METHINKS IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

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THE BLACK SHEEP’S SONG
(words and music by Julian Cope, from “Black Sheep” LP [2008])

1.
I am the black sheep of my flock,
I stand alone at field’s edge.
Out here my waking hours I spend,
Chewing a hole in the hedge.
I am the outcast of this flock.
When you are gathered together,
I spend my days tied up by a rope,
Seeking an end to my tether.

2.
Our gathering seems at their most content,
When master punishes me.
For in my difference I do remind them,
Too often of their apathy.
If you’re a white sheep, blessed are you,
And run adoring to your master.
You taste the lush green grass that fattens your lambs,
Although for them it spells disaster.

3.
To rally every black sheep is my goal,
In Visions, I see them all lamenting,
Across the world where’er a black sheep runs,
Still, plans of freedom I’m fomenting.
I am the black sheep of this flock
And I can answer to no one.
I see you are the black sheep of your flock, too,
Methinks it takes one to know one.


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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE via substack. Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I studied with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock

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