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about

I wrote this song after Late Joys drummer Matt Patterson gig-bantered that the next song I would write was going to be about gun violence. We were playing the Carousel Lounge that night, and had just performed some of my more political songs — songs that concerned themselves with subjects like intolerance and climate change and women's reproductive rights. I don't think he thought I'd actually go out and write this song. But it seemed like a decent challenge and, after a weekend's worth of hunting and pecking, this is the result.

The grist for the song might have been the latest gun-related atrocity, though I can’t say which one, given the sheer number of them. A look at the calendar around the time gives no answers. Or maybe it was a reaction to some atrocity committed on ordinary people by members of the NRA-bought Congress, for whom a good guy with a gun is anyone with a gun (unless that guy's a black guy).

One of the first lines I wrote was about never sending my children off to school and not learning to live by the golden rule. I couldn’t figure out who was saying that at first. Then I realized it was the gun talking. The whole song is from the gun's perspective as it grows in confidence while losing any sense of shame.

One lyric, "We practice late in the back yard" is particularly haunting — not two months after I wrote the song the San Bernadino attacks occurred. One of the details of the gunman was how he used to "just hang out in [the] back yard doing target practice..."

-Robi

lyrics

You have a question, come over, sport
I'll let you hear my full report
You don't like Mondays, go tell it to the hordes
On your messianic message boards

Never sent my children off to school
Never learned to live by the golden rule
Why are those people standing round?

Where am I? I'm in front of the crowd

Pocket Constitutions and your Target card
We practice late in the back yard
It's not my fight, don't look at me
He pulls my trigger and he's free

Never sent my wife to a dead-end job
Disgruntled co-workers, death by cop
Why are those those people falling down?

Look at me, I'm in front of the crowd
Look at me, I'm in front of the crowd

Go text your mom, go call the cops
I keep on popping and I just can't stop
I hope you take this all to heart
So, baby, here's my parting shot

Go blame the victim, don't blame me
Cos I'm not sentient like a human being
I think you'll know just what I mean
You can read it in my magazine

You'll never know where I'm concealed
You stand like statues or you kneel
I'll fill your head with another round

Look at me, I'm in front of the crowd
Look at me, I'm the talk of the town
Look at me, I'm in front of the crowd

credits

from [ samizdat​-​001 ] Thug Nation, released July 15, 2017
Words and music © 2017 Robi Polgar

Kelly J. Rath — guitars, vocals
Robi Polgar — guitars, vocals

Recorded at Alta Vista Recording, Austin, TX; April to July, 2017.
Mixed by Josh Allen; mastered by Tom Johnson.

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about

Robi Polgar Austin, Texas

Robi Polgar is a musician, writer, director and unrepentant soccer junkie, living in Austin.

He is one-half of the guitarist-singer-songwriter duo The Study Session (with Kelly J. Rath) and the frontman for Brit-Poppers The Late Joys.

Mr. P pens, plucks and performs punchy political paeans with a deft left hook and massive progressive undercut.

More: www.robipolgar.com/music.html
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