The Old Issue
Lyrics by Rudyard Kipling Music arranged by Leslie Fish

All we have of freedom, all we use or know
our forefathers bought for us many years ago
Ancient right unnoticed as the breath we draw
We've to live by no man's leave under nature's law
So they bought us freedom, not at little cost
therefore we must watch for kings, lest our gain be lost
Over all things certain, this is sure indeed
Suffer not the old king, for we know the breed.
Give no ear to bondsman bidding us endure
whining "He is week and far", crying "Time will cure"
They would beg us barter, wait his yeilding mood
pledge the years we hold in trust, pawn our brothers' blood
How so great their clamor, what so good their claim
Suffer not the old king under any name
nothing here unproven, nothing new to learn
It is written what shall fall if the king returns.
He will mark our going, question whence we came
Set his gaurds about us, all in freedom's name
He will take a tribute, toll of all our ware
He will change our gold for arms- that we may not bare.
He will peep and mutter and the night shall bring
watcher's 'neith our window, lest we mock the king
Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay-
These will deal our justice out: sell, deny, delay.
We shall drink dishonor, we shall eat abuse
for the land we live in, for the tounge we use.
We will take our station, dirt beneath his feet
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.
Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun.
Far beyond his boarder shall his teachings run
Long forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain
All our fathers died to lose, he shall bind again.
Nothing here is guessed at, random or untrue
swings the wheel full circle, brims the cup anew
Nothing here unproven, nothing here is hid
Step by step and word for word, so the old kings did.
Step by step, word for word, who is ruled may read
suffer not the old king, for we know the breed.
All the rights they promise, all the wrong they bring
Keepers of the judgement, suffer not the king.