William V

from by Robin Elliott

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lyrics

in 1982 they tore me from my mother's womb
who knows the meaning who knows the why
but I never looked into her living eyes

like my dad and my granddad both before me
and my great- and my great-great- one, so they did say
they called me William for joke or for wish
named like the new-born prince William V

mum lay so quiet and cold in her bed
as her brown eyes so sweetly rolled back in her head
like his father before him dad could not be found
he fucked off and only his name stuck around

here I am in the doorway, Billy the V
hail, hail, hear the bells ringing
keep that mutt away from me
hail, hail, the king, the king

good people were George and Elizabeth Baptiste
took me in for an orphan before I'd cut teeth
took me into their home and into their arms
in Tottenham town, on the Broadwater Farm

to the Broadwater Farm estate, Tottenham town
in '85 came the riots and our door it came down
cop clubbed Georgie Baptiste plumb on the skull bone
and they carted me off to the council care home

where the superintendent said, when I arrived
“I run a tight ship so you'd best toe the line”
but I would not tow anything and I cursed his name
and I played merry hell until I ran away

well I woke up this morning and I could not stand
hail, hail, hear the bells ringing
this old body of mine won't obey my commands
hail, hail, the king the king

“life isn't fair, Bill – you get what you get”
well that's easy to say but it's tough to accept
“if you try hard you can make it in our meritocracy”
that's just a way to excuse laying into the weak

who knows the meaning who knows the why
but it's true when they say nothing's fair about life
back in '97 poor William, my friend
he lost his own mum in a car accident

I was down by the river, age of 15
the police came and swept us all off of the streets
and a carpet of flowers and wreaths was laid down
I stole flowers for my mother, and then I felt proud

and the years struggled by
and oh how the nation's been mourning
until today, which is the day
that my namesake is proudly crowned king

here I lie, my life flashing in front of my eyes
I didn't realise they made you sit through this shit twice

here I lie in a doorway, old Billy V
hail, hail, hear the bells ringing
and dogs come up sniffing and snapping round me
hail, hail, hear the bells ring
maybe if I was strong, maybe if I'd tried
hail, hail, hear the bells ringing
but I'm old and I'm weak maybe here I will die
hail, hail, the king, the king

credits

from At Sunset, released June 23, 2017

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Robin Elliott London, UK

Robin Elliott is a songwriter and singer hailing from the North West of England.

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