CHORUS: Ain't it just a rip off, oi, oi, oi/ Ain't it just a rip off, oi, oi, oi/ Ain't it just a rip off, oi, oi, oi/ What a fucking rip off, oi, oi, oi.

Another threatening glance, another macho stance/ Another aggressive fist, another arsehole pissed/ Another vicious threat, a stream of blood stained sweat/ Another bottle waved in the air, another battle with tension and fear.


Tell me, why do you glorify violence? Ain't there nothing better to give?/Why fuck up the only chance to be yourself and really live?/ You tell me you're a working class loser, well what the fuck does that mean?/ Is the weekly fight at the boozer gonna be the only action you've seen?/ Are you gonna be one of the big boys, well, we've seen it all before/ Muscles all akimbo as they boot down another door/ Will you see yourself as the hero as you boot in another head/ When you're just a pathetic victim of the media you’ve been fed/ You're lost in your own self pity, you've bought the system’s lie/ They box us up and sit pretty as we struggle with the knots they tie/Okay, so you're right about one thing, no-one's got the right to shit on you/But what's the point of shitting on yourself, what's that gonna do?/ Working class hero beats up middle class twit/ Media labels, system's shit/ When it looks like the people could score a win/ The system makes sure that the boot goes in.

Yeah it's the greatest working class off, oi, oi, oi/ Just another fucking rip off, a fucking media ploy/ It's the greatest working class rip off, oi, oi, oi/ Ain't it just a rip off, ain't it just a rip off, ain't it just a rip off, oi.

Punk attacked the barriers of colour, class and creed/ But look at how it is right now, do you really think you're freed?/ Punk once stood for freedom, not violence, greed and hate/ Punk's got nothing to do with what you’re trying to create/ Anarchy violence, chaos?/ You mindless fucking jerks/ Can’t you see you're talking about the way the system works?/ Throughout our bloody history force has been the game/ The message that you offer is just the fucking same/ You're puppets to the system with your mindless violent stance/That's right you fuckers, sneer at us 'cos we say "Give Peace a chance"/Punk is dead you wankers, 'cos you killed it through and through/ In your violent world of chaos, what you gonna do?/ Is Top of the Pops the way in which you show how much you care?/ Will you take off now to the USA to spread your message there?/ Well mouth and trousers, sonny boy, never change a thing/ The only thing that'll ever change will be the song you sing/ Cos when you’ve bought your Rolls Royce car and luxury penthouse flat/ You'll be looking down your nose and saying "Punk dear chap, what's that?"/ You'll be the working class hero with your middle class dream/ And the world will be the same as the world has always been/ Punk's the people's music so you can stuff ideas of class/ That's just the way the system keeps you sitting on your arse/ Class, class, class, that's all you fucking hear/ Middle class, working class, I don't fucking care.

It's the greatest working class rip off, oi, oi, oi/ What a fucking rip off, oi, oi, oi/ It's the greatest human sell off, oi, oi, oi/ Ain't it just a rip off, oi, oi, oi.

Punk's the people's music and I don't care where they're from/ Black or white, punk or skin, there ain't no right or wrong/ We're all just human beings, some of us rotten, some of us good/ You can stuff your false divisions cos together I know we could/ Beat the system, beat its rule/ Ain't got no class, I ain't a fool/ Beat the system, beat its law/ Ain't got no religion cos I know there's more/ Beat the system, beat its game/ Ain't got no colour, we’re all the same/ People, people, not colour, class or creed/ Don't destroy the people, destroy their power and their greed.

Lyrics submitted by getupgirl121

The Greatest Working Class Rip Off song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commenta classic Crass song, with a very strong message as usual.
    TheSkankingRaton May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree, the message is great, more people need to hear this song
    username_is_takenon June 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know how much of it is actually opposed to class conciousness. It seems to me to be more about recuperated "class conciousness" (If you follow the situationsit jargon). The kind of blind "class conciousness" that takes a quasi-nationalistic form. Class conciousness can be useful, in asmuch as it is recognized to be a means not an end (or for that matter, the best possible means). When it becomes warped it is dangerous. It becomes exclusionary and reactionary, and thus ineffectual as securing the ends it was meant to serve as means to . Everyone is opressed by modern capitalist society (you could even argue that the opressors are), to exclude others on somewhat irrelevant notions like "class" is harmful. Social Revolution must be made by everyone who is opressed and I think that is what crass is saying. On a bit of a side note, you've got to be sure not to let a revolutionary situation be hijacked by appeaser's (of any class). Not to say that a member of lower class can't compromise or hijack a situation, but middle class participants are more likely to follow the reformist path, simply because being (for the most part) determines conciousness. The idea that being determines conciousness is of course the only reason that class conciousness is in anyway useful, but me thinks it the inclusion of "for the most part" is more accurate.
    skunkbythebrookon June 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentskunkbythebrook, wordy but somewhat true. The song is, I think, not as broad and much more about the Oi! "movement" and the false revolutionary mobilization of the working class that it brought-- more fighting others than fighting the system that oppresses them. Listen to "Hurry Up Garry" (the references in the title being Garry Bushell and "Hurry Up Harry" by Sham 69) for more evidence of Crass's general dislike for the skin movement, and even funnier, Chumbawamba's joke song "I'm Thick" they slipped onto a skinhead music compilation in 86 or so.
    ultramouseon October 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i firts heard this song i din't think much of it but after reading the lyrics thats deep! kick ass crass song
    rfmxon November 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, probably one of my favourites particularly the ranty verse at the end.

    In terms of content its a swipe at the workerism of the Oi! movement, which however sincere morphed into something else. Id take issue with MrGoodBar and skunkbythebrook, Crass however amazing they were in terms of praxis and dissenting, had really naff class politics and they're politics was too personal and lifestyle based for my liking, to say nothing of all peace/hippie stuff. You can gleam this from songs like "White Punks On Hope" and the line "Beat the system, beat its rule/ Ain't got no class, I ain't a fool"
    abclareton April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a dig the Oi scene in the UK at the time which walked a fine line between "working class protest" and thuggery as the song suggests. I don't think it was a blanket attack on the entire scene as Steve Ignorant was mates with The Business.
    DwarfCowboyon May 02, 2010   Link
  • -1
    General Commentawesome song. fuck all those douchebag oi for the working class dicks. all that working class pride shit (which is extrememly present in the 'punk' scene today) does is just create more segregation and hate.
    MrGoodBaron April 20, 2004   Link

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