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Vampire Weekend - The Kids Don't Stand a Chance

A devastating backstroke
All the way from France
With shiny, shiny cufflinks
A shirtsleeve to enhance

The pin-striped men of morning
Are coming forward to dance
With pure Egyptian cotton
The kids don't stand a chance

You criticize the practice
By murdering their plans
Ignoring all the history
Denying them romance

The pin-striped men of morning
Are coming forward to dance
Forty-million dollars
The kids don't stand a chance

I didn't like the business,
But that was at first glance
Your pillow feels so soft now
But still you must advance

The pin-striped men of morning
The partners in the dance
The paper's shot to pieces
The kids don't stand a chance

“The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” reflects on the machinery of capitalism, the remnants of colonialism that underlay privileged life, and the death of innocence thus engendered. It is reminiscent of “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. Koenig has said that the song is not about his year teaching middle school English and social studies in New York City through Teach for America , but about the flood of Columbia grads that would inevitably go to work in finance, consulting, etc. after graduation. Perhaps noteworthy is the frequent use of words beginning with the letter “P” throughout the song; this is left for the reader to interpret. The themes seem to echo those of “White Man In Hammersmith Palais” by The Clash.

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