Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Lyrics news 4: an extract from The Today Programme*

The time is now 17 minutes past 8.

The Home Office has been under considerable pressure in recent months to explain its policy on the prison system, and on the rehabilitation of offenders. In the radio car, we have a spokesman for the Home Office, Mr Desmond Dekker. Mr Dekker, can you hear me?


Thank you for that microphone test, Mr Dekker. Now, can you tell me how you perceive the current problem?

At ocean eleven

I am going to have to stop you there, Mr Dekker. Surely you are not trying to invoke
a George Clooney film in order to deflect criticism.

And now rudeboys have a go wail
‘Cause them out of jail
Rudeboys cannot fail
‘Cause them must get bail

Well, yes, I am sure we all appreciate all that. These people are marginalised, and left with very scant resources.

Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail

Well, yes

A Shanty Town

Nobody is in any doubt that poor housing is a fundamental part of the problem, but, as I was saying

Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail
A Shanty Town
Dem rude boys out on probation
A Shanty Town
Them a rude when them come up to town
A Shanty Town

Mr Dekker, forgive me for saying so, but you seem to be repeating yourself a greal deal. What our listeners want to know, particularly those who, in spite of the uncertainty in the global property market, may still be considering a move a shanty town, is whether:

Police get taller
A Shanty Town
Soldier get longer
A Shanty Town

What do you have to say to that?

Rudeboy a weep and a wail
A Shanty Town
Rude boys a weep and a wail
A Shanty Town

And so are you saying they weep and a wail because the police get taller and the soldier get longer? Yes, I see.

Thank you, Mr Dekker. I think that is all we have time for.

* This isn’t true.


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