The Kinks


The Kinks – Preservation: Act 2
Released May 8, 1974 (Act 2)

Ray Davies – vocals, guitar
Dave Davies – guitar, vocals
John Dalton – bass
John Gosling – keyboards
Mick Avory – drums

“Scum of the Earth”

Flash:
They call me the scum of the earth.
They say I’m the scab of the nation.
But deep inside I’m only human.
Just an ordinary man.
With ordinary plans.
They say I’m crooked and bent,
They call me a rogue and a villain,
But if they could see deep inside me
They’d see a heart that once was pure
Before it touched the evils of this world,
For if I cut myself I bleed
And if I catch a cold I sneeze.
Have I not eyes to help me see?
Have I not lungs to help me breathe?
Have I not hands, organs, senses
And affections just like you?
Stop the music.
Well ain’t I human
Like everybody else?
Before you condemn me my friends,
I suggest that you look deep inside you
For good and evil
Exist in all of us,
And no man is a saint
And each creates his heaven and his hell.

Chorus: We know that he’s only a man.
He’s got feelings and faults
Just like everyone else.

Flash: So don’t put me down because I’ve done well,
For even wide boys, hoods and spivs
Have got the right to live.

Chorus: We know we’re the scum of the earth,
We know we’re the scab of the nation,
But we’re your enemies and your brothers
And no man is a saint
And deep down we’re all the same as one another.

Preservation was not well-received by critics and sold poorly (peaking on the Billboard 200 at #177), though the live performances of the material were much better received. Many hardcore Kinks fans were alienated by Ray Davies’ melodramatic songwriting during the Preservation project era, resulting in albums that played more like the soundtracks to a piece of musical theatre than rock albums

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