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Sledgehead

Best Political Songs

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I think this thread illustrates how some posters are stuck in the past :rolleyes:

 

The worrying thing is that I can think of a few notable more recent songs but they're also American, like many posted already. Is political song not our 'thing'?

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52 minutes ago, EmmaRoid said:

I think this thread illustrates how some posters are stuck in the past :rolleyes:

 

The worrying thing is that I can think of a few notable more recent songs but they're also American, like many posted already. Is political song not our 'thing'?

A past that is doomed to endlessly repeat as far as I can see .....

And maybe an era when most of the best political songs were written because the US audiences actually faced the possibility that they would be drafted off the streets by the military and sent abroad to die. That is something most people in the UK have not had to face since National Service was abolished. Involuntary participation in conflict is going to come as a big surprise when it inevitably happens again.

Plenty of British protest songs from the 1980s. It all died out rather when Blair came to power and everyone in the music business got on message

Anway we all end up living outside our time eventually if we survive long enough which is something you only realise when you get older

 

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This is where I hijack the thread with classic Weller from the late 70s/80s. It makes me incredibly sad that it's all more relevant now than when he wrote it. Up first 'A Stones Throw Away'. For liberty there is a cost, it's broken ribs and leather cosh...

 

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The Great Depression, one of my favourites:

 No sense of reason in your fussing and fighting and your violent obsession, who's ever really left feeling fine after the great depression? Your sense of purpose is the competition: keeping up with Joneses. You buy a house, you buy a car, you buy a marriage and a bed of roses...

 

 

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16 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

A past that is doomed to endlessly repeat as far as I can see .....

And maybe an era when most of the best political songs were written because the US audiences actually faced the possibility that they would be drafted off the streets by the military and sent abroad to die. That is something most people in the UK have not had to face since National Service was abolished. Involuntary participation in conflict is going to come as a big surprise when it inevitably happens again.

Plenty of British protest songs from the 1980s. It all died out rather when Blair came to power and everyone in the music business got on message

Anway we all end up living outside our time eventually if we survive long enough which is something you only realise when you get older

 

Exactly. We should be wall to wall political protest songs but where are they?

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13 hours ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

The best political songs are the ones that approach the subject obliquely

The Jams Thats Entertainment says more about life in Britain than a thousand political tracts

 

That line - waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes, cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume, a hot summers day and sticky black tarmac, feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away: That's entertainment.

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5 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

The best political songs are the ones that approach the subject obliquely

The Jams Thats Entertainment says more about life in Britain than a thousand political tracts

 

Its nearly 40 years old

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The opening line in the Eton Rifles captures why the British are just so ******ing great... we'll start the revolution after we've supped up and we're good and ready :)

 

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2 hours ago, EmmaRoid said:

Its nearly 40 years old

So go write something for today then.....

The truth is the world did not begin yesterday so if you want to understand where it is now then it might help to know how it was 10, 20,30,40, 50 years ago. When Bob Dylan was writing his best material in the 1960s he drew a lot of his inspiration from old American folk songs first recorded in the 1930s and 1940s

Orwell pointed out in 1984 that the way totalitarian regimes would control the present is by manipulating or wiping memories of the past.  One thing that worries me about today is that so many people both on the left and right of politics seem to want to live in a permanent year zero.

Anyway in the UK since the late 1970s we have pretty much just shuffled the furniture politically so most of the themes that inspired  some of these songs still apply.

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6 hours ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

So go write something for today then.....

The truth is the world did not begin yesterday so if you want to understand where it is now then it might help to know how it was 10, 20,30,40, 50 years ago. When Bob Dylan was writing his best material in the 1960s he drew a lot of his inspiration from old American folk songs first recorded in the 1930s and 1940s

Orwell pointed out in 1984 that the way totalitarian regimes would control the present is by manipulating or wiping memories of the past.  One thing that worries me about today is that so many people both on the left and right of politics seem to want to live in a permanent year zero.

Anyway in the UK since the late 1970s we have pretty much just shuffled the furniture politically so most of the themes that inspired  some of these songs still apply.

Why such the large chip on your shoulder? The issue is not about Weller's hair or current relevance or wilful destruction of anything that happened a long time ago, it is about the lack of contemporaneous politicism. It has to be easier than ever to actually deliver a message to people and yet I can't hear it*. It must exist out there but it's not getting heard.

 

*you mention earlier about being out of time with time. Well, I'm that nothing age, not young, not old, trying not to get sacked and raise children at the same time. So pretty much there.

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One of the best I ever heard was a Cropover calypso in Barbados - such songs were often political. 

Check out the Mighty Grynner, Stingin' Bees on YouTube - can never remember how to do links on iPad. V catchy and still a favourite in this house. 

It was from the late 80s IIRC and mentions Regan and Thatcher as well as their own very unpopular PM.  There was another v good one about the PM - Mr T - IIRC it actually stirred up enough feeling to bring him down. 

IIRC among other things he was intending  to pander to rich villa owners by allowing them to make their own stretch of beach private - all their beaches had always been public, still are, and long may they remain so. 

Others of his are also brilliant - Bajan Yankees and We Want More v catchy too. 

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