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GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) Lyr Add: The Folk Musician's Lament (a PEL protest (2) Lyr Add: THE FOLK MUSICIAN'S LAMENT 16 Nov 02

A "Folk" song about the "reform" of the two-in-a-bar rule.

Please sing it. (Don't sing the explanatory notes in brackets).

If you don't want to sing it, pass it along to someone who may. Copyright is waived FOR THIS PURPOSE.

THE FOLK MUSICIAN'S LAMENT (Tune: The Old German Musicianer)

Chorus (after each verse or two verses, to taste).
Minister Jowell and Minister Howells:
Your names rhyme with "bowels": "How apt", I must say.
You're changing the law to stop folkies from playing,
Even without any amps or PA.

I'm a folk singing man and I'm here broken hearted: (could be "girl" or "singers of folk" for number or gender)
They're changing the law so that I cannot play. (could be "we", as above)
Folk music's a noise, and it causes disturbance,
And it ain't even safe, so the government say.

Now they're great and they're good are our masters in government, (pronounced "guv'mint")
Making all kinds of laws for to keep us from sin,
So they strictly license all music and dancing
And pubs that will sell you beer whisky or gin.

And for 200 years now a public performance
Has needed a licence from jobsworths so glum
But the law in its wisdom has made a distinction
Between a performance and playing for fun.

Yet for o'er 50 years there has been an exemption
For just two musicians, or discs on their own.
And if folk    musicians weren't causing a problem
The public weren't bothered and nobody moaned.

So for many a year we had tacit permission
The police and the law makers left us alone
Thinking "Two people playing" meant "Two people playing"
Not one in the morning, and one after noon.

But over the decades the law had got muddled
With silly distinctions t'was full to the brim.
And then came New Labour with the zeal reforming,
And they can't tell rap! from folk or a hymn.

I personally blame that damn yank Leo Fender ,
For inventing those amps that can make such a din.
One day one musician, with loads of equipment,
Turned up, and did poor Kim Howells' ears in.

Now Kim was an MP, and brains not his forte:
In stead of the speakers he looked at the man,
And said if one singer could make such a nuisance,
All kinds of live music must carry the can.

So Kim Howells he vowed to protect the poor public,
His new rules would treat all live music the same:
Un amplified folk with just one person playing, [or]
Five kilowatt rigs would commit the same crimes.

So the folkies' poor landlord must get a new licence,
And pay, and file his plans at town hall;
And the local authority lays down conditions
To make each performance quite safe for us all.

0h "It beggars belief", said folk music historians,
That only in England the peasants don't sing.
Well human rights lawyers say "Sing if you want to",
And even New Labour can't ban such a thing.

So write to Minister Howells in Parliament,
And tell him you want all folk song to stay free;
And a man who can liken folk music to hell,
Is a man whose ashamed of his own country (pronounced "count-er-ee").

So write to Minister Howells in Parliament…..

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