School of Hard Knocks

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The Immaculate Crows

The Immaculate Crows are a Brisbane-based Australian Alternative band formed originally by Bruce Neilsen and Chris Allen in 1982. Their second singer was David Page who would have been one of the first (if not the first) indigenous frontmen/vocalists in an Australian band. David had been a teenage pop-star. He was the first Australian to be signed to a Motown label. He sadly passed away in 2016. The band broke up in 1984 and Bruce formed Insurrection and The Popes before playing with The Immaculate Crows again briefly in 1984. They did songs that covered a broad spectrum of genres including punk, new wave, psychedelic, progressive rock and pop. Bruce and former member Mark Hocknell reunited in 2020 and several new songs have been released since. The Immaculate Crows is now a partnership where Bruce writes the lyrics, music and arrangements and Mark produces and plays on the initial tracks. Bruce also plays on the initial tracks. Carolyn Neilsen records vocals and extra tracks as well as doing the final mix which is sent to Kagen Step for mastering. Vocalists are sourced locally.


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Verse 1
There’s nothing you can tell me
That I don’t already know
At least things that count in life
Buried deep in your soul

Verse 2
You can say I’m a beggar
A thief or a fool
But I raised myself somehow
In a different kind of school

Verse 3
I was driven to despair
By violence and poverty
My friends were endless shadows
Surrounding me

Verse 4
Don’t speak unless spoken to
Your words don’t matter 
And neither
Do you

Verse 5
I was taught this lesson
Too well
In this school

Verse 6
In the school 
Of hard knocks
Where no-one
Listens to you

Verse 7
I was beaten down by bullies
Pimps and dealers too
Abandoned by my father
And mother too

Verse 8
Brought up by the State
In a concrete zoo
That became a prison
For my mind too

Verse 9
Somehow I survived
With others just like me
The ones you don’t really
Want to see

Verse 10
The ones that survived
The lessons taught to me
In the school of hard knocks
I was nearly brought to my knees


In the school of hard knocks
No one knows your name
No one cares to see you
Or play your game

Where I was taught to hide
Where I was taught to run
Taught to survive
Look after number one

Taught to survive
Look after number one

Taught to survive
Look after number one

Taught to survive
Look after number one

Taught to survive
Look after number one

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Written by: Bruce Neilsen

Submitted by Crowsmusic on June 08, 2021

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    "School of Hard Knocks Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jun 2021. <>.

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