Ian Dury wrote this lyric as a result of his experience of the Battle of the Beanfield in (1985 (?)) when a convoy of travellers were beaten up brutally by the Wiltshire police force....
I took out all the seats and away I went
It's a right old banger and the chassis's bent
It's got a great big peace sign across the back
And most of the windows have been painted black

The windshield's cracked, it's a bugger to drive
It starts making smoke over forty-five
It's a psychedelic nightmare with a million leaks
It's home-sweet-home to some sweet-arse freaks

Slow down itinerant child, the road is full of danger
Slow down itinerant child, there's no more "Welcome, stranger"

Soon I was rumbling through the morning fog
With my long haired children and my one eyed dog
With the trucks and the buses and the trailer-vans
My long throw horns playing Steely Dan

We straggled out for miles along the beggar's hill
When the word came down that we'd lost Old Bill
You can bet your boots I'm coming when the times are hard
That's why they keep my dossier at Scotland Yard

Slow down itinerant child, you're still accelerating
Slow down itinerant child, the boys in blue are waiting
Itinerant child don't do what your doing
Itinerant child you'd better slow down

We drove into happy valley seeking peace and love
With a lone helicopter hanging up above
We didn't realise until we hit the field
There were four hundred cozzers holding riot shields

They terrorized our babies and they broke our heads
It's a stone fucking miracle there's no-one dead
They turned my ramshackle home into a burning wreck
My one-eyed dog got a broken neck

Slow down itinerant child, the road is full of danger
Slow down itinerant child, there's no more "Welcome, stranger"
Slow down itinerant child, you're still accelerating
Slow down itinerant child, the boys in blue were waiting


Lyrics submitted by azkm

Itinerant Child song meanings
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    My InterpretationI wouldn't actually say this was a political song. Chas Jankel on piano gives it that comic lift. It's contrasting the police brutality to human and humorous, people wanting to have good time and capable of self-mockery. So the chorus comes across as an anti-confrontation warning, perpetuating non-violent travellers' values. Just an idea - it could have been called "Runaway" (run away).

    As he says it's a miracle no-one died on 1 June 1985, but did his dog really get it?
    radio4headon April 23, 2013   Link

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