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Kangaroo Court / Music

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  • "Hurricane", Bob Dylan's narrative of Rubin Carter's condemnation based on little to no proof of culpability, describes Carter's trial thus:
    All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
    The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance
    The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
    To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
    And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
    No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
    And though they could not produce the gun
    The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
    And the all-white jury agreed.
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  • Although the trial is metaphorical, "Thank You Pain" by The Agonist qualifies.
    Intent is a guilty conscience's white flag against pride,
    So I find you guilty of the crimes.
    I know, although I don't believe
    It's not only my afterlife I bereave.
    Appeals will be denied!
  • The Pot by tool is about kangaroo courts for marijuana abusers.
    You must have been, so high.
    You must have been, so high.
    Steal, borrow, refer, save your shady inference.
    Kangaroo done hung the juror with the innocent.
  • In the Vicki Lawrence song "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," the trial of the narrator's brother for Andy's murder (which he didn't do) is implied to be this:
    The judge said "guilty" in a make-believe trial
    Slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile
    And said, "Supper is waiting at home, and I've gotta get to it."
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  • N.W.A's "Fuck Tha Police" has the framing device of the group putting a cop on "trial", where the judge is Dr. Dre. Naturally, as it's a song about Police Brutality, they decide to show the cop no more mercy than he would to them, and offer "testimony"—i.e. rapping in turn about how cops are cowardly, power-tripping racists. Eventually, the judge finds the cop "guilty of being a redneck, whitebread, chickenshit motherfucker."
  • Steve Earle's "Justice in Ontario":
    It was down in London, they were tried
    And the guilty man stood free outside
    When he took the stand to pay his debt
    The judge was blind and the jury deaf
  • KMFDM's song "Rebels In Control" mentions this in a later part of the song resembling a news broadcast, which says that "the world's political leaders have been detained and will be tried by kangaroo courts for their committed crimes against humanity". The segment ends with Lucia screaming 'Make the rules up as we go!'
  • Vocaloid:
    The appearance, the age, the race, and the gender
    That's all irrelevant
    The important thing is that you can pay money
    That's all
    • His "daughter", 'The Clockworker's Doll', otherwise known as 'Master of the Court' or 'Director Doll' also qualifies, though she isn't even swayed by money; she will judge everybody guilty, and sentence them to death. In Capriccio Farce she almost gives a death penalty to Gammon Octo (who did, as far as we know, nothing worse than going to the Theatre to look for a sword that belonged his ancestor). The song itself begins with the description of a courtroom where the advocate's seat is empty and the attorney's is full of trash, calling the 'trial' we are going to see a "farce". Her own song, Master of the Court, explains that she is simply emulating her father
    Explain to me, my father
    This is the correct choice, isn't it?
    Without having a heart, I don't understand
    Explain to me, my father
    Should I send them all off to hell?
    Without having a life, I don't understand

  • Appropriately enough, the song "Kangaroo Court" by Adorable.
    I know I'm losing my appeal
    'Cause I was hung, drawn and quartered before my trial
  • Kangaroo Court, by Capital Cities.
    Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
    Sit up! Sit up! Sit up!
    It's a kanagroo court, a kangaroo court.
  • Implied to be part of what's going on Kate Bush's "Waking the Witch" where the demonic being tormenting the protagonist at one point asks "What say you good people?" and receives in response chants of "Guilty! Guilty!"
  • Spoken word comedy: Pigmeat Markham's "The Trial" (the b-side to 1968's "Here Come The Judge"; it has the Hon. Judge Markham hearing a nudist case) starts off with the judge showing impartiality by giving himself six months. ("If I'm gonna do six months, Mr. District Attorney, you've got a darned good idea how many you're gonna do!")
    • "The Trial" itself has the prosecutor finding the defendant summarily guilty of nudity (he was arrested parading up and down the street with no pants on), but after hearing the defendant's testimony about his domestic life, the judge dismisses the case.
    Prosecutor: Judge, your can't dismiss this case!
    Judge: I did, didn't I?
    Prosecutor: Yes, but this man is a nudist!
    Judge: This man is not a nudist!
    Prosecutor: This man IS a nudist!
    Judge: This man is definitely not a nudist!
    Prosecutor: This man IS a nudist!
    Judge: You heard the man say he's been married three years!
    Prosecutor: Yes?
    Judge: You heard the man say he had nine children!
    Prosecutor: Yes?
    Judge: Well, this man is not a nudist!
    Prosecutor: Why?!
    Judge: Because this man hasn't had time to put his pants on!
  • Verse three of The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" takes place in a courtroom where Maxwell testifies on his own behalf. The judge is about to pass judgment until Maxwell struck again:
    P.C. Thirty-one
    Said "We caught a dirty one,"
    Maxwell stands alone
    Painting testimonial pictures, oh...uh uh oh.
    Rose and Valerie,
    Screaming from the gallery
    Say he must go free.
    The judge does not agree
    And he tells them so, uh-uh oh.
    But as the words are leaving his lips,
    A noise comes from behind.

    Bang bang, Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon his head,
    Clang clang, Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that he was dead.


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