Maintaining Law & Order Lyrics

by Phil Ochs

The policemen of the city wear a uniform of blue
Walkin' within the city's border
Protecting all the people
That's what they're paid to do,
Maintaining law and order.

You see them walkin' down the street
Swingin' around the club
Pistols hangin' loosely from the holster
And the something of the soldier
In the shedding of the blood
Maintaining law and order.

And at the police academy
They're trainin' for the day
Where the rookies are training to be colder
Learning to be as hard as the hard world they face
Maintaining law and order.

Now in many southern cities
They don't need to use their hands
Oh, they throw them roughly in the corner
And tell the other prisoners "here's a nigger-lovin' man"
While maintaining law and order.

Now I'll be the first to tell you
That their pay is not the best
For they all have a wife and must support her
So the gamblers and the prostitutes pay them the rest
While they maintain law and order.

These are bitter words of warning
And they have to leave you sad
Cause a cop may save my life tomorrow
But it's really for the good man that I'm singing about the bad
Who are maintaining law and order.

Now they ask for greater power
From the bottom to the top
Their demands daily growing bolder
But who maintain the police and who maintain the cops
While they maintain law law and order.