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Hallgrimur Helgason - Suit & Tie

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Published on Oct 18, 2010

Suit & Tie


A Poem in English About Post-Crash Iceland, written and performed by Icelandic writer Hallgrimur Helgason.

First performed at the Kapittel 09 Festival in Stavanger, Norway, September 16th 2009.

This video made Sept. 30th 2010. Thanks to Snorri & the guys at Pegasus.


Suit and tie
Suit and tie

We're deadly afraid of the clever guy
Wearing suit and tie



They used to roam the streets of Reykjavik

And thought they were what made the city tic

From bank to lunch with Nikkei, Dow Jones and FTSE

Dressed to kill in Armani, Boss and Gucci

Cheerful, laughing, full of self esteem

The players of our national team



But now you hardly see them anymore

The crisis took them through a different door
Their bank got crunched by Euro, Dollar and Yen

So now they're trying Tai Chi, Yoga and Zen
Still they're good in playing the blaming game
The players of our national shame



Iceland: The home of young and retired bosses
And regular people busy counting their losses
The high-flying heroes of good times past

Have come to the ground and had their blast

Hiding inside his fancy house

The bull now meets his inner mouse



And both are dressed in suit and tie
Suit and tie

Nothing scares like suit and tie

We're left alone in the arctic sea

For they left the loan for you and me

To pay
But they

Do have enough to last an eon
Silently kept in the Caribbean



So true, so true

So mad, so bad

But we don't want back the life we had


Full of lies and numbers high

Enough to keep a country high

On hope of becoming the new Dubai


Where all the women were suit and tie


Suit and tie
Suit and tie we kiss goodbye



Communism lasted long
Nations led by Mr. Wrong

Western brokers, young and brave
Went disco dancing on its grave
But victory got to their head

Big ambitions were overfed

The color of blue contained some red

The Wall Street Wall came down one night

And we were all raped by Mr. Right.


Capitalism fell on its nose

Died from an overdue overdose

Of arrogance and loneliness

And left the world in a state of mess



We were fooled by suit and tie

Suit and tie

Who tricked us, told us: To sell and buy

While speeding across their private skies
Engines fuelled by loans and lies

The boys of Bush and global greed
Left us with a local need

For truth and nothing but the truth

To put inside a confession booth

The Brothers Lehman and all their sons


The neo-cons were just plain cons


In suit and tie

Suit and tie

Trained to loot and taught to lie



Yet we try

To struggle on

A nation betrayed by an evil don

A nation so small you can easily whip

All of it into a cruise line ship

The former captain and his crew

Are still on board but out of view

Sipping on Scotch inside their cabins

And telling jokes like desperate has-beens

Or faking calls
In bathroom stalls

While nervously looking for their balls


We carry on, on a vessel unwell

Steering away from the icebergs of hell
The national body still infected

By the virus we long neglected

Called suit and tie

Suit and tie
Hoping it won't make us die

At the airport a father of three

Spends his last in the Duty Free
"We're going to Norway, to get a life
Wife will study, I'll be her wife
It's sad to leave your fatherland

A bit like parting with your hand
But they took the house, they took the car
Does Stavanger have a strip-tease bar?"

And the politician on the TV screen

Speaks of ways to cure the spleen

But his words no longer do apply

For he's still wearing suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie we kiss goodbye



And when you roam the streets of Reykjavik

You spot the signs that made your city sick

Empty houses, vacant office spaces

And way too many fancy meeting places

On the map, nearby the valley parks
The financial district is now shown in quotation marks


And on the streets and freeways, parking lots
There still are lots and lots

Of black and shiny Range Rover jeeps
Luxurious creeps

Once the symbols of all our national vices

Now they are the coffins of the crisis

Driven by people who died a market-death

But were allowed to prolong their final breath


In suit and tie

Suit and tie

They're all still wearing their suit and tie

In Germany they have the Nazi outfits

To remind them of the thing that rhymes with... outfitz

In Iceland we have suit and tie

Suit and tie

Suit and tie

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