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Beating up the boys in blue

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 17, 2003

There's a line from the song "Martin" by Tom Robinson Band from 1978, that goes "Got Borstal for takin' and drivin' away, and beatin' up the boys in blue". It's one of my favorite songs, but I always thought it was kind of obscure. So when I saw a headline in an article on UN peacekeeping forces, entitled "Beating up the boys in blue" (referring to their blue helmets) in The Economist newspaper (magazine), I was intrigued. I did a google search on the phrase but all I came up with was the lyrics to the song "Martin".

Is there more history to this phrase, or does the writer just share my taste for obscure punk bands?