There's No Such Thing As a Protest Singer

by Grace Petrie

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1.
Am I an agitator for not thinking it's cool That some were born to sufer while some were born to rule? Well does that make me a traitor? Before you toss that word around Pleae understand That I love this land of mine And yeah, it's true God ain't my thing But if he was, I'd rather sing For all of the refugees Perishing in foreign seas Those bodies washed up on the shores Were fleeing our state-sponsored wars And our leader sees nothing wrong So I wrote him a brand new song Chorus: God save the hungry and God save the poor God save those desperate souls who's lives were torn apart by war God save the homeless and those with disabilities And all the other targets of this heartless ideology There's a long and shameful list Of folks we need God to assist But those who sleep in palaces at night, I think they're doing alright And Britain could be greater if it had fairness at its heart Yeah this nation all together is more than the sum of its parts But they'll call you a traitor for even daring to believe A sleight of hand From those who bleed this land dry And yeah, it's true God ain't my thing But if he was, I'd rather sing For all of the refugees Perishing in foreign seas Those bodies washed up on the shores Were fleeing our state-sponsored wars And our leader sleeps sound at night Cos he's got all the lyrics right so (Chorus) So give me a song that won't stick in my throat If you agree the only power we should respect is that come from a vote So give me a song that won't stick in my throat To see our millionnaire politicians say we're all in the same boat And yeah, it's true God ain't my thing But if he was, I'd rather sing For all of the refugees Perishing in foreign seas Those bodies washed up on the shores Were fleeing our state-sponsored wars And our leader sees nothing wrong So raise your voices, sing along yeah (Chorus) And my gratitude to all the brave Soldiers spinning in their grave To see the Eton Mess that Dave Made of the sacrifice they gave To tear apart the Welfare State And all that ever made Britain great While those who sleep in palaces tonight They're still doing alright Yea, they're still doing alright
2.
I don't watch PMQs as often as you might expect I only live-tweet Question Time for comedic effect I've never Virginia Woolf, or any Bertolt Brecht And nobody knows that I'm a fraud It's often been alleged that I'm as hard-left as can be But my idea of "edgy" is an unknown brand of tea And I'm not even veggige, let alone dairy free And nobody knows that I'm a fraud But I'll get up underneath the lights until I feel adored And I'll never tell you anything I think you won't applaud Oh it might not always be the truth, but it will have three chords Nobody knows that I'm a fraud Well dressing how I do I find I often get mistook By graphic novel fans who judge me on the way I look But I just like Batman shirts, I've never read a comic book Nobody knows that I'm a fraud When people call me a musician that makes my palms perspire I took Grade I piano, and I never got no higher If I didn't have this capo then you'd all see I'm a liar Nobody knows that I'm a fraud And some days I get so scared that we're losing And some days I'm just so sure we'll never win And some days I get so knackered from refusing to let that in Well some days life feels like a play that you have not rehearsed But one thing's true of all of us sharing this universe Is we could all be doing better and we could all be doing worse And everyone you know feels like a fraud So come on and get up underneath the lights until you feel adored But never tell them anything you think they won't applaud Oh it might not always be the truth but it will have three chords Nobody knows that I'm a fraud Oh it might not always be the truth but it wil have three chords And I guess I'll take up spoken word when I run out of chords Because nobody knows that I'm a fraud
3.
I hope that you find what you're looking for But I don't think that I'm what you're looking for And I didn't want to write this song about you You don't know how I hoped my friends were wrong about you And it was tale as old as time, beauty and the best laid plans Of mine that I lay to rest And I don't think its such a crime, but I wish that you'd confessed That you liked me better when you knew me less And that's alright darling, I've had worse Yeah I'll survive darling, I've had worse It's just a footnote in the book, it's not a chapter or a verse It's not the end of the universe I've had worse And there's no regret, you can save your sympathy Since we met, darling I've been talking you into me And you don't know I hoped my friends were wrong about you They said "you'll only end up writing songs about her" And it was tale as old as time, beauty and the best laid plans Of mine that I lay to rest And it happens all the time, honey I'd suggest You just liked me better when you knew me less And I know there's untouched hearts out there waiting Like freshly fallen snow upon the drive To bear the scars forever of your footprints Folks who won't make it out of loving you alive But me, I knew a girl like you, and I survived And it was tale as old as time, beauty and the best laid plans Of mine that I lay to rest You'd have saved us both some time honey if you'd just confessed That you liked me better when you knew me less I think you liked me better when you knew me less And when you knew me better you just liked me less
