‘New York Cops’

Tuesday 3 June, 1.30pm

Is it a song? Is it a poem? Does it matter? Here’s a very old one I wrote way back in February 1981. I’ve just found it out to accompany my current photo series ‘Bobby’ on ‘My Daily Snap’ photography blog. There’s also a Top 10 police related songs ‘I Fought The Law’ on ‘The Man Of Letters’ (MoL) blog.

NYC Cop badge 1981

New York Cops

The red lights are flashing, the sirens sound
An innocent man is beaten to the ground
His only crime was his race
These racists are a social disgrace

The New York Cops do as they will
The New York Cops have got a licence to kill

The addict just out of high school
Lies in the alley, she was the fool
The college pusher, just finished his thesis
When they found him they shot him to pieces

The New York Cops do as they will
The New York Cops have got a licence to kill

You might hide and you might run
From something you haven’t done
But when they catch you they’ll settle the score
For they are the judge as well as the law

The New York Cops do as they will
The New York Cops have got a licence to kill

Yet the real criminals, they go free
For that is the price of democracy
They are a symbol of our society
An epitaph to our piety

The New York Cops do as they will
The New York Cops have got a licence to kill

Yet we must all share the guilt
For it is a society that we have built

Written in my teens, way back in February 1981, it’s a punk style song that’s a little naive, but has a certain charm I think. It appears in its original form, uneditied.

© Nick Ritchie 1981/2014

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About themanofletters

Love poetry, love Marmite, Alright?
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