Lyrically Evocative (10)

Another from the pen of Ian Dury. This 1981 song was banned by the BBC as ‘offensive’. They obviously missed the point entirely. Here is an explanation, from another blogger.

“Ian Dury’s audaciously offensive take on disability, inspired by his own experience with childhood polio that left him crippled for life.
The song was written as a protest towards the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981, which Dury saw as patronising. The BBC didn’t see the joke and banned the song”.

Here are the lyrics.

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I wibble when I piddle
‘Cause my middle is a riddle

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I dribble when I nibble
And I quibble when I scribble

Hello to you out there in Normal Land
You may not comprehend my tale or understand
As I crawl past your window give me lucky looks
You can be my body but you’ll never read my books

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I’m knobbled on the cobbles
‘Cause I hobble when I wobble, swim

So place your hard-earned peanuts in my tin
And thank the Creator you’re not in the state I’m in
So long have I been languished on the shelf
I must give all proceedings to myself

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

54 appliances in leather and elastic
100 000 thank yous from 27 spastics

Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

Widdling, griddling, skittling, diddling
Fiddling, diddling, widdling, diddling spasticus

I’m spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus

And here he is, singing them.

14 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (10)

  1. Great post 🙂 The BBC banning that song was a stupid move like you said. I mean Dury was basically satirizing how big wigs treat disorders as If it were a cottage industry. Once you told me about that condition Dury suffered from, I started to read more about him. I listened to a lot of his music, but knew little about his background until that last post you did about him. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. I’ve never heard this before. It’s a song that would be considered offensive if non-disabled people sang it, but okay for disabled people. I have friends who refer to ‘super crips’ when they are talking about disabled people climbing mountains or jumping out of planes – but it wouldn’t be acceptable for me to use it. Bit like N word, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was acceptable for Dury, but may have also been alright for someone else to sing, if they were obviously making the same point. When the BBC banned it, they took a neutral stance on Dury’s own disability and decided the song was offensive to disabled people. These days, they are happy to play Rap records on the radio that glorify both gangsters, and the N-word.
      Times change, not always for the better. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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