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Newport Boy Songs about Homelessness (100* d) Lyr Add: CATHY COME HOME 09 Jan 09


The song from Ken Loach's 1966 'Cathy Come Home' is one of the most powerful I've heard. Heard with the TV play, it's almost unbearable.

I couldn't find it in the DT or the Cat - so here it is. [Correct me if I've missed it.]

I've never managed to track down authorship, although it may be in the original credits but not listed anywhere. The story was by Jeremy Sandford, and music by Paul Jones, and I assume they wrote the song as well.

I've been singing this on and off for 40 years, and I'm horrified that it's still relevant.

CATHY COME HOME

I'd like to know just why they pay
A pound or fifteen bob a day
To a woman with a kid to keep.
It barely makes six quid a week.
I'd like to tell you of the men
Who work all hours that God can send
For a wage that barely buys
The necessities of life.

I want to tell you what it's like
For a woman on her own.
I'd like to tell you people
What it's all about.

I'd like to know just who decides
How much it costs to keep alive,
How much his fellow men should get,
But doesn't count their self-respect.
I know they've got enough to eat,
A roof above, somewhere to sleep,
But there's more to life than living.
There's more to life than that.

I want to tell you what it's like
For a family on the dole.
I'd like to tell you people
What it's all about.

I'd like to know how much is spent
To study our environment,
When it's bloody obvious what we lack
In terraces built back-to-back.
I'd like to know why we can't have
A garden, a bath, an inside lav,
Good schools, good roads, and decent shops,
Parks and trees and grass.

I want to tell you what it's like
On the other side of town.
I want to tell you people
What it's all about

I'd like to know just what to do
To put across our point of view.
We're tired of being pushed around,
Of waiting in the queue.

I'd like to tell you what it's like
I feel you ought to know.
I'd like to tell you people
What it's all about.

I'd like to see some changes made.
I'd like to see the wages paid
Improved for every one of us,
Not just the chosen few.
I'd like to know the reason why
We're born to live, but live to die.
I'd like to know the answers,
But no-one wants to tell.

I'd like to tell you what it's like,
It's something you should know.
I'd like to tell you people
What it's all about.


From the BBC Wednesday Play, 1966. Director: Ken Loach.

Phil


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