"Taking Your Life in Your Hands" as written by and John Davies Cale....
The children are all leaving school today
Mama said, don't worry, I'll be back one day
The blue men in uniform smiled and waved goodbye
She was hiding those tears in her eyes

Roll up the history books, burn the chairs
Set fire to anything, set fire to the air
They're hiding [riding?] to begin and running at the end
'Cause mama said, you take your life in your hands

Taking your life, your life in your hands
But don't take your life in your hands like I did
I don't feel so bad, and always look forward with hope
Forward and hope that the children will always be there

Cancel the day, cancel the night
Cancel the day, cancel the night
'Cause who could be watching when she steals and runs away
Full of hysterical laughter, and say

Mama, mama
I've left school today
I hope I get to see you in that funny school far away
But those gentlemen in blue, and those in grey
Say I'll never, never see mama again

'Cause she took those lives in her hands
Yes, she took all those lives in her hands
Yes, she took all those lives in her hands
But let me wonder, what was there left in those hands?

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"Taking Your Life in Your Hands" as written by John Davies Cale

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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    My InterpretationIn Cale's autobiography (What's Welsh for "Zen"), he said he hopes it's obvious enough: Mama is being taken to prison, because she killed several people.

    But whether she killed her own children? He wanted to leave that ambiguous

    He complained how hardly anyone ever bought Music for a New Society, the LP which leads off with this track. He said, "I didn't write it to make people jump out of windows," but it sounds as if he wrote it for people who are (at least) giving it serious thought.

    This—and other songs on it—are memorable. But its lovely sheen is like thin ice; by comparison, White Light/White Heat sounds like a funfair. John has every reason to be proud, but did he imagine people would clamour to buy it?
    foreverdroneon May 19, 2017   Link

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