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In a suit and tie from Savile Row
and beautiful handmade shoes
The city boy is moving slowly north
In Birmingham he made a killing
Now Leeds must pay its dues
He smoothes his hair, then walks up to the door.

Mrs Hanley hears the knock
Sets down her cup of tea
Shuffles down the hall to see who’s come.
She opens up to see him standing there
The smiling pinstripe thief.
Sharpening his deadly silver tongue, he said:

“All I ask of you
is a little revenue…
Let’s call it my champagne dividend”.
She cannot resist
this twisted hypnotist.
He gets his pound of flesh again.

Darlington was in his sights
The terraces and flats
Sunderland was fleeced for all its worth.
Newcastle took a hit
giving up its hard-earned cash
to the city boy, still moving slowly north.

A brief jaunt round Edinburgh
brought a rather handsome haul
from everyone – the student to the nurse.
He’d run the same routine with the same result,
there was no escape at all,
once they heard those lines, so well rehearsed.
He’d say…

“All I ask of you
is a little revenue…
Let’s call it my champagne dividend”.
They could not resist
this twisted hypnotist.
He gets his pound of flesh again.

Sports car showroom, journey’s end.
He swaps the money for a new V10
The same old smile distorts his pinstripe mouth.
He says “I’ll take the black one please”,
gets the keys, but no-one sees
the city boy, speeding back down south,
singing out…

“All I asked of you
was a little revenue…
My beautiful champagne dividend.
They could not resist
Yeah – I was BORN for this!
I got my pound of flesh again… and again…”

2012 was an interesting year in the financial world of London. A huge scandal broke in the summer – the “Libor scandal” – where traders were revealed to have manipulated a key rate that determined how banks would lend money to each other. This rate had influence that stretched far beyond the bounds of the City of London. Needless to say, the ruthless greed shown by such traders, and the funnelling of small amounts of “invisible money” from huge numbers of people back down to the city guys fuelled a lot of anger.

I wondered what it would be like to write about one of these traders actually going door to door in the towns of the north, visiting his “victims” and asking for a small amount cash outright, which he would stockpile until he had enough to buy a sports car to drive back to London. It seemed a humorous point of view, so the song was born.

This song was actually the first one Maurice and I attempted together. I was out in Italy on holiday. It was a lot of fun waking each morning to find new ideas in the inbox on my iPad. Our first attempt was a bit too serious, but a complete rewrite led to this version which seems about right.

Written by Steve Jones & Maurice Macartney

Performed & produced by Steve Jones

Mixed by Leo Abrahams

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