From Iceland — Suit and Tie

Suit and Tie

Published November 5, 2010

Suit and tie
Suit and tie
We’re deadly afraid of the clever guy
Wearing suit and tie

They used to roam the streets of Reykjavík
And thought they were what made the city tick
From bank to lunch with Nikkei, Dow Jones and
Dressed to kill in Armani, Boss and Gucci
Cheerful, laughing, full of self-esteem
The players of our national team

But now you hardly see them anymore
The crisis took them through a different door
Their bank got crunched by Euro, Dollar and Yen
So now they’re trying Tai Chi, Yoga and Zen
Still they’re good in playing the blaming game
The players of our national shame

Iceland: The home of young and retired bosses
And regular people busy counting their losses
The high-flying heroes of good times past
Have come to the ground and had their blast
Hiding inside his fancy house
The bull now meets his inner mouse
And both are dressed in Suit and tie
Suit and tie
Nothing scares like suit and tie

We’re left alone in the Arctic sea
For they left the loan for you and me
To pay
But they
Do have enough to last an eon
Silently kept in the Caribbean
So true, so true
So mad, so bad
But we don’t want back the life we had
Full of lies and numbers high
Enough to keep a country high
On hope of becoming the new Dubai
Where all the women wear Suit and tie
Suit and tie

Suit and tie we kiss goodbye

Communism lasted long
Nations led by Mr. Wrong
Western brokers, young and brave
Went disco dancing on its grave
But victory got to their head
Big ambitions were overfed
The color of blue contained some red
The Wall Street Wall came down one night
And we were all raped by Mr. Right
Capitalism fell on its nose
Died from an overdue overdose
Of arrogance and loneliness
And left the world in a state of mess
We were all fooled by Suit and tie
Suit and tie

Who tricked us, told us: To sell and buy
While speeding across their private skies
Engines fuelled by loans and lies

The boys of Bush and global greed
Left us with a local need
For truth and nothing but the truth
To put inside a confession booth
The Brothers Lehman and all their sons
The neo-cons were just plain cons
In suit and tie
Suit and tie
Trained to loot and taught to lie

Yet we try
To struggle on
A nation betrayed by an evil don
A nation so small you can easily whip
All of it into a cruise line ship
The former captain and his crew
Are still on board but out of view
Sipping on Scotch inside their cabins
And telling jokes like desperate has-beens
Or faking calls
In bathroom stalls
While nervously looking for their balls
We carry on, on a vessel unwell
Steering away from the icebergs of hell
The national body still infected
By the virus we long neglected
Called Suit and tie
Suit and tie

Hoping it won’t make us die

At the airport a father of three
Spends his last in the Duty Free
“We’re going to Norway, to get a life
Wife will study, I’ll be her wife
It’s sad to leave your fatherland
A bit like parting with your hand
But they took the house, they took the car
Does Stavanger have a strip-tease bar?”
And the politician on the TV screen
Speaks of ways to cure the spleen
But his words no longer do apply
For he’s still wearing Suit and tie
Suit and tie
Suit and tie we kiss goodbye

And when you roam the streets of Reykjavík
You spot the signs that made your city sick
Empty houses, vacant office spaces
And way too many fancy meeting places
On the map, nearby the valley parks
The financial district is now shown in quotation
And on the streets and freeways, parking lots
There still are lots and lots
Of black and shiny Range Rover jeeps
Luxurious creeps
Once the symbols of all our national vices
Now they are the coffins of the crisis
Driven by people who died a market-death
But were allowed to prolong their final breath
In suit and tie
Suit and tie
They’re all still wearing their suit and tie

In Germany they have the Nazi outfits
To remind them of the thing that rhymes with…
In Iceland we have Suit and tie
Suit and tie
Suit and tie
This poem was first performed at the Kapittel 09 Festival in Stavanger, Norway, September 16th 2009.

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