Us Dreads

In I981 the English Centre Poetry Competition got thousands of poems from Inner London Education Authority schools. In 1982 several were published in a book, City Lines. The book is collectable today mainly for some of the photographs of schoolkid skinheads in it. It being ILEA there’s also plenty of CND pictures too.
The lad who wrote this poem was 16 and went to Tulse Hill school.

Us Dreads

In a dis ya skool
us dread rool.
Soul head dem saaf
mek us dreads laugh
demno no how fe dress
but us dreads strickly de bess.
Gal dem cool an
control dem part ah de skool.
Mek us dreads feel sweet
each day ah de week.
Teachars all weird
mek saaf buoy scared
but us dread move together
an control de skool.
De music we play
nice up de day.
Rythdym just nice it
Teachar dem no like it.
When exam come
some dreads run
dem carn do dem tings.
In de enn teachar dem win.
Us dreads carn get no wok
we strickly brok
lose out in de enn
but us dreads still frienn.

Dave Martin
warrior charge

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