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

Pick of the Political Pops: The Smiths “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”

It’s almost not even worth saying anything about our new celebrity leader, other than going off to live on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific has never seemed so appealing. (Ironically, Morrisey is probably happy.) Have I Got News For You… this is on you.

Pick of the Political Pops: Tracy Chapman “Remember the Tinman”

Our Pops-Master Mr Villers is taking a break at the moment so no witty commentary sorry but following Trump’s sideways move into out and out fascism this week at that rally, this particular track from Tracy Chapman’s excellent ‘New Beginning’ album from 1995 seemed appropriate: “Who stole your heart who took it away, Knowing that without it you can’t live? Who took away the part so essential to the whole, Left you a hollow body, Skin and bone? What robber, what thief, who stole your heart and the key?”

Pick of the Political Pops: Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper “Jesus At MacDondalds”

As most of our regular reader(s) will know Americana-UK Towers is based in The People’s Republic of Liverpudlia. That said we do have brethren/sistren outlying communities in The People’s Republic of Birminghemia, The People’s Republic of Mancaphobia and The People’s Republic of Leysestor. Your regular correspondent in all things Politically Pop is from The People’s Republic of Kenilworthonia – however it’s a very small and insular affair, that one, and any visitors are most likely to be met with burning torches and pitchforks. Best avoided to be honest. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper “Jesus At MacDondalds””

Pick of the Political Pops: Jallen Rix “Down At Stonewall”

This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Stonewall Riots. Fifty years, mark you. “Stonewall”, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, refers to The Stonewall Inn in Greenwhich Village, New York. This was a place (by all accounts run by The Mafia) which catered to the (illegal at the time) ‘gay crowd’. To preface things you need to understand this: being gay was illegal, serving gays was illegal and pretty much anything ‘gay’ was illegal. This pivotal moment, whilst not being the beginning or the end of the gay struggle, marked a point at which the gay community decided to stand up and tell the world that they ‘just wouldn’t take this anymore’. In 1969 – easily within living memory for some of us. We could explain all of the story in more detail but we are minded that this BBC link says most of what we want to say.