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Subterranean Homeless Blues

Johnny's in the government thinkin' 'bout the citizen
We're on the television seein' if he'll let us in
Man in a smooth suit/ voice fruit/ face fraught
Says we're all in bad shape/ need escape/ pass port
Look out kid Don't matter what they bid
Sod's law when but they're bound to try again
We better jump on the six o'clock
Lookin' for a new trick
The man in the frame game claims we're 'sick'
Ten million watchin' We'd better act quick
Maggie came hotfoot/ voice full of jackboot
Talkin' to the sick but sounded like a Queen Tut
Johnny says that any vote's worth the price of creosote
Even pay a nanny goat if you get to stay afloat
Look out kid Don't matter where we're hid
We better join the freakshows/ Strike a neat pose
For those who speak prose/ lookin' through our windows
You don't need a stethoscope
To diagnose their sucrose
Aaah play dead/ loose skin/ livin' outa dustbins
House of tin/ face thin/ with a photogenic grin
Typhoid/ typhus/ anythin' to make a fuss
In the dust/ Say You must make a front page outa us 
Look out kid We're worth a few quid
To boozers/ bleeders/ tabloid readers
Reachin' out to feed us
The man in the peak cap's lookin' for a cheap snap
Headline and the leaders
Tell you how he freed us
Get born/ look forlorn/ listen what the hack says
In a mess/ abscess/ we could pay his taxes
Lie still/ don't shift/ don't ignore a horse gift
Twenty weeks of shelling and they put you on an airlift
Look out kid They're liftin' the lid
Better be an example just in case they trample
Grain of rice/ plague of lice/ looks as if it's ample
Wanna be relaxin'/ better not have black skin
A stump might work
If it dangles at an angle

Click here for a Guardian article

Subterranean Homeless Blues

This is a Dylan parody - Dylan is 70 this Tuesday - first published in New Statesman in the mid-1990s, at a time when the Rwanda massacres were said to be causing 'compassion fatigue'. [John Major had at the time succeeded Margaret Thatcher as prime minister.] Happy birthday, Bob.

24 May 2011


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