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The Happy Family -
"The Man On Your Street"

[ from the album "The Man On Your Street" (1982) ]

Lyrics

Now at last I've mastered
This business of living
Though I've lost my self-respect along the way
(For worms like me a small price to pay!)

Ambition was the road I sent my cars down
Full of application forms and guns
I scooped up what no-one else would stoop to
I turned men to methods one by one

Then again they loved me like a father
Then again I sheltered them from choice
(They were speechless so I used their voice!)

(In my extensive garden sheltered from the world I've made
My faithful wife and daughter sit on benches in the rain awaiting me
And although I've given them no special incentive
Their one pursuit and hobby is to reflect credit on me)

Now the world's at the end of my tether
In a last ditch bid to get it together
I wake my wife in the night
And ask her is our life right?
But as her tired voice cracks
And she starts to pretend
I find myself at my own receiving end

Disappointment crowns my years like grey hair
And I've taught the world my point of view
(It's in the saddest part of you)

Better men than me have lost their freedom
When my measures made them lose their cool
Prizing head and heart will get you nowhere
When your word commands a ship of fools

Then again I've bred respect for virtue
Then again I've set the terms for vice
(My laws are simple and concise)

(I arrange for my ivy green limousine to break down amongst holly trees
And seize a command performance from my beautiful daughter
And as I commit this unnatural act by the shores of Lake Geneva
I contemplate the fact that blood is much sexier than water)

Now the world's at the end of my tether
In a last ditch bid to get it together
I appoint Maria the queen
Of my happy office harem
But as I smell the fear
In the memos she sends
I find myself at my own receiving end

After all I'm just the man on your street
In my cups I'm raking in my cut
(It's a never-ending glut)

When I'm patching up my reputation
I confess a simple man's misdeeds
For the body in this robe of office
Shares its skin with everything that bleeds

Then again these powers have been my weakness
Then again I may not live for long
(While you think you need me I'll be strong)

(In the darkness of this hat I keep my head in ever-accelerating
Trains of thought are giving me a whale of time
And as I mint the tin gods that will succeed me
I cross your outstretched sweating palm with my portrait, metal and sublime)

Now the world's at the end of my tether
In a last ditch bid to get it together
I remember my citizen's rights
And call for professional advice
But as the cold phone croaks
"Can I help you my friend?"
I find myself at my own receiving end