rap in the republic (1992)

 

when Adam delved 

and Eve span

who was then 

the gentleman?*

who owned the land 

the beasts so fair

the fruits of the earth 

the birds of the air

who favoured the rich

who punished the poor

who owned the courts

and who owned the law

who owned the army

who owned religion

whose head on the coin

whose feet in the midden?

I don’t wanna be a subject

I wanna be a citizen

a pox on the palace

I’m egalitarian

 

so who stole the land

from sweet Eve and Adam

who stole their labour

who stole their passion?

and the royals in their castle 

peasants at their gate

who made them high and lowly

and ordered their estate?

royal fleas bite my back

royal leeches suck my vein

taxes buy their privilege

obedience buys their reign

we pay for their paramours

their mansions corgis horses

births deaths marriages

scandals and divorces

I don’t wanna to be a subject

I wanna be a citizen

a pox on the palace

it’s time to be republican

 

Eve and Adam in a cardboard box

begging for a stake

the queen is in her counting house

totting up the take

well I don’t care if they’re pin-ups

don’t care if they’re freaks

don’t care if they’re Germans

don’t care if they’re Greeks

don’t care if they’re arty

don’t care if they’re yobs

don’t care if they’re papists

don’t care if they’re prods

don’t care if they’re nazis

don’t care if they’re green

away with all the Windsors

sweet Eve is our true Queen

I don’t wanna be a subject

I wanna be a citizen

a pox on the palace

let’s all be republican

 

for I’ve found a royal family

for sweet Eve and Adam

it’s the crowned heads of jive

and the regents of rhythm

the blue-bloods of bebop

the noblesse of boogie

the sovereigns of bluebeat

the monarchs of reggae

the Empress of the Blues

the Queen of Soul

the Prince of Funk

the King of Rockanroll

Duke Ellington of Jazz

Count Basie of Swing

the Duke of Earl

c’mon and shake that thing

I don’t wanna to be a subject

I wanna be a citizen

a pox on the palace

I’m a rapping republican

 

and here’s my message to the Windsors

go and eat cake!

while Queen Eve raps her gospel

at the royal family’s wake

I don’t wanna be a subject

I wanna be a citizen

a pox on the palace

I’m a rapping republican

 

 

 

Jeff Cloves
Illustration: Claire Palmer

 

*   When Adam delved and Eve span
     who was then the gentleman?
    
from a sermon reputedly delivered by the hedge priest 
     John Ball on the eve of The Peasants’ Revolt 1381


This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to rap in the republic (1992)

  1. jeff cloves says:

    dear CP
    thanks for the pic – lovely work as ever
    solstice greetings to you

  2. claire says:

    Thanks JC, and to you too! 🙂

  3. Dafydd Pedr says:

    This. I like. A lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.