Pay Your Rates

Lyrics

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If your rate's too high
Write a snotty letter
If your rate's too high
Put your life on this bit of paper

Advice on rates
Advice on rates

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your water rates

If it goes too high
You'd better sign this letter
If you cannot pay your rates
You're gonna end up here

Or end up on debtors' retreat estates (1)
Or debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' escape estate

Debtors' escape
Debtors' retreat escape
Debtors' retreat estate
Neurotic Red landscape
A socialist state invention
The old government phones working
Debtor's escape estate

[Legendary Chaos tape:
Keep them old Victorian phones working
A debtor's retreat estate
Let's hear it for the working class traitors
Hello Warren Mitchell
Hello Warren Mitchell
Hi, Warren Mitchell] (2)

Debtors' escape estate
Debtors' retreat estate
A no-motivation estate
Debtors' escape estate

Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay your rates
Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay the borough

Pay your rates
Pay your water rates
Pay your rates
Pay your rates

Notes

1. The Lyrics Parade posts the following note: "In Michael Parkinson's autobiography 'Parky' he says on the second page: 'I was born on a council estate in Cudworth, a mining village in the South Yorkshire coalfield. In those days it was nicknamed 'Debtors' Retreat' and my Dad told me the rent collectors walked around in pairs.'  The nickname was probably applied to a lot of places; Danny points out that there is in fact an example closer to MES's home: "There's an article in the Guardian of 24 November 1984, about an estate called Strinesdale on the edges of Oldham: 'the once hard-to-let estate, dubbed "debtor's retreat" by the locals...'"

^

 

2. Warren Mitchell is an English actor known for playing ignorant and bigoted working class characters. His most famous role, as Alf Garnett on the BBC program Till Death Do Us Part, was the prototype for Archie Bunker on the American situation comedy All in the Family.

A few lines later, the Chaos Tapes has "No Dexy's Midnight Runners estate..."

^

Comments (6)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 29/04/2014

After the last "Debtors' escape estate", I'm hearing this:

"Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay your rates
Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay the borough
[ ]
Pay your rates
Pay your rates
Pay your rates
[ ]
Pay the borough
Pay the borough
Pay your rates
Pay your rates
"

The [ ] represent bits of garbled dialogue I cannot decipher.

I don't seem to hear "Pay pretty sharp" anywhere though.

Mark
  • 2. Mark | 23/05/2014

I've always heard the latter part of the second bracketed section as "Hey Marc! Hey Paul!"

bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 28/05/2014

To my ears "Warren Mitchell" is pretty clear...I added a little from that recording above ("Dexy's Midnight Runners"), thanks for getting me to dig it out.

dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 29/05/2014

Debtor's Retreat

I think there's a more likely estate than Cudworth (probably lots of estates attracted the nickname)

There's an article in the Guardian of 24 November 1984, about an estate called Strinesdale on the edges of Oldham:

"the once hard-to-let estate, dubbed "debtor's retreat" by the locals..."

Obviously I'm not saying the article is a source, but that here we have an example closer to home to MES.

dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 29/05/2014

I mean it's unlikely to be Cudworth, could be Strinesdale, but it shouldn't be overlooked that the nickname is not unique and may be somewhere else in Salford or Prestwich or somewhere.

Geus
  • 6. Geus (link) | 01/05/2015

Exactly, these lyrics describe the reduction that all supposed protestants are under today.
The purpose of taxes on water is not money, but spying and a way to put folks in prison or murder by medical inquisition whenever the papes want.
Kurious Orange did not dislike the papists, they understood what the papists where about!

Socialism was set up by the Jesuits since the reductions in Paraguay in the 1500's, where the Guarani Indians would be the slaves for modern industry 500 years ago. Britain under the knife of Rome, the Dutch Republic destroyed by France since 1795, no one to help you now.

Okay, I do, I've tried to inform the Russians about the same facts as these lyrics, but smarter folk will get assassinated.
Tried this, tried that, but people would rather believe in money and pay taxes for water. Blindness towards the spy game being played on them with taxes.

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