Great Imperialist State
Simone White Lyrics


There's a farmer in a distant country working on the land
A hat upon his head and a shovel in his hand
Till the soil, plant the seed, wait a while, cut the leaf
And send another cup of tea to me

I'm a spoiled child of the Great Imperialist State
I cannot kill my meat nor grow the food upon my plate
I never walked a mile to the well,
when the tap runs dry, do tell
What will become of you and me

What will become of us, who will give us trust
Will you believe me, when I say I never loved profiting from your pain
That I felt shame, when I looked the other way


Woke up this morning, the revolution knocking down my door
Those capitalist pigs? No, they don't live here anymore
Slipped out the back door into my car
How far can you drive, how far

There's a farmer in a distant country working on the land
Food turned into flowers for the uptown florist stand
What you saved another paid to turn his soil into sand
The world will not deliver on demand

What will become of us, who will give us trust
Will you believe me, when I say I never loved profiting from your pain
That I felt shame, when I looked the other way


Contributed by Leah J. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

Wild Alchemical Spirit

I don't know how she can perform this song without crying. Years later, I still cry listening to it. šŸ’•

NicosNicosNicosNicos

@cabernet5 I'm glad you appreciated the music.Turning an equally generous ear to the lyrics can help pick out references to economies dependent on 'first world' markets to the detriment of the local population.No industrialisation,dependence on imports for food because the whole economy is geared towards tea,coffee,bauxite etc, inherent instability being vulnerable to the whims of the market, Simone further mentions how sustainability is sacrificed. It's not a protest against employment,no.

Yo Soy MaĆ­z

We hope you and your family are doing well in these times.
You are invited to Radio Maiz anytime.
Saludos amiga bonita.

werich1

So it's a story about the fortune to be born in a 1st world country and the question for arising responsibility.

Alex Gabriel

its a little difficult knowing anything about economics to listen to this song... she seems to be critical of the very division of labor that allows the tea farmer in that "distant country" to sell to her and make a living. but then again, she seems to have fallen into the marxian mind trap, shame, its good music.

werich1

The problem in my opinion is, that the 1st world economy bloom on the shoulders of the less developed countries. would there be a real fair market without protective duties and with equally educated participants - i would feel much less guilty. You know - I woke up this morning with this song and noticed the lyrics for the first time, and it made me choke. regards...

NicosNicosNicosNicos

@cabernet5 de-industrialization?No,on the contrary,if these countries could break away from their role as mere suppliers of raw materials and industrialise,it would be a different story. "ASK the third world tea farmer,i think he rather likes it that she buys his tea" Farmers are certainly glad that their crops are bought but there are some aspects of being "third world" that are undesirable, and a lot can have to do with one's economy being at risk of collapse every time world tea prices drop.

Alex Gabriel

@cabernet5 and another thing, sustainability, in the face of the current and projected size of the earth's population can be best achieved by technological innovation in the field of recycling, renewal, and low impact technology. I would hate for the third world to be subject to forced de-industrialization... just so a few pale faced ideologues in wealthy countries could feel morally righteous.

Alex Gabriel

@werich1 there is no moral reason why you should feel guilty for being able to get more wealth for less physical labor than others elsewhere in the world. This 1st world economy determines that the work of a web developer is more valuable than the tea-grower, comparatively. Is it the web developer's fault that the market determined this? Eventually, with the money he makes selling tea to Simone White he will be able to send his kids of to college to become web developers;)

Alex Gabriel

@NicosNicosNicosNicos the cash crop economy is a viable way of economic growth for developing states. having the money for imports is a result of the income earned from cash crops. "inherent instability" and bieng prey to "the whims of the market" are rather unsubstantial objections to the greater real wages and profit earned from raising cash crops rather than produce. simone should actually ASK the third world tea farmer, i think he rather likes it that she buys his tea.

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