SalR323 (salr323) wrote,
SalR323
salr323

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"Roots" - Show of Hands

Wow. I heard this song on the radio today and it actually made me cry! It expresses something I’ve been struggling to articulate, or even understand, for a long, long time.





All away boys, let them go,
All in the wind and the rain and snow.
We've lost more than we'll ever know,
On the rocky shores of England.

Now it's been 25 years or more,
I've roamed this land from shore to shore.
From Tyne to Tame, or Severn to Thames,
From Moor to Vale, from Peak to Fen.
Played in cafes, and pubs and bars,
I've stood in the street with my own guitar.
But I'd be richer than all the rest,
If I had a pound for each request,
For "Duelling Banjos", "American Pie" -- it's enough to make you cry.
"Rule Britannia", or "Swing Lo",
Are they the only songs we English know?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit,
They're never gonna grow without their roots.
Branch, stem, shoots.
They need roots!

All away boys, let them go,
On the rocky shores of England.

After the speeches when the cake's been cut, the disco's over and the bar is shut.
At Christening, Birthday, Wedding or Wake,
What can we sing until the morning breaks?
When the Indian-Asians, Afro-Kelts -- it's in their blood below the belt.
They're playing and dancing all night long,
So what've they got right that we've got wrong?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit,
Never gonna grow without their roots.
Branch, stem, shoots.
We need roots!

And all away boys, let them go,
All in the wind and the rain and snow.
We've lost more than we'll ever know,
On the rocky shores of England.

All away boys, let them go,
All in the wind and the rain and snow.
We've lost more than we'll ever know,
On the rocky shores of England.
We need roots!

And the minister said his vision of hell is 3 folk singers in a pub near Wells.
Well I've got a vision of urban sprawl.
It's pubs where no one ever sings at all.
And everyone stares at a great big screen,
Overpaid soccer stars, prancing teens,
Australian soap, American rap, Estuary English, baseball caps.
And we learn to be ashamed before we walk,
Of the way we look and the way we talk.
Without our stories, or our songs,
How will we know where we come from?
I've lost St George in the Union Jack,
It's my flag too and I want it back!

Seed, bud, flower, fruit,
Never gonna grow without their roots.
Branch, stem, shoots.
We need roots!

And all away boys, let them go,
All in the wind and the rain and snow.
We've lost more than we'll ever know,
On the rocky shores of England.
All away boys, let them go,
All in the wind and the rain and snow.
We've lost more than we'll ever know,
On the rocky shores of England.

As a child I was told off for calling myself English instead of British. And now, while it’s rightly cool to celebrate Welsh, Irish and Scottish culture, the English identity has been reduced to Morris Dancing and skin heads and we’re all driven toward a kind of mid-Atlantic nothingness. As the song says, it really does feel like “We’ve lost more than we’ll ever know.” Maybe it’s time we try to reclaim it…

Viva la Revolution! (As the French say!;) )
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