Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rocktober Day Twenty One: One In Ten

Thinking about ska music yesterday brought me to UB40. I don't have a lot to say about them except they are great to see live, Ali Campbell has a gorgeous voice and that this song symbolises where they started off (and how far away from that point they are now).

It's not that I don't like their lovey dovey stuff. I do. The Labour of Love stuff is fine but this is where their heart is (or was). This song says it all about the really sad stuff of life, the stuff that's too hard to talk about day to day. It's a great bit of effective songwriting... and a lovely, simple reggae tune... and of course we get Ali's voice.

One In Ten (YouTube clip from Top of the Pops, 1981)

I am the one in ten
A number on a list
I am the one in ten
Even though I don`t exist
Nobody knows me
Even though I`m always there
A statistic, a reminder
Of a world that doesn`t care

My arms enfold the dole queue
Malnutrition dulls my hair
My eyes are black and lifeless
With an underprivileged stare
I`m the beggar on the corner
Will no-one spare a dime?
I`m the child that never learns to read
`Cause no-one spared the time

I`m the murderer and the victim
The licence with the gun
I`m a sad and bruised old lady
In an ally in a slum
I`m a middle aged businessman
With chronic heart disease
I`m another teenaged suicide
In a street that has no trees

I`m a starving third world mother
A refugee without a home
I`m a house wife hooked on Valium
I`m a Pensioner alone
I`m a cancer ridden spectre
Covering the earth
I`m another hungry baby
I`m an accident of birth

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

One of my favourites - depressing song (and statistic!) but set to a mesmerising groove :)