Di Great Insohreckshan

Di Great Insohreckshan

it woz in april nineteen eighty wan
doun inna di ghetto af Brixtan
dat di babylan dem cause such a frickshan
dat it bring about a great insohreckshan
an it spread all owevah di naeshan
it woz truly an histarical occayshan

it woz event af di year
an I wish I ad been dere
wen ri run riat all owevah Brixtan
wen wi mash-up plenty police van
wen wi mash-up di wicked wan plan
wen wi mash-up di Swamp Eighty Wan
fi wha?
fi mek di rulah dem andastan
dat win aw tek noh more a dem oppreshan

an wen mi check out di ghetto grape vine
fi fine out all I coulda fine
evry rebel jusa revel in dem story
dem a taak bout di powah an di glory
dem a taak bout di burnin an di lootin
dem a taak bout di smashin an di grabin
dem a tell mi bout di vanquish an di victri

dem seh babylan dem went too far
soh wha
soh wi ad woz fi bun two cyar
an wan an two innocent get mar
but wha
noh soh it goh sometime inna war ein star
noh soh it goh sometime inna war?

dem seh wi bun dung di George
wi couda bun di lanlaad
wi bun dung di George
wi nevah bun di lanlaad
wen wi run riat all owevah Brixtan
wen wi mash-up plent police van
wen wi mash-up di wicked wan plan
we wi mash-up di Swamp Eighty Wan

dem seh wi commandeer cyar
an wi ghadah ammunishan
wi brill wi barricade
an di wicked ketch afraid
wi sen out wi scout
fog oh fine dem whereabout
den wi faam-up wi passi
an wi mek wi raid

well now dem run gaan goh plan countah-ackshan
but di plastic bullit an di waatah cannan
will bring a blam-blam
will bring a blam-blam
nevah mind Scarman
will bring a blam-blam

Swamp 81: code name for Brixton police stop-and-search operation in 1981.
Scarman: Lord Scarman headed the public enquiry into the 1981 Brixton riots.


From Linton Kwesi Johnson: Selected Poems (Penguin, 2006), copyright © Linton Kwesi Johnson, 2006, used by permission of the author. Recording taken from LKJ a capella LIVE (LKJ Records, 1996)

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