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INGLAN IS A BITCH

 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

 

By Linton Kwesi Johnson

 

W'en mi jus' come to Landan toun

mi use to work pan di andahgroun

but workin' pan di andahgroun

y'u don't get fi know your way aroun'

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin' it

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no runnin' whey fram it

 

mi get a lickle jab in a big 'otell

an' awftah a while, mi woz doin' quite well

dem staat mi aaf as a dish-washah

but w'en mi tek a stack, mi noh tun clack-watchah!

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch

noh baddah try fi hide fram it

 

w'en dem gi' you di lickle wage packit

fus dem rab it wid dem big tax rackit

y'u haffi struggle fi mek en's meet

an' w'en y'u goh a y'u bed y'u jus' cant sleep

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch fi true

a noh lie mi a tell, a true

 

mi use to work dig ditch w'en it cowl noh bitch

mi did strang like a mule, but, bwoy, mi did fool

den awftah a while mi jus' stap dhu ovahtime

den aftah a while mi jus' phu dung mi tool

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch

y'u haffi know how fi suvvive in it

 

well mi dhu day wok an' mid dhu nite wok

mi dhu clean wok an' mid dhu dutty wok

dem seh dat black man is very lazy

but it y'u si how mi wok y'u woulda sey mi crazy

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch

y'u bettah face up to it

 

dem have a lickle facktri up inna Brackly

inna disya facktri all dem dhu is pack crackry

fi di laas fifteen years dem get mi laybah

now awftah fiteen years mi fall out a fayvah

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no runnin' whey fram it

 

mi know dem have work, work in abundant

yet still, dem mek mi redundant

now, at fifty-five mi gettin' quite ol'

yet still, dem sen' mi fi goh draw dole

 

Inglan is a bitch

dere's no escapin it

Inglan is a bitch fi true

is whey wi a goh dhu 'bout it?

 

Copyright of Linton Kwesi Johnson.

 

Linton Kwesi Johnson is arguably the most influential Black British poet. He is a London-based acclaimed writer, political activist and musician. Born in Chapeltown, Jamaica. He moved to Britain in 1963 with his mother and read sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

 

Widely acknowledged as the Father of "Dub" Poetry, a term he coined to describe the way a number of reggae DJs blended music and verse, Johnson was a member of the Black Panther movement and holds fellowships at two British universities.

 

A selection of his poetry, entitled Mi Revalueshanary Fren, was published in 2002 as a Penguin Classic edition with an introduction by Fred D'Aguiar.

 

In 2005, he was awarded a Musgrave medal by the Insitiute of Jamaica, for eminence in the field of poetry.

 

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