Cornelis Vreeswijk, "Perry, my mate, at the Welfare Council"
"Howzit, assistant, you see,
It's the same story as yesterday.
I need some dough for a sandwich and a pint,
If you'd give me a buck I give my best
To the welfare council, and promise and abate
Not to spend it on vodka," said Perry, my mate.
"Nope," said the assistant, harsh and with zest,
"Not a dime will get out of these coffers,
It won't help with prayers or complaints,
A nickel for the subway and two food stamps is what you'll get.
And if you get here tomorrow, arrive in sober state,
Why don't you kiss my ass," said Perry, my mate.
I met Perry by the subway station,
And when he'd explained his situation
We rode into town on the southern track
And finally arrived at "The Gilded Solemnity"
But when we'd sat there for a while
The assistant who snubbed Perry arrive.
"Howzit, assistant! You're most welcome here,"
Said Perry, smelling conspicuously of booze.
"Yuck," the assistant said moderately,
"Imagine eyeing Perry in this den of sin.
Who would have thought this was within your rate?"
"Why don't you give a damn," said Perry, my mate.
"Last time we met," Perry said, "I was anti-social,
But now I'm at home in the house of Solemnity.
Here we're equals, you know,
Red and blue, bony and corpulent.
If you can keep your word, you're a man who can swim,,
And if you can't, then talk to him."
And when Perry said "him", he pointed
generously at yours truly.
Perry and the assistant and I, that makes three
were drinking at my expense, fellow man,
That's how things work within society
If someone is unable, some one else pays
"It doesn't matter who's got a clean slate --
But cheers to capital!" said Perry, my mate.
Translated by Artist