We don’t need no education….or do we?
The children who sang on Another Brick in the Wall by the British group Pink Floyd have changed their tune since 1979. 25 years later, they are trying to take the group to court because of unpaid royalties.The song, which was a number 1 in the UK and abroad, was an attack on school and education and it had the famous chorus, ‘We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control… teacher, leave those kids alone!’
The chorus was sung by thirteen schoolchildren from Islington Green School in London who were taken to the Britannia Row record studios to sing on the recording by their music teacher. Their never met the group and were not paid for their work. When the head of the school heard the song with its anti-social lyrics, she banned the children from receiving any publicity or from appearing on TV.
Peter Rowan, a royalty expert from Edinburgh, has spent two years trying to find the children, now adults and he intends to help them make a legal claim for royalties. Mr Rowan said , ‘They probably won’t get more than a few hundred pounds each, but this is about recognition. They deserve to have their work recognised even if it has taken 25 years.’
Ian Abbott , 40, was one of the children who sang on the record. He said, ‘Now I don’t agree that ‘We don’t need no education’, Education is so important. I really regret that I didn’t study more at school. I would like to go to university now and get a degree. But work gets in the way when you get older. Sometimes, I say to my nieces, ‘You must study harder’, and they say, ‘But why?Look at what you sang on that song.’’
Mirabai Narayan, another one of the children, now works as a teacher herself. She said, I sometimes wonder if the song influenced my career. My job now is to help kids with learning difficulties.’
Adopted from New English File Intermediate, Student’s Book