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​Overture

This song is by Madness and appears on the album The Liberty Of Norton Folgate (2009).

This is the story of the Liberty Of Norton Folgate

Old Jack Norris, the musical shrimp and the cadging ramble...

A little bit of this, would you like a bit of that

But in weather like this, you should wear a coat, a nice warm hat
A needle and thread the hand stitches of time
Battling Levinsky versus Jackie Burk
Bobbing and weaving, an invisible line

So step for step and both light on our feet
We'll travel many along dim silent street

Would you like a bit of this, or a little bit of that? (Misses)
A little bit of what you like does you no harm, you know that
The perpetual steady echo of the passing beat
A continual dark river of people
In it's transience and in it's permanence
But, when the streetlamp fills the gutter with gold
So many priceless items bought and sold

So step for step and both light on our feet
We'll travel many along dim silent street (together)

Once round Arnold Circus, and up through Petticoat Lane
Past the well of shadows, and once back round again
Arm in arm, with an abstracted air
To where the people stare
Out of the upstairs windows
Because we are living like kings
And these days will last forever

'Cause sailors from Africa, China and the archipelago of Malay
Jump ship ragged and penniless into Shadwells Tiger Bay
The Welsh and Irish wagtails, mothers of midnight
The music hall carousel enspilling out into bonfire light
Sending half crazed shadows, giants dancing up the brick wall
Of Mr Trumans beer factory, waving, bottles ten feet tall

Whether one calls it Spitalfields, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets
Or Banglatown. We're all dancing in the moonlight, we're all
On borrowed ground.

Oh, I'm just walking down to, I'm just floating down through
Won't you come with me, to the Liberty of Norton Folgate
But wait!
What's that?
Dan Leno
And the Limehouse golem

Purposefully walking nowhere, oh I'm happy just floating about
(Have a banana)
On a Sunday afternoon, the stallholders all call and shout
To no one in particular
Avoiding people you know, you're just basking in you're own company
The technicolour world's going by, but you're the lead in your own movie

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free, in your second hand coat,
Happy just to float
In this little taste of liberty
A part of everything you see

They're coming left and right
Trying to flog you stuff you don't need or want
And a smiling chap takes your hand
And drags you in his Uncles restaurant
(Ee-yar, ee-yar, ee-yar)

There's a Chinese man trying hard to flog you moody DVDs
You know? You've seen the film, it's black and white, it's got no sound
And a man's head pops up and down
Right across your widescreen TV
(Only a fiver)
('Ow much?)
(All right, two for eight quid)
(Ee-yar, ee-yar, look, I'm givin' it away)
(Givin' it away!)

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free, in your second hand coat,
Happy just to float
In this little piece of liberty
You're a part of everything you see

There's the sturdy old fellows, pickpockets, dandy's, extortioners
And night wanderers, the feeble, the ghastly, upon whom death
Had placed a very sure hand,
Some in shreds and patches,
Reeling inarticulate full of noisy and inordinate vivacity
That jars discordantly upon the ear
And gives an aching sensation to both pair of eyeballs
(Noisy and inordinate vivacity)

Oh ah ah etc etc

In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
He's made his way down to the dark riverside

In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
In the beginning was a fear of the immigrant
He's made his home there down by the dark riverside

Oh ah ah etc etc

He made his home there down by the riverside
They made their homes there down by the riverside
The city sprang up from the dark river Thames

They made their home there down by the riverside
They made their homes there down by the riverside
The city sprang up from the dark mud of the Thames
I'll say it again

(Ha ha ha, that's right)

'Cause in the Liberty of Norton Folgate
Walking wild and free
And in your second hand coat
Happy just to float
In this little taste of liberty
'Cause you're a part of everything you see
Yes, you're a part of everything you see

With a little bit of this
And a little bit of that
A little bit of what you like does you no harm
And you know that

Oh ah ah etc etc (repeat to end)

This is the story of the Liberty Of Norton Folgate

Old Jack Norris, the musical shrimp and the cadging ramble...