The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6332   Message #36600
Posted By:
31-Aug-98 - 03:06 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Legal Illegal (Seeger/MacColl)
Subject: Lyr Add: LEGAL ILLEGAL (Seeger/MacColl)
I've been searching all over for my unorganized hand scribbled dust laden crib sheets & finally found what I was looking for & decided to relearn this, seeing as how I was going to type it up I'll do it here. I got this from Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl at least 20 yrs ago.

As recorded by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger on "Hot Blast" (1978)

Every time you pick up the newspaper,
Every time you switch on the TV,
You can bet your old boots that at some point you'll see
A high-ranking copper or Tory MP
Calling on all who are British and 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 a landlord,
Or to trespass upon his estate,
But to change a high rent for a slum is OK.
To condemn two adults and three children to stay
In a hovel that's rotten with damp and decay
Is a thing that is perfectly legal.

If your job turns you into a zombie,
It's legal to feel some despair,
But don't be aggressive that is if you're smart,
And for Christ's sake, don't upset the old apple cart.
Remember the boss has your interests at heart,
And it grieves him to see you unhappy.

If you fashion a bomb in the kitchen,
You're guilty of breaking the law,
But a bloody great nuclear plant is OK,
Though plutonium processing hastens the day
When this tight little isle may be blasted away.
Nonetheless, it is perfectly legal.

It's illegal if you are a gypsy
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 and own an estate
That was got from the people by pillage and rape.
That's what they call a tradition.

It's illegal to carve up your missus,
Or put poison in your old man's tea,
But poison the rivers, the seas and the skies,
And poison the mind of a nation with lies,
If it's done in the interest of free enterprise,
Then it's proper and perfectly legal.

It's legal to join a trade union,
And to picket is one of your rights,
But don't be offensive when scabs cross the line.
Be nice to the coppers and keep this in mind:
To picket effectively, that is a crime,
Worse than if you had murdered your mother.

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

If I remember right Ewan either wasn't allowed into the US or wasn't allowed out of England prior to around this time because of the type of songs he was singing publicly, I believe some of the verses in this reflect some of his feelings on what was going on then & I'm sure it lent to some of the reason some wanted him hushed up. Barry