Interpretations:It Never Fails
First impressions: Satire on our legal system, the characters are very animated, and paints a picture of a old-style NYC precinct bursting into a broadway-style performance.
Gee, Officer Krupke...--188.8.131.52 23:07, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It reminds me of A Gilbert and Sullivan song: "When a felon's not engaged in his employment" from the Pirates of Penzance. --Captain Red 13:17, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the message of this song is summed up in one line:
Nobody's a criminal by choice
I Think the song is about two things. First of all: The veteran know-it-all detective's who has seen it all and knows exactly what drives and shapes a criminal. You can bet that every felon is a victim of neglect for instance. But by the last verse, we then find out that the police officers themselves have been neglecting their spouses. You often hear that a policeman is married to his job. He or she often brings home his or her work, or doesn't come home at all. A lot of marriages strand because of this. So a lot of cops know exactly where criminal behaviour stems from, but they fail to create a different environment for their wives, who are in fact also a victim of neglect. I guess this plays on the notion that everyone can see that what is far away, but is blind to what is near. They detect all the issues in criminals but can't detect the issues in their spouses until its too late and they find her in flagrante with enemy number one.
Secondly, the song mocks police procedures. They triumphantly proclaim it never fails, because in both cases mentioned in the song, the criminal ends behind bars. However, in both cases, the perpetrator is already being monitored when they commit a heinous crime. And only once that crime is committed (Killing your wife or burning down the sweatshop) is when the police spring into action and arrest the criminal. They write it off as a succes, whereas it probably would have been better if they intervened before both crimes were commmited in the first place, instead of waiting for them to happen and then fill up the jails.
(Richards on Richards)