Celtic Lyrics Corner > Artists & Groups > Karan Casey > Songlines > Ballad Of Accounting

Songlines Ballad Of Accounting
Credits: Ewan McColl; arranged by John Doyle, Karan Casey, Seamus Egan & Winifred Horan
Appears On: Songlines
Language: English


In the morning we built the city
In the afternoon walked through its streets
Evening saw us leaving
We wandered through our days as if they would never end
All of us imagined we had endless time to spend
We hardly saw the crossroads and small attention gave
To the landmarks on the journey from the cradle to the grave
Cradle to the grave, cradle to the grave

Did you learn to dream in the morning?
Abandon dreams in the afternoon?
Wait without a hope in the evening?
Did you stand there in the traces and let them feed you lies?
Did you trail along behind them wearing blinkers on your eyes?
Did you kiss the foot that kicked you? Did you thank them for their scorn?
Did you ask for their forgiveness for the act of being born?
Act of being born, act of being born

Did you alter the face of the city?
Make any change in the world you found?
Or did you observe all the warning?
Did you read the trespass notice? Did you keep off the grass?
Did you shuffle off the pavement just to let your betters pass?
Did you learn to keep your mouth shut? Were you seen and never heard?
Did you learn to be obedient and jump to at a word?
Jump to at a word, jump to at a word

And did you ever demand any answer?
The who and the what and the reason why
And did you ever question the setup?
And did you stand aside and let them choose while you took second best?
Did you let them skin the cream off and then give to you the rest?
Did you settle for the shoddy? And did you think it right
To let them rob you right and left and never make a fight?
And never make a fight, never make a fight

What did you learn in the morning?
How much did you know in the afternoon?
Were you content in the evening?
And did they teach you how to question when you were at the school?
Did the factory help you grow? Were you the maker or the tool?
Did the place where you were living enrich your life and then?
Did you mix among the standing of all your fellow men?
All your fellow men, all your fellow men, all your fellow men