Pick of the Political Pops: Quiet Loner “The Captain’s Diseased”

It’s funny to think that when Quiet Loner recorded this song back in 2013 that we’d have had another two captains by the end of the decade but both essentially steering the same course, and each one in their own way being worse than the last. The lyrics are as pertinent today as ever: “I can see that storm ahead. We’re heading right for the eye. We’re the living and soon-to-be dead. And we’re all in this boat together as it rumbles, rattles and keels. As I cling to this rope I abandon all hope, when I look whose hand’s on the wheel.” You wouldn’t want the current captain’s hands on the wheel of a milk float. God help us all.

Pick of the Political Pop: Paul Rodgers “China Blue”

This week sees the 70th anniversary of the founding of The People’s Republic of China and we here in The People’s Republic of Liverpudlia thought we would celebrate our fellow People’s Republic’s birthday with lanterns, some dragon costumes and double egg fried rice and sweet and sour sauce all round. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pop: Paul Rodgers “China Blue””

Pick of the Political Pops: Suzi Quattro “If You Can’t Give Me Love”

We have a strict hierarchical structure here at Americana-UK Towers (actually we don’t but this is for illustrative purposes). At the top sits The Editor – a surly cove if crossed and a great believer in “do as I say not as I do”. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Suzi Quattro “If You Can’t Give Me Love””

Pick of the Political Pops: Woody Guthrie “All You Fascists Bound To Lose”

Your regular correspondent has been on a sabbatical of late taking part in something called “The Real World” away from the delights and highlights of the Internet Universe. Trust – it’s a dreadful place. Don’t go there. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Woody Guthrie “All You Fascists Bound To Lose””

Pick of the political pops: Steve Earle “John Walker’s Blues”

In a week where it seems like there’s almost nothing new under the sun to say about Brexit that hasn’t been said a million times over, in today’s Pops we cast our minds back to the turn of the century. Steve Earle caused considerable outrage by writing a sympathetic song for John Walker Lindh, the infamous lone American member of the Taliban. “Twisted ballad honours Tali-rat,” was the headline in the New York Post, while Steve Gill, a Rush Limbaugh-style radio host, said that the song put Earle “in the same category as Jane Fonda, John Walker and all those people who hate America”. Earle told The Guardian that “I became acutely aware that what happened to him could have happened to my son, and your son, and anybody’s son. Nobody in my country wanted to admit that. It’s one of the most American stories I’ve ever heard.”

Pick of the Political Pops: The Pogues “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”

‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ is a song written by Scottish-born Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1971 which has since become a standard in Australian folk circles (William Crighton did an amazing version of it at this year’s Black Deer). The song follows the account of a young Australian serviceman who is maimed during the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War. The protagonist, who had travelled across rural Australia before the war, is emotionally devastated by the loss of his legs in battle. As the years pass he notes the death of other veterans, while the younger generation becomes apathetic to the veterans and their cause. The Pogues’ version of this anti-war classic still is among the best.

Pick of the political pops: Kacey Musgraves “Oh, What A World”

Kacey Musgraves this week expressed her anger over the US government’s stance on gun reform, following two mass shootings in the US this past weekend. “I don’t know what the answer is but obviously something has to be fucking done,” the singer told a crowd at Lollapalooza . “Maybe somebody will hear us if we all yell together and say, ‘Somebody fucking do something.’” Not everyone was happy however. Fox News pundit Ainsley Earhard told the channel: “She sings two great songs that I have downloaded … but now I’m gonna look differently at her because she is chanting that vulgar language.” Oh what a world.

Pick of the political pops: Leon Rosselson “World Turned Upside Down”

In April 1649 about 20 men assembled at St. George’s Hill, Surrey, and began to cultivate the common land. These Diggers held that the English Civil Wars had been fought against the king and the great landowners; now that Charles I had been executed, land should be made available for the very poor to cultivate. (Food prices had reached record heights in the late 1640s.) The numbers of the Diggers more than doubled during 1649. Their activities alarmed the government and roused the hostility of local landowners, who were rival claimants to the common lands. The Diggers were harassed by legal actions and mob violence, and by the end of March 1650 their colony was dispersed. Many people have covered this particular track including Billy Bragg on his ‘Back to Basics’ album from 93, but the great folk-singer Leon Rosselson’s original still sounds fantastic today.

With thanks to Andy Clarke