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ShallowDeep > Music-Salt-Solution > Unrecorded > Song The Rule of Thumb

‘The Rule of Thumb’

She works by day in a department store.
The money’s good, but she could use some more.
She’s twenty-three and wants to marry soon.
She spends her tea-break reading ‘Mills & Boon’.
He views his work-mates with a proud disgust.
He likes his ladies and he likes his fun.
He knows what life’s about, he’s got it sussed,
‘Coss he watches ‘Horizon’ and he reads ‘The Sun’.

He met her drinking in a nightclub bar.
He’d drive her home if it wasn’t far.
Then just one coffee and he’ll have to go.
They talk a lot and they drink it slow.
He plays at love because he wants his way.
She plays his way because it’s love she needs.
Then silent breakfast and he drives away.
The sower’s gone, but he leaves his seed.

The laws of science, the country code,
The ten commandments, the law of the road.
Act of Parliament, the medical code,
The law of averages too clearly showed,
That rules serve to protect us
From the problems that will come
From selfish, rash decisions, and the rule of thumb.

Nobody cares and nobody knows.
An admission card and a vacuum hose
That sucks out her child, and a piece of her heart.
Just another statistic, and a cross on the chart.
She can’t forgive herself, she can’t forget.
Filled with remorse she says, “Never again.”
But her emotions rule, although her mind is set.
There’ll be other blunders and other men.

We’re a scientific world, under scientific laws,
But we’re all sons of Adam, with all of Adam’s Flaws.
Our minds that are clever, lead us to progress.
Our hearts that are fickle, bend our judgement under stress.
We like to take our chances, but we can’t pay the cost.
Hoping technology will bail us out when we please ourselves.
Close our scientific shutters, not admitting that we’re lost.
And God’s laws that would protect us collect dust upon the shelf.

Composer: Robert Bathurst/Simon Bartlett
Lyricist: Martin Day
© M Day 04-May-1983


This song was a feature of the early Salt Solution set. It tells the fictional story of a girl who falls pregnant and has an abortion but doesn’t learn from her mistakes. I wrote this as a comment on a society which lives by it’s own flexible standards rather than the absolute standards of God. In more recent years I have come to understand that God’s solution to the problem is thought Grace and Christ’s life within rather than adherence to external laws. So as I look at this lyric now I am happy with all but the solution I was proposing.