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Narrator                                 The god who made this pleasant land                                                                                            

                                                 with water and lots of sand

                                                Looked down through a gap in the cloud

                                                The goddess his wife with whom he’d had strife                                                              

                                                 cried look! does that make you proud.                                                                                           

                                               

                                                They watched                                                                              

 

                                                Into the supermarket it’s funny

                                                walked a broken man with no money

                                                he tried to keep calm

                                                looking at the ham

                                                slavering at the jam

 

Man                                         A little ham for Holly

                                                I know this is folly     

                                                maybe a doll for Polly

              

Narrator                                   He headed for the door

                                                the stuff fell on the floor

                                                a man came looking sore

 

Security man                           Make him pay, make him pay

                                                what’s that you say

                                                you’ve no money today

                                                take him away, take him away,

                                                take him away

 

Observer                                 He had not eaten all that day

                                                he is chewing on a lump of hay

 

Crowd                                     The man is an animal

                                                he eats like a cannibal

 

Observer                                 Dragged to the Garda Station

                                                in front of everybody in the nation

 

Garda                                      Why did you take the stuff

                                                you dirty little puff

                                                do you think you’re tough

 

Prisoner                                   Why give me a box

                                                you’re clever as an ox

                                                I hope you get a pox

 

Garda                                      There’s another box

                                                You’re stupid like a fox

                                                I shut the locks

 

Garda                                      Take him away, take him away

                                                you are here to stay

                                                you do not have to pay

                                                take him away, take him away,

                                                take him away

 

 

                                                He dwelt in that place for a while

                                                and then was taken for his trial

 

Observer                                 He stands there in the dock

                                                for all of them to mock

 

Judge                                       Why did you commit this crime

                                                you have to do the time

 

                                                He answered back as best he could:

                                                my young children have no food

 

Onlooker                                 Justice! What are you doing to that man

                                                on the courtroom floor

                                                do you know how many rivets there are

                                                in a cell door

                                                what is his offence

                                                he stole a few pence

                                                have you no sense

                                                you  have stolen his livelihood

                                                his life’s blood

                                                and all that was good

                                                now he stands there

                                                in your care

                                                and you just stare

 

Prisoner                                   I want to say I’m sorry

                                                for causing all this worry                              

 

Judge                                       If you went and got a job

                                                you would not have to rob

 

Crowd                                     ah! The poor man

                                                he’s doing the best he can

                                   

Judge                                       Take him away, take him away

                                                to protect the wealth of the few

                                                I know what I must do

                                                incarcerate the likes of you

                                                take him away, take him away

                                                take him away

                                          

Onlooker                                 Justice! What will happen

                                                to his offspring

                                                do you know if they laugh,

                                                if they sing

                                                who will brush their head

                                                who will make their bed

                                                who will make their bread

                                                can they  go to school

                                                learn the golden rule                              

                                                be nobody’s fool

                                                now they sit and wait

                                                watching the front gate

                                                pondering their fate

 

Child                                       Clap hands till daddy comes home

                                                cake in his pocket for Polly alone

 

Crowd                                     My kids have all new clothes

                                                better than his I suppose

 

Judge                                       Take him away, take him away

                                                to protect the wealth of the few

                                                I know what I must do

                                                incarcerate the lot of you

                                                take him away, take him away,

                                                take him away

 

Onlooker                                 Justice! what will happen

                                                to his wife

                                                do you know how she will live

                                                ‘mid all this strife

                                                who will pay the rent

                                                now that she is spent

                                                her young body bent

                                                can she walk in the sun

                                                have a little fun

                                                she’s only twenty-one

                                                now she sits and cries

                                                listens to the lies

                                                amongst all those flies

 

Wife                                        Children crawling at my feet

                                                what I wouldn’t do for meat

 

Observer                                 She sits there in Ballymun

                                                can’t get out into the sun

 

Prisoner                                   In five long years of married life

                                                I never gave a present to my wife

 

Judge                                       you did the crime

                                                you must do the time                                  

                                                Take him away, take him away

                                                to protect the wealth of the few

                                                I know what I must do

                                                incinerate the lot of you

                                                take him away, take him away

                                                take him away

 

                                                He was taken to Mountjoy jail

                                                who could he get to go bail

 

Warder                                    In there for a bath

                                                don’t draw my wrath                                  

                                                stay out of my path

                                                up to your cell

                                                there you will dwell

                                                it’s your private hell

 

Prisoner                                   You thick country ‘hoor’

                                                to do this to the poor

                                                you’ll end up on a skewer

 

Warder                                     You’re in a nice fix

                                                you’ll stay here making sticks

                                                for the next six

 

                                                Now he had a place to stay

                                                time to work time to play

                                                three square meals every day

 

Prisoner                                   They think this is punishment

                                                to me it is nourishment

                                                personally I am quite content

 

Warder                                    You look brand new

                                                 must be all the stew

                                                too good for the likes of you

 

Governor                                 Who is that lout

                                                I want him out

                                                He’s far too stout

                                                he thinks it’s funny

                                                wasting public money

                                                get him out it’s nice and sunny

                                       

Warder                                    Take him away, take him away

                                                if there’s one thing I will do

                                                it’s prevent the likes of you

                                                from eating too much stew

                                                take him away, take him away,

                                                take him away

                                       

Narrator                                   They set him free and on his way

                                                he found it hard not to stray

 

Observer                                 Into the supermarket, it’s funny

                                                came a broken man with no money

                                                he walked amongst the food

                                                then finally he stood

                                                watching toys made of wood

 

whisper                                   Maybe a doll for Polly

 

Goddess                                 If that was your son

                                               would you do nothing but glance                                                                                               

                                               and pretend that   you could not see                                                                                                    

                                               or take lordly stance

                                               and with a wave of your lance                                                                                                                

                                               bring him home to  me                                                                                                           

 

                                                                                   Peter Murphy © 1995 

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