10 June 2009

Long arm of the law

I am not here to explain to you what it is. I see a lot of people talking about the long arm. Many seems to take the words of Suoodh wrong. I will just present with 3 meanings. A dictionary meaning, an explanation of the origin of the term by ABC news and a poem on this.



The dictionary meaning

( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/long+arm+of+the+law,+the )

1- The far-reaching power of the authorities. For example, You'll never get away with leaving work early; the long arm of the law is bound to catch you. This expression began as Kings have long arms (or hands) and was listed as a proverb in 1539. The current version, now often used lightly, was first recorded in 1908.



An explanation of its origin
by the ABC news. (http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/txt/s1531144.htm)

2- A News Radio listener asks for the origin of the expression the long arm of the law – meaning (of course) that you can’t escape the reach of the law.

Quotations expert Nigel Rees thinks all of these expressions ultimately derive from an old English proverb
It’s first recorded as the title of movie in 1956. But a century earlier, in Pickwick Papers Charles Dickens referred to “the strong arm of the law”. And then in The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1870 Dickens got even closer to the modern expression when he wrote that “The arm of the law is a strong arm, and a long arm.” Quotations expert Nigel Rees thinks all of these expressions ultimately derive from an old English proverb (recorded from 1539) which says: “Kings have long arms, many ears, and many eyes.” Since in feudal times the king was the law it seems Rees is right – and the expression the long arm of the law grew from the proverbial “long arm of the king”.


3- A poem A teacher of mine showed me this poem on the topic and asked to read so I will know what it really means.
Its worth to read than trying with own guesses. (http://www.poemhunter.com/song/long-arm-of-the-law/)

Long Arm of The Law

In cumberland kentucky

On a cool hot evening

Billy lay in love with marrianne

She was a rich judge’s daughter

He was a son of a miner

But that night their love was more than they could stand

The judge said to his daughter

That son of that coal miner

Is someone you’ll go hell to leave alone

She knew his dad so well

She knew she couldn’t tell

But the truth was bound in show before too long


Their love had started growing on it’s own

You can’t out run the long arm of the law

No, you can’t out run the long arm of the law

Billy placed his hand on mary

And he felt the baby’s moving

Kissed her and said I’ll see you when I can

The judge had made a promise

When he caught up with billy

He’d sent him far away from marianne

The whole town knew he’d do it

Too many times he’d proved it

To at least a hundred men behind the wall


He’d smiled behind that frown

And when he brought that gavel down

He called himself the long arm of the law

And he’d set his mind on seeing billy fall

In a hot humid mine shack

A mid-white pulled the sheet back

And placed cool damp towel on marianne

Billy’s eyes were wide with wonder

From the spell he was under

When she placed the new born baby in his hands

He didn’t hear the siren

Just a baby’s crying

That miracle of love was all he saw


When the door came crashing down


And billy turned around


He felt the heart and soul inside him fall

He stood face to face

With the long arm of the law

You can’t out run the long arm of the law

No, you can’t out run the long arm of the law

You can hide out for a while

He says with a smile

But you can’t out run the long arm of the law



Seemed like everybody down in cumberland kentucky

Came out that day to see poor billy’s trial

The court was called to order

There sat the judge’s daughter

She looked so proud

Holding billy’s child

When they brought billy to him

The judge just look right thru him

As he held that holy Bible in his hand

And he smiled at his grandson

Then his eyes cut back to billy

And said I think this time

The law will understand

Son, I sentence you to live with marianne



You can’t out run the long arm of the law

No, you can’t out run the long arm of the law

He said to billy with a smile

I know you hide out for a while

Ah but you can’t out run the long arm of the law

No you can’t out run the long arm of the law

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