To the Victor the Spoils - Kate Tempest

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To the Victor the Spoils Lyrics

In Giuseppe's
The tablecloths shine with wear
The chairs are threadbare
But look happy to be sitting there
Becky's cashing up
It's the end of her shift
Her Uncle Ron's at the counter
Drinking a Gin Fizz
It's his place, he gave her the work
He's like a dad to her
For better or worse
For now, he stabs at a lemon rind with a toothpick
'What's the matter, Ron,' Becky says
'Are you sick?'
He shakes his head, says 'Troubles I got...'
And she waits for more
Focusing on a spot
On the top of his head
She ain't noticed before
But suddenly her Uncle Rags
Comes strutting through the door
Becky sees that this means business
Some things she ain't supposed to know
Ron smiles at her with thin lips
'Right,' says Becky, 'time I go.'
Blood is thicker than ignorance
Blood is richer than oil
But love is what's truly significant
To the victor the spoils
To the kids who can toil
To the kids who can work
Know that nothing's worth shit 'til it's difficult
And nothing don't heal 'til it hurtsThey call him Rags
'Cause he leaves bodies in tatters
Not the type of man to be flattered
Eyes like patches on a blood stained mattress
Taps on the window and it shatters
For now he sits down heavily
His voice is soft
'Some junior, Joey, trying to play boss
Thought he could run a scam
And now we lost about a key and a half
Whatever, a small cost to find a snake in the grass
And, yeah, Pico ain't happy
But, you know, well, the game plays on
We think the kid's called Harry
But we might be wrong.''So we're looking for him, yeah?'
'Well, we were but it all got hot
You know, Pico's inside
Too much eyes, so we stopped
Cut your losses
But the bosses
Would prefer some bodies
I'm getting too old for that now
I get my jollies
Just sitting down fishing
Yeah, It's good to have a hobby
Keeps you on your toes
When your knees are getting wobbly.''So after all that,'
Ron breathes out stale air
'There's no fucking panic?!'
Rags gets up. 'Take care mate
I got a date with a lady in Mayfair
Put your knives away
And let them stay there.'Blood is thicker than ignorance
Blood is richer than oil
But love is what's truly significant
To the victor the spoilsTo the kids who can toil
To the kids who can work
Know that nothing's worth shit 'til it's difficult
And nothing don't heal 'til it hurtsIf I found this guy Harry
Maybe Pico would be pleased?
Call my debts off
And I could get up off my knees?
Ron looks around at the café that he loves
Thinks how good it would be
If he could wash off all the blood
All that money from them grubby men
He'd start again
And spruce it up
Call it 'Rebecca's'
In nice clear lettersHe pushes his mop across the floor
And then he shakes his head as he locks the doorBest be happy with the way things are
It's not good to want for more
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Kate Tempest is a pseudonym of Kate Esther Calvert who grew up and remains in South-East London, UK. She started out as a rapper, toured the spoken word circuit for a number of years, and now works as a poet and playwright too. Her work includes 'Balance', her first album with her band Sound of Rum, 'Everything Speaks in its Own Way', her first collection of poems, published on her own imprint Zingaro, which comes with a CD and DVD of live performance; 'GlassHouse', a forum theatre play for Cardboard Citizens; and the plays 'Wasted' (published by Methuen Drama) and 'Hopelessly Devoted' for new writing theatre company Paines Plough.

Her epic poem Brand New Ancients won both the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry and a Herald Angel Award. It is published by Picador and is touring nationwide until April 2014. After a sell out show at St Anne's Warehouse, Brooklyn, Brand New Ancients received a rave review in the New York Times and came to international attention.

She continues to work with music, and featured on the track Our Town, a collaboration with producer duo letthemusicplay (Greco-Roman) She also featured on the track Hot Night Cold Spaceship (Speedy Wunderground) and has collaborated with Sinéad O'Connor, Damien Dempsey and Bastille.

Her debut solo album comes out on Big Dada in 2014, which she made with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey.

She has performed at Glastonbury and all major UK festivals, as well as performing internationally. She sold out the Old Vic Theatre in London for the launch of Everything Speaks… and has appeared on BBC TV and radio many times performing her poems. She has been commissioned to write for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Amnesty International, Barnado’s and Channel 4 Television.

Her second poetry collection will be publisher by Picador in Autumn 2014 and her debut novel The Bricks that Built the Houses is planned to be published by Bloomsbury in 2015.

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