The Royal Scam In The Empire State
November 17, 2009, 11:00 PM
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F. Roger Devlin writes:
After mentioning Three Dog Night in my last piece, I got to thinking about whether there were ever any rock-n-roll records about immigration. I believe Led Zeppelin once did an "Immigrant Song," but it's not quite what I have in mind. I guess it isn't the sort of thing that makes people burst into song. However, in 1976 the band Steely Dan did a song about Puerto Ricans coming to New York. They face various hardships (including violent blacks!) until they learn how to play the welfare system. Then they write home and tell Uncle Tio to come along and bring the whole family. The song is called "The Royal Scam."

They are hounded down

To the bottom of a bad town

Amid the ruins

Where they learn to fear

An angry race of fallen kings

Their dark companions

Lyrics