By Mark Rowlands


This is life on the billy banks

On the billy banks you got no chance

I was a little boy on the billy banks

With soaking wet socks and my brother’s old pants

I left the broken billy banks

Without a single backward glance

Don't take me back to the billy banks

I'd burn them down given half a chance

Don't take me back to the billy banks

Where no one smiled and no one danced

I grew up thinking all children cried

And that's all they did till the day they died

Don't bury me on the billy banks

On another desperate hopeless day

My soul was buried there as a child 

And it's still buried there today

Broken glass

And broken lives

Vicious kids

With hungry knives

There's no romance

On the billy banks

On the billy banks

You got no chance


This is love

On the billy banks

The whores in the subway 

A fiver a wank

In the bus shelter

On the billy banks

We smoked stolen fags

And learned to kiss

The cold and the rain

And the fog and the mist

The drunks in the doorways

Soaked in piss

They're empty now

And left to rot

The wind blows through the shells

Of the prison blocks

From my window

up 50ft high

If I reached out

I could touch the sky

And if I fell

I knew I couldn't fly

I knew dreams weren't real

I knew I would die


So don't paint that mess

With fake romance

When my brother died

I got to keep his pants


Born and bred

on the billy banks

Not alive nor dead

On the billy banks

Ambition shot in the head

On the billy banks


Nothing was said

On the billy banks

So i hid inside inside my head

On the billy banks


Don't talk to me

About the working class

The salt of the earth

Leaves a bitter taste