Rakshita (Raks) Patel (rakspatel) wrote in mycroft_brolly,
Rakshita (Raks) Patel

One in Ten by UB40

As I said, I have been taking a trip down memory lane via songs that I knew and loved. I came across "One in Ten" by UB40. UB40 are from Birmingham, my home town, and I grew up with them and their music in the 80s. Given that I am currently unemployed, and working with a lot of client groups that fall into the category of society's outcasts (homeless, mentally ill, excluded children and young people), the lyrics of the song struck a real chord with me.

Photo credit: http://www.amazon.co.uk/UB40-Signing-Off-Bonus-12/dp/images/B0053F3R5W

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

UB40 are a British reggae/pop band formed in 1978 in Birmingham. The band has placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. One of the world's best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. Their hit singles include their debut "Food for Thought" and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with "Red Red Wine" and "Can't Help Falling in Love". Both of these also topped the UK Singles Chart, as did the band's version of "I Got You Babe".

The band members began as friends who knew each other from various schools across Birmingham. The name "UB40" was selected in reference to the document issued to people claiming unemployment benefit from the UK government's Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) at the time of the band's formation. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40.

"One in Ten" is a single by UB40 released in 1981 on their second album Present Arms. It reached No. 7 on the UK singles charts. One in Ten is mistakenly cited as referring to the number of unemployed in the UK at that time. It is in fact a song about government statistics in general, and how politicians use them to de-humanise problems.

Lyrics reproduced in full:

"One in Ten" by UB40

I am the one in ten
A number on a list
I am the one in ten
Even though I don`t exist
Nobody knows me
But I`m always there
A statistical reminder
Of a world that doesn`t care

My arms enfold the dole queue
Malnutrition dulls my hair
My eyes are black and lifeless
With an underprivileged stare
I`m the beggar on the corner
Will no-one spare a dime?
I`m the child that never learns to read
`Cause no-one spared the time

(Chorus) I am the one in ten ...

I`m the murderer and the victim
The licence with the gun
I`m a sad and bruised old lady
In an ally in a slum
I`m a middle aged businessman
With chronic heart disease
I`m another teenage suicide
In a street that has no trees

(Chorus) I am the one in ten ...

I`m a starving third world mother
A refugee without a home
I`m a house wife hooked on Valium
I`m a Pensioner alone
I`m a cancer ridden spectre
Discovering the earth
I`m another hungry baby
I`m an accident of birth.

(Chorus) I am the one in ten ...
Tags: big society, music, politics
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded