Vagrants & Vagabonds, Outlaws & Thieves

from by GioSafari

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about

This recording was written, recorded, and released as a single in 2011. I later performed this song on my Zombie Music tour and released a recording of it with my Live At Occupy Raleigh album (2012).

lyrics

A beguiling bard set up shop in an underground train station
and played subversive songs to commuters disguised as entertainment.
Crooning of peace and hope with a deceiving smile 'cross his face,
he coerced many a listener to drop change in his case.

But there was that day a deputy, wise beyond his years,
who hearing the bard while on patrol saw through the smoke and mirrors.
With justice burning in his heart
he courageously approached the bard
and with these words he quelled all the commuters' fears:

"You can't play down here, you need to move on."
The musician feigned flummoxed, "What have I done wrong?"
"I'm just singing songs about love and peace!
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"But this is a business," the officer said,
"would you play guitar at Bloomingdales instead?"
With that he restored lawful order and peace
from vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

The peace was short-lived, for on the train there was a conniving cripple,
a beggar missing five fingers who solicited from the people.
He claimed to be a sports coach as he hobbled down the aisle,
asking the riders for pocket change and always to wear a smile.

The conductor saw him transfer cars and grimaced with dismay.
He knew the tricks the beggar used for sympathies to sway.
Indignation burning in his loins,
he wished they all would keep their coins;
so with these words he warned them all over the PA:

"Don't give this man money, it's against the law"
The beggar kept begging, moved to the next car.
"I'm taking donations for my basketball team.
None are disturbed, some are giving money!"
"Don't encourage disorder," the conductor said,
"Give all that you have to MTA instead."
With that he ensured none would be fooled by these
vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

Now the bard sitting homeward bound on the train heard the good conductor's caution
and watched as the beggar with only five fingers walked slowly in his direction.
With insolence burning in his soul
he cared not for the subway rule,
and with these wretched words Pandora's box was to be opened:

"I have something for you," and gave him a dollar,
"I know how it is, I was stopped earlier."
They grinned at each other, not caring at all
to keep civil order, to uphold the law.
"That's why you play good music," the coach said,
"Don't give up and always keep smiling instead."
With that he gave credence to all anarchy
for vagrants and vagabonds, outlaws and thieves.

credits

from GioSafari Does NYC, released September 5, 2014

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about

GioSafari New York, New York

GioSafari was the pseudonym for singer-songwriter and peace activator Gio Andollo. He lives in NYC, where he has committed to music - songwriting, recording, busking, performing, promoting - and activism. He speaks truth to power in the heart of Empire, recalling the subversive musical traditions of American folk & punk, singing for peace & justice, and advocating the use of bicycle helmets. ... more

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