Skinhead Poetry 1971

Stepney Words was a collection of poems by Stepney schoolkids aged between 11 and 15. It’s publication in 1971 led to the teacher who put it together being fired and and over 500 kids going on strike and marching to Trafalgar Square to demand his reinstatement.

North London And East London

East London lives only for violence,
And Jack the Ripper started its reputation.
As they walk through the streets of Stepney
In uniforms,
Levi jeans, boots, Crombies, Ben Shermans –
The skinheads, smart but hard
Walk in twos and threes
But never alone,
There here there there there everywhere.
When I reach King’s Cross
I’m in a different world.
Still skinheads, but not so hard and many –
There’s more trees and space.
When I reach Highgate, I’m out, out completely.
Another school day has ended,
Another nightmare vanished
Till tomorrow,
Then I die again.

Peter Kett

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Hooliganism

Ten little football fans
Making rude signs,
One swore at a policeman
Then there were nine.

Nine little football fans
Stirring up some hate,
One got bottled
Then there were eight.

Eight little football fans
The youngest was eleven,
He smashed up a buffet
And then there were seven.

Seven little football fans
Hitting people with sticks,
One tried to fight alone
Then there were six.

Six little football fans
Playing with a knife,
One got stabbed
Then there were five.

Five little football fans
One fell on the floor,
He got crushed
And the there were four.

Four little football fans
Just like you and me,
One threw a penny at the goalie
Then there were three.

Three little football fans
The other team did boo,
But the fans outnumbered them
Then there were two.

Two little football fans
After all was done
One ran on the football pitch
Then there was one.

One little football fan
Glad his team had won,
Argued with some other fans
Then there were none.

Peter Kett

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One thought on “Skinhead Poetry 1971

  1. Pingback: Stepney Words, Poetry And A Schoolkid’s Strike | standupandspit

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