“I wanna keep in with the Common People”

This is a re-writing of Pulp’s Common People song. It is meant to reflect the fact that people who are born poor – and thus ‘working class’ or one of the ‘common people’ – try to hold on to those things when they achieve social mobility, such as becoming middle class and then upper class. In my view they do this because they feel guilty that they can’t reconcile the unfairness of the fact they are no living the good life, whereas the people they left behind are still in poverty. To sum the song up; it shows how a working class woman, from Merthyr Tydfil has gone to university and has to deal with the guilt of becoming wealthy and able to afford the best things in life.

I wanna keep in with the Common People.

I’m a girl from Merthyr Tydfil,
I’d a thirst for knowledge,
So did sculpture at Saint Martins College,
That’s where I, met this guy;

He told me that he was loaded,
I said, “In that case I’ll get my money’s worth,
He said, “Fine,”
And then in thirty seconds’ time, I said,

“I like being one of the common people,
I wanna keep doing what common people do,
Wanna keep in with common people,
I wanna keep in with common people like me;”

Oh, what else will I do?
He said, “I’ll, I’ll see what I can do,”
He took me to a Waitrose supermarket,
He said don’t think why,
you have to start somewhere,
So it started there;

He said: “Pretend you’ve got lots of money,”
And I just laughed and said, “Oh, you’re so funny,”
He said, “Yeah?
Huh, I can’t see anyone else poor in here;

Are you sure?
You wanna keep doing what common people do?
You wanna still see whatever common people see?
Wanna keep in with common people?
You keep in with common people like you?”

But he didn’t understand,
I just smiled and held his hand;

He said rent an in-town shop,
Cast a mould and sell some pots,
Join the Fabians so you can talk,
How you once did the common people’s walk;

But still you’ll never keep up the act,
‘Cos when you’re owning your penthouse flat,
You’ll feel guilt with the warmth and comfort while you sit,
While others can only rent a bedsit;

You’ll never stay among common people,
You’ll never again do what common people do,
Never suffer like common people,
You’ll never watch your debt mount up,

Never feel like you need a way out,
Because there’s nothing to worry about;

Say so-long to the common people,
Say so-long to benefits and slums;

But I said I don’t want to forget my roots,
I feel guilty buying new dresses and suits,
I feel for those with only black and white TVs,
At least now I can send my kids to private school;

But I still think being poor is cool,
He said I won’t have feed my dogs tinned meat,
They can have the finest cuts of beef;

I said what about those who can’t afford it,
It will be unfair for them to suffer,
He said you have to let go of your past,
Forget you we’re ever working class;

He will never understand,
What it feels like to be poor,
But I’m glad I’m not poor anymore,
I could be stuck on the dole,

Still worry about the cost of road tolls,
At least I’m not as poor as them,
But I’ll rally their cause till the end;

We should help the common people,
Stand up for what common people do,

Do everything to save common people,
Never let the rich hold then back,
They deserve better than that,
I’m going to stay as one with common people;

Wanna stay in with common people,
Wanna stay in with common people,
Wanna stay in with common people,
Wanna stay in with common people;

Wanna stay in with common people,
Wanna stat in with common people,
Wanna stay in with common people,
Like I wish I still was, la la la la;

Ooh, la la la la,
Ooh, la la la la,
Ooh, la la-la-la la-la,
Oh, yeah.

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