I can see you in the morning when you go to school
Don’t forget your books, you know you’ve got to learn the golden rule,
Teacher tells you stop your play and get on with your work
And be like Johnnie – too-good, well don’t you know he never shirks
– he’s coming along!
After School is over you’re playing in the park
Don’t be out too late, don’t let it get too dark
They tell you not to hang around and learn what life’s about
And grow up just like them – won’t let you work it out
– and you’re full of doubt
Don’t do this and don’t do that
What are they trying to do?- Make a good boy of you
Do they know where it’s at?
Don’t criticize, they’re old and wise
Do as they tell you to
Don’t want the devil to
Come and put out your eyes
Maybe I’m mistaken expecting you to fight
Or maybe I’m just crazy, I don’t know wrong from right
But while I am still living, I’ve just got this to say
It’s always up to you if you want to be that
want to see that
want to see that way
– you’re coming along!
The opening track off 1974’s Crime of the Century has a claustrophobic feel related to how formal schooling can crush gentle spirits, destroy creativity and enforce conformity above all. The student learns but loses all traces of personality/individuality.
This song is one of their more progressive rock/pop songs since it has no clear verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus structure.
It is said that Pink Floyd’s influences can be heard on this album of Supertramp.
The theme of the song is similar to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall, part II” which was released about 5 years later. However, the thematic of fitting in society or failing to was the central message of The Dark Side Of The Moon (especially on songs such as “Brain Damage”), released one year prior to this song.
Roger Hodgson : Lead vocals, guitars, pianos
Rick Davies : Vocals, keyboards, harmonica
Bob C. Benberg : Drums, percussion
Dougie Thomson : Bass
John Anthony Helliwel : Saxophone, clarinets