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​Faces In The Street

This song is by John Schumann and the Vagabond Crew and appears on the album Lawson (2005).

They lie, the men who tell us for reasons of their own
That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street --
Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet --
I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And 'cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In the sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street --
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When your God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet
In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel and heartless street.

Once I cried: 'Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.'
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I saw a city's street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Pouring on, pouring on
To a drum's loud threatening beat,
And the war hymns and the cheering of the people in the street

And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat,
Flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street
Coming near, coming near
To a drum's dull distant beat
Then I saw the army that was marching down the street...
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