4.
Pride 04:02
Well we're a long way from the Stonewall Inn I'm standintg on this platform, no one's stopping me to sing But there's a multitude of sins can hide behind your hashtag Tell me again how love wins Well there's nothing new about this rage It's a war that's always waged Like how no one bats an eye that when fifty of us die And it doesn't even make the Daily Mail front page Well sometimes, it's like an uphill climb Yeah sometimes, it's like an uphill climb But I'm right by your side And that's what we call pride And I know you don't want to face the fact That each and every day we're still being attacked And sometimes it's by guns, and sometimes it's by words And sometimes it's by the North Carolina Bathroom Act And we're the same as everyone We're all under the same sun But if you're trying to suggest this is just about the West We've spent our whole lives looking down the barrel of that gun And the love we have each other Will defeat the hate we suffer You're my sisters, brothers, and all that's in between And if everything that I'm made of Was fashioned by your God above It was Him that gave this kind of love to me And that's why we need pride
5.
Departures 05:26
Another morning that you're stirring at the crack of dawn I lie there doing nothing, flinching when the light comes on You're checking things against a list to make sure nothing has been missed Your passport and your boarding pass You always leave them out til last And I'm puffy eyed and I'm not much use But you manage to be patient as you pass my shoes Another morning that we're rushing out into the car The day will come when we leave in enough time but it's not so far So in the midst of all of this, I forget to steal a kiss To hold your hand and tell you you don't understand how you'll be missed So I hang around til you've checked your bags You won't get rid of me til security And you hold my dreams with yours And I hold yours too because I will take my chances On your wood shoe dances Cos nothing else makes sense the way this does It's the life we have chosen It's the life that has chosen us So take care darling then and let me know you land okay I'll head back home and watch my phone until I know you got there safe And then we'll steal a moment now and then To hear each other's voice again Adding up the hours ahead To talk before we go to bed And it's the same old words for the same old love That never quite feel big enough And we'll do the best we can With faces on a screen But it's more gigantic Than the whole Atlantic And any other ocean in beween Not the love I have chosen But the love that has chosen me So I'll keep the homefires burning darling waiting for your return And soon enough the time will come to pack my bags and take my turn But no amount of sky any water stands between the bricks and mortar Where my true love's flesh and bones, that will always be my home And we'll make our own mistakes Just like everyone does You can take your chances, I don't have the answers But we'll work it out as we go on because It's the love we have chosen, it's the love that has chosen us So just let me know when you land okay
6.
I don't believe that aliens have ever come to earth and are buried in the desert by the feds I know that there is no tooth fairy flying around at night, just loving parents putting money in those beds and as for homoeopathy well it's not my cup of tea but on your right to believe I will insist because who's to say what's really real still I can't help but feel I wish the Guardian believed that I exist There's no such thing as a protest singer we don't have none of those no there's no such thing as a protest singer we lost them when the mines all closed I know you miss the good old days of picket lines and flags When the Specials and the Jam all ruled the charts but if you're really looking for this generation's Billy Bragg's We are all here with a fire in our hearts But we're not on the radio because they don't want to know and by this point it's really pretty clear that the mainstream music press they just couldn't care less but it's the Guardian that keeps shouting we're not here I know you like to think that no one does it like you did and in 1989 the needle just got stuck but just because the system is changed it doesn't mean you've got the monopoly on giving a fuck Because we all unemployed that housing market you've enjoyed is suspended by the renting of the youth We've had our wages squeezed, fifty grand tuition fees so let me let you in on the unspoken truth: That there's no such thing as a protest singer, no it's a made up thing There's no such thing as a protest singer because there's politics in everything we sing Oh there's no such thing as a protest singer against austerity No there's no such thing as a protest singer cos I can't find them in the NME

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released December 9, 2016

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