Swing the Gavel

from by Elephants of Scotland



West from The Marches
Through the Apennines
On toward Florence they went
The new magistrate, a miser to the bone
Lead his band of cut-rate men

A tinker, a tailor, a farmer and a smith
But nary a lawman did he bring with

Men of ill breeding, men of ill repute
Made up the traveling coterie
To lay down the law, to preside over it all
To play at judge and notary

A tinker, a tailor, a cobbler and a cook
But nary a wise man who’d once read a book

“Why would I pay dear
for a bench of my peers
When I can buy a neighbor for a song?
Let the Florentine all rise for my team for
Any Christian man knows right from wrong.”

These breaches of justice
Speak the truth for all to know
Swing the gavel high, swing the gavel low

Of the magistrate’s men, was Sir Nick
A one-man fashion crime spree
For clearly the rules
don’t apply to such fools
And allow this man to walk free

The vair in his cap,
blackened from smoke
See how his gown hangs
well below his robe
And watch, I beseech.
Yes, look & you will see
The case of his briefs
drooped down to his knees.

These breaches of justice
Still the truth will always show
Swing the gavel high,
swing the gavel low

A young local man saw this charade
“For this my taxes are paid?
Time to call some friends and
bring this to an end.
Time to devise a plan…”

The next morning came
The courtroom opened up
And as the citizenry filed in
The young man’s two friends
Found that fraud Sir Nick
Standing at his rickety bench

They each grabbed a side of
Nick’s tattered robe and
staged a most convincing dispute

“Your honor, I insist,
this wretch stole my bag.”
“Your honor,
that one stole my boots.”

And then our young man snuck up from behind
and brought His Honor’s briefs to the floor
The red-faced judge sat to pull them up
but only showed Florence so much more

This bell rings for justice
Speak the truth for all to know
Swing the gavel high, swing the gavel low

These breaches of justice expose another lie
Swing the gavel low, swing the gavel high


from The Perfect Map, released June 17, 2016
music & words: Rabin


all rights reserved


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