Recession songs #2: The Dogs on the Street by Barry McCormack

The second in a series of recessionary protest songs recorded for The Irish Times

Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 13:36

Formerly a member of the lo-fi indie band Jubilee Allstars, Barry McCormack has toured with acts such as the Handsome Family and Joe Pernice. He has released four solo albums. A new record, Cut Throat Lane, will be released on October 18th. The Dogs on the Street originally featured on his fourth album, Small Mercies.

“‘Even the dogs on the street knew what was going on’ has become a ubiquitous phrase ever since the crisis kicked off,” says McCormack. “It captures the Irish mentality that prides itself in knowing what’s happening, but is bloody-mindedly keeping schtum about it. The song is about someone caught up in the slash and burn downsizing going on in a company; at first observing it and eventually becoming a victim of it. Today’s workplace is a far cry from the world of the Lock Out and you’ll hardly notice you’re being stabbed in the back while you’re being force-fed confectionary and inundated with smiley-face strewn memos by your over-friendly boss, but it’s this insidiousness that makes it seem even more brutal.”


Lyrics:


The Dogs on the Street


Paul was in the office up to his arse in P45s,
The bosses roamed the halls, they’d taken out the knives,
Some of us were worried, some were running for their lives,
Paul had got the with shingles, I was coming out in hives.
And the dogs on the street know,
Every gouger in Christendom knows,
When the game is up and when the tide is going out.
The manager moved on the killing floor, he’d gone on a power trip,
There were scores to be settled, he was dying to let rip,
There was talk going round they were scuttling the ship,
The smell of blood was in the air, the cull had taken grip,
And the dogs on the street know,
Every gouger in Christendom knows,
When the game is up and when the tide is going out.
I was a dead man walking, wounded and lame,
I wasn’t surprised when the call came,
‘You’re a good man’, they said, ‘You know, you’re not to blame,’
But they’ve got us by the balls, it’s a dirty rotten shame’
And the dogs on the street know,
Every gouger in Christendom knows,
When the game is up and when the tide is going out.
Down in local Paul bought me a farewell cigar,
The last of the creatives were propping up the bar,
On the the street some cornerboys were eyeing up a car,
Like wreckers on the shore taunting a ship from afar.


And the dogs on the street know,
Every gouger in Christendom knows,
When the game is up and when the tide is going out.

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