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Bargain Town PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Saturday, 14 February 2009 14:08




This is a song about the decline of craftsmanship and those industrial areas of the north that relied upon it. The subsequent building of large shopping malls such as Meadowhall between Sheffield and Rotherham and The Metro Centre in the north east on these industrial wastelands seemed to me to add insult to injury to those men and women made redundant in the early ‘80s. Meadowhall's skyline resembles that of Venice except it is plastic. BargainTown was the name of a store I noticed in Dublin in 1989 and seemed to sum up what the general public now wants. The song was written for the Beverley Festival song competition in 1992. Needles to say it got nowhere.



Out on the east side from the Don to the Tyne, they’ve cleared all the works away
Gone are the factories, the mills and the mines, only the scars remain
Where is the alehouse, the dramshop, the terrace and street scene
They’ve sacrificed a way of life to build a shoppers’ dream

The shipyards stand idle by the Tyne and Gordie’s out of work
They’ve mechanized the plough and the navvy computerized the clerk
They’ve DIYed the building trade and closed the steel plants down
We’ve sacrificed a way of life to build this bargain town

In bargain town you can buy anything but can’t get British made
Gone are the days when you told your kids ‘do well at school and get a trade’
Where are the skills and the craftsmen, replaced with a gov’t scheme
We’ve sacrificed a way of life to build a shoppers’ dream

Shoppers browse down a marble piazza where money grows on trees
Lovers throw three coins in a fountain whilst giants pour crucible steel
Out of the ruins grew this Venice with a skyline for all to see
We’ve sacrificed a way of life to build a shoppers’ dream

People produce and people consume they both go side by side
If people don’t work then people can’t buy that’s a simple fact of life
It’s not just a regular wage slip but a future for all to see
We’ve sacrificed a way of life to build a shoppers’ dream

Out of the ruins grew this Venice with a skyline for all to see
We’ve sacrificed a way of life to build a shoppers’ dream
At Meadowhall they’ve built a dream replacing all the things there’d been
And now our kids can browse and lurk, they’re selling everything but work

 


Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 11:09