Pump the parking meter got some business downtown
with the man who's booking gigs for the band
Try to dodge the beggars with their hard luck stories
Dropping copper coins into a few cold hands

But looking up into the sky
those gleaming buildings seem so high
Why do these poor folk
Have to suffer down here?

Watch the television 'cause there's nothing left to do
there's nobody want to listen to the likes of you
Catch the news cruise the pulse of the digital divide
watch the Third World people looking for a place to hide

So why do we seem so surprised
when they poke their fingers in our eyes
Don't you know have-not people only learn from fear?

And I feel like it's coming apart
Yeah I feel like it's fallin' apart

Listnin' to the man who's bookin' gigs for the band
says our lyrics really get in the way
"Sorry man, you know I really dig your music,
but it's not the kinda' thing that goes over today."

So why should he be so surprised
when we poke our fingers in the Master's eye
He's not exactly gonna buy the band a round of beer

And I feel like it's coming apart
Yeah I feel like it's fallin' apart
And I feel like it's coming apart
Yeah I feel like it's fallin' apart


This song is a bit of a mixture. It's it's partially a salute to the dedication and tenacity of the Layabouts, a band that blithely ignores the social mores and cultural fads that come and go, steadfastly pursuing lyrics of love and truth, decrying the state of the World and generally staying their own course despite a culture that is increasingly deadened to compassion, bent on drowning itself in a sea of self-indulgent consumerism. 
This kind of dedication creates a lot of pressure, and I'm always worried that the band will break up in sheer frustration.
The song is also the result of the realization that the global society is showing symptoms of breaking down. The World is increasingly a place of those who have and those who have-not. 
The song speaks to the swelling ranks of desperate people who feel they have no other choice but to express their frustration in evermore extreme manifestations.
And finally, it is a song that expresses my own personal frustration at my helplessness to aid my fellow man, those throngs of homeless people that haunt the streets of downtown Detroit. In short, a cheery little ditty.
 MP3 - Here is an earlier version

A footnote about the picture - No, that's not a weird reference to 9/11 - that picture was painted in 1986

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Stephen Goodfellow