All Hail To The Market

Play The Song

[audio: PARRYWS12.mp3]

From The Album

This song appears on the We Can Make The World Stop album, released in August 2009 by Irregular Records.

It is available in High Street record shops, or direct from this website.

Click here to buy the CD

To purchase the song or the entire album on iTunes click here.


All hail to the market
Said the broker to the boss
It keeps us in our finery
Our glitter and our gloss
It allocates resources
With an invisible hand
It’s remarkable how well it works
When none of it is planned

The market is my enemy
The worker did reply
For I’ve felt your market forces
Like a hurricane sweep by
It shares out wealth and riches
That much I’d say is true
But it takes them from our pockets
And it gives them all to you

All hail to the market
The boss man did repeat
You cannot blame the market
If you have no food to eat
For its not the market’s function
So your case it has a flaw
The needs of common people
Don’t come into it at all

The market is a menace
The worker did proclaim
For the factory where I used to work
Is closed in the market’s name
And the factory is still standing
That once made things we still need
But now produces nothing
But a testament to greed

The boss has seen the market crash
His businesses are through
And he doesn’t hail the market
In the way he used to do
For he’s standing on a window ledge
As he begins to weep
And the folk who used to work for him
Are urging him to leap

You cannot hail the market
If you have any sense
We’re not part of its equation
It exists at our expense
So my advice to you my friends
Keep fighting for the day
When the mass of working people
Sweep the market far away


The front of my latest album has a photo of a banner on it. It reads “Capitalism Isn’t Working.” I like the banner and I like the photograph.

But at the same time, once you delve deeper, it’s worth asking what does it mean that “capitalism isn’t working.”

Capitalism is a system that is based on the maximisation of profit, not on the satisfaction of human need.

When the poor go hungry it’s not because capitalism has failed. Capitalism doesn’t even try to hit that target.

As the song says, we are not part of the equation. That is the key charge I level against the profit system.

So when humanity ever gets anything out of it, it is only an accidental by-product of the profit hunt. It is never by design.When capitalists plan (and they do!), their plans are about profits, not human need.

In April 2009, I answered an appeal by the Ford workers at the Visteon plant in Belfast to fly over and entertain them. They were occupying their plant after Ford had shafted them, leaving workers without redundancy pay or pensions.

I entered the occupied plant and sang this song in public for the first time to this group of workers in the Visteon canteen.

Given the context, it was a fitting moment to give the song its debut.


The opening song from the album launch in August 2009. Video by Graham Holland. Sound by Nigel Paice.


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