I spent 3 years in Long Lartin, 4 more in the Scrubs
18 months in Parkhurst, I really have paid my subs
But while I was in Dartmoor on my third OU degree
I saw the error of my ways, it’s easy now I see.

I know now what I should have been
I know now what I should have been
You don’t need no mask nor gun
No risks but lots of fun
I know now what I should have been.
I should have been a banker.

Engrossed in my studies and reading Bertolt Brecht
I came across his apercu - really quite correct
What Bertie said was pertinent, this you must agree
It makes more sense to start a bank, than to rob one
Can’t you see?

I know now what I should have been
I know now what I should have been
Don’t need no mask nor gun
No risks but lots of fun
I know now what I should have been.
I should have been a banker.

I could have worn my ski mask on some fancy Alpine slope
I could have used my shotgun for bagging grouse with noble folk
I could have robbed ten million and never once gone to jail
My brief could have taken the judge aside and said
This one is too big to fail.

I know now what I should have been
I know now what I should have been
Don’t need no mask nor gun
No risks but lots of fun
I know now what I should have been.
What I should have been,
I should have been a banker.

Song Description

This is a lyric written by a friend, Duncan Campbell, who for many years was the crime correspondent for the Guardian newspaper in the UK. I liked it the moment I read it but was unsure how to work with it. Could old middle-class me get away with singing as a bank-robber? What style should we use for a song whose clear political message was expressed in a jokey way. Could serious old Latin Quarter even have an ironic, jokey song?

I think it was Richard Wright who said stop thinking and just record it, it’s perfect Latin Quarter. So we did.

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