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10cc - Rubber Bullets - Lyrics Meaning

10cc were a band out of Manchester,England whose music was always marked by their clever lyrics. The song was co-written by band members Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

The writers put the song message down to a seventies version of Jailhouse Rock, as it jokingly described the use of "rubber bullets" to quell a riot as the prisoners in the jail were drinking, dancing and singing without permission.

The prison governor didn't waste any time in calling in the National Guard, ignoring the prison padre's plea to go easy on the boys.

Instead he sang,

"I love to hear those convicts squeal, It's a shame these slugs ain't real

But we can't have dancing' at the local county jail"

As the riot was eventually quelled, thankfully with no loss of life the prisoners bemoaned their fate in chorus in the most famous line form the song

"We've all got balls and brains, but some's got balls and chains",

Rubber Bullets was the band's first UK number one in June 1973.

The group members explained that the song's production was so lavish and well crafted because "of having our own studio, we weren't restricted by time."

Whether by accident or design, Rubber Bullets was the subject of some controversy in the UK, due to the British Army's use of rubber bullets to quell rioting during the ongoing "troubles" in Northern Ireland of that period.

Meanings of other songs by 10cc:
I'm Not in Love