Roy Harper – How Does It Feel? – One of my favourites.

This is one of my favourite songs. It speaks to me of the hypocrisy of our lives. I think we all display different sides of our personality to different people. In different situations we appear to have different persona altogether.

Where is the space that we can just be ourselves?

I can really identify this. As a young man I was determined not to sell my soul to anyone. I always had that attitude of Fuck It. But the game has its way of drawing you in and exacting the compromises. There are children involved and one is drawn into the process of earning a living. A career brings its strictures.

We all end up playing the game to one extent or another.

Roy used to tell the story of a policeman in Scandinavia that he stayed with. When he had his uniform on he enforced the law. When he got home he took his uniform off and rolled a joint.

We make our choices. Do we choose to fit in? Do we vote? Become a model citizen? Do we rebel and reject the aims of society? Reject the greed and selfishness? Reject the control? Or do we try and do both?

Do we have a schizophrenic existence?

We prostitute ourselves. We strap our watches to our wrists and sell our time. We sell our ideals and dreams. We sell our freedom.

We play the game – and nobody is free of that game.

How Does It Feel – Roy Harper

How Does It Feel
How does it feel to be completely unreal
How does it feel to be a voter
How does it feel to be a voluntary heel
I wonder who’s it is
I see you queuing up outside Saint Peter’s gate,
You can feel bona fide if you ride with the tide
But it’s not real

How does it feel to be out on your own
How does it feel to be thinking
How does it feel to be out on the run
With the mindless world at your heels
I wish I had no answers to put to you
Cos they got me so high tied I feel
like most of me has died
And it’s real

And outside on the dragon
And inside in the cold
Mammy’s on the bandwagon, daddy’s just getting old
And through the blood spew heavens
The roar of lust complains:
Please let me in I have no sin, but you know I’m not real

And how does it feel to be the master’s right hand nose
How does it feel to be lieutenant
How does it feel to be stood on someone’s toes
With a leech bleeding you for rent,
When you say you want a bit more rank
You wanna be a big wheel
You can feel magnified if you hide in
your pride… It’s not real

And how does it feel with a white flag in your fist
How does it feel to have two faces
How does it feel with your god strapped to your wrist
And him leading you such a chase
You got one set of words for him,
and you got another for me
You’re gonna feel mystified when you’re identified
Don’t worry kid it’s not real

And outside on the dragon
And inside in the cold
Mammy’s on the bandwagon, daddy’s just getting old
And through the blood spew heavens
The roar of lust complains:
Please let me in I have no sin, but you know I’m not real

And through the blood spew heavens
The roar of lust complains:
Please let me in I have no sin, but you know I’m not real

6 thoughts on “Roy Harper – How Does It Feel? – One of my favourites.

  1. Opher said – I can really identify this. As a young man I was determined not to sell my soul to anyone. I always had that attitude of Fuck It.

    But didn’t you become a school teacher or something?

      1. Working for the man – not might idea of what I wanted to do. I got myself into a position of not ever having any boss and worked my own business on my own terms.
        If I didn’t want to work a Monday morning, I didn’t.

      2. Peter – that sounds good. I went into teaching which gave me a lot of freedom and fulfilment. Working with kids can be very rewarding and gave me a lot of freedom.

      3. Had you really applied yourself and fulfilled your optimum potential you might never have done that to yourself.
        I could see from a distance as a youth that clock watching wasn’t for me. Plus the fact I’d already fully realised the limitations of being in school having previously surprisingly enough been sent to one myself. I imagine you had the same. So how could that experience drag you back for round two?
        It wouldn’t be the working environment.
        It wouldn’t be the working conditions.
        It wouldn’t be the piss poor money they paid.
        So what was it? Free biscuits at morning coffee break?

        I don’t think you understand.
        What I meant was I wasn’t stuck. I didn’t have to go to work at any given time. I didn’t have to be there because the clock said I did.
        I didn’t have a boss. I didn’t have to report to anyone.
        I had the absolute opposite in terms of freedom as you were constrained in shackles.
        I can’t see any freedom if one is working in some school!
        Could you just turn up the music and roll a joint of an afternoon?
        Could you just crack open a beer at 3PM?
        Could you just go home early?
        Seriously, you don’t know what freedom in employment is. You think you do, but effectively you were tied to the mast year in year out.

        I owned and ran an employment agency business and eventually had eight offices north to south, east to west, employing engineering staff. The easiest money ever possible to be earned. I didn’t even have any middle-man involved in the collection of that money either. I started it with a two hundred pounds month deposit on one office and a telephone line.

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