Roots

Album: Witness (2006)
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  • Now it's been 25 years or more
    I've roamed this land from shore to shore
    From Tyne to Teign, or Severn to Thames
    From moor to vale, from peak to fen

    Played in cafes, pubs and bars
    I've stood in the street with my own guitar
    But I'd be richer than all the rest
    If I had a pound for each request

    For 'Duelling Banjos', 'American Pie'
    It's enough to make you cry
    'Rule Britannia', or 'Swing low...'
    Are they the only songs we English know?

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    They're never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    They need roots

    After the speeches, when the cake's been cut
    The disco's over and the bar is shut
    At christening, birthday, wedding or wake
    What can we sing 'til the morning breaks

    When the Indians, Asians, Afro-Celts
    It's in their blood, below their belt
    They're playing and dancing all night long
    So what have they got right that we've got wrong?

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    They're never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    They need roots and

    Haul away boys, let them go
    Out in the wind and the rain and snow
    We've lost more than we'll ever know
    'Round the rocky shores of England
    We need roots

    And a minister said his vision of hell
    Is three folk singers in a pub near Wales
    Well, I've got a vision of urban sprawl
    There's pubs where no-one ever sings at all

    And everyone stares at a great big screen
    Overpaid soccer stars, prancing teens
    Australian soap, American rap
    Estuary English, baseball caps

    And we learn to be ashamed before we walk
    Of the way we look, and the way we talk
    Without our stories or our songs

    How will we know where we come from?
    I've lost St. George and the Union Jack
    That's my flag too and I want it back

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    Never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    We need roots

    Haul away boys, let them go
    Out in the wind and the rain and snow
    We've lost more than we'll ever know
    'Round the rocky shores of England
    We need roots...

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