The creative video from this Scottish born Canadian, Lawrence Gowan, who went on to be the replacement singer for Styx, tells the story of a unrepentant criminal with an artistic flair: “And I love to paint.”
It could easily be used as political song to lend support to capital punishment, but the story doesn’t progress past the sentencing and suggests the narrator is spending his life behind bars.
Governments for all times have struggled with determining whether punishment (locking them up and throwing away the keys) or rehabilitation is the best approach for criminal justice. Gowan’s narrator sings, back in 1985, that he can’t be reformed. He is a prisoner taking a tough on crime, law and order approach that is the stock trade of many a populist, conservative, right wing, politician.