A Supermarket Bounty

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words and music by Paul Spencer, 2002

        Dm                                                C

1. A tiny yellow chicken struggles out into the light,

Bb                                                         A
And stands among the remnants of its shell,

It makes a sound then,

Bb                                                   G
And all the other hatchlings do as well,

They look around them,

F                                                C                        Am
Closeted in warmth and electronic day and night.

2. At five days old a hand comes in and grabs her by the neck,
And throws her in the mouth of some machine,
It burns her beak off,
The pain so great it silences her scream,
Too cruel to speak of,
She’s not beenhatched a week yet and already she’s a wreck.

3. The males don’t get tortured in the stories that I’ve read,
They’re tumbled through the gassing room to die,
But not discarded,
Ground downa dn then left a while to dry,
Then coarsely powdered,
To supplement the diet that the living birds are fed.

4. It’s squatting by the chute that spills the food into its cage,
Guarding so the others can’t be first,
It cannot walk,
Its breast and thighs are swollen fit to burst,
To fill your fork,
And packed with pharmaceuticals and artificial sage.

5. Then one day an electric shock the y hope will knock it cold,
Upside down and slaughtered with a knife,
Bled and gutted,
There’s a supermarket bounty on its life,
It’s stuffed and buttered,
And the purpose of its life will be revealed when it’s sold.

6. The carcass sits in silence in the cold aisle for a week,
The use-by on the label says today,
So in the garbage,
They throw it out still in the plastic tray,
The fucking garbage!