and pinch.Poor little sweety, poor little filly,They'll fuck her mind so they can fuck her silly.They'll fuck her mind so they can fuck her silly.System, system, system.He's grown to be a man.System, system, system.Taugh to fit the plan.System, system, system.Forty years of jobs.System, system, system.Pushing little buttons, pulling little knobs.Poor fucking worker, poor little serf,Working like a mule for half of what he's worth.Poor fucking grafter, poor little gent,Working for the cash that he's already spent.Working for the cash that he's already spent.He's selling his life,She's his loyal wife,Timid as a mouse,She's got her litlle house,He's got his little car,And they share the cocktail barShe likes to cook his meals,You know, something that appeals.Sometimes he works til lateSo his supper has to wait,But she doesn't really mindCos he's getting overtime.He likes to put a bit awayJust for that rainy day,Cos every little countsAs the cost of living mounts.They do the pools each weekHoping for that lucky break.Then they'd take a trip abroad,Do all the things they can't afford.She'd really like to have a fur,He's like a bigger car.They could buy a bungalow,With a Georgian door for show.He might think of leaving work,But no, he wouldn't like a shirk.He'd much prefer to stayAnd get his honest days pay.He's got a life of work ahead,There's no rest for the dead.She's tried to make it nice,He's said thankyou once or twice.System, system, system.Deprived of any hope.System, system, system.Taught they couldn't cope.System, system, system.Slaves right from the start.System, system, system.Til death do them part.Poor little fuckers, what a sorry pair,Had their lives stolen, but they didn't really care.Poor little darlings, just your ordinary folks,Victims of the system and it's cruel jokes.Victims of the system and it's cruel jokes.The couple views the wreckageAnd dreams of home sweet home,They'd almost paid the mortgage,Then the system dropped its bomb.
Check out more Jeffrey Lewis, he is a brilliant songwriter, musician and comic book maker!