Pick of the Political Pops: Paul Kelly “Little Kings”

King of the Pops Mr Villers is currently away holidaying while observing social distancing in his back garden, and while his normal eloquence will return next week, in his absence we briefly turn to Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly who has featured in more than one of our writers’ best americana albums of all time lists which we have been publishing in recent months. His ‘Words and Music’ album from 1998 begins with the line: “I’m so afraid for my country, There’s an ill wind blowing no good, So many lies in the name of history” which feels like as good a description of how many people are feeling this year for all kinds of different reasons, not all of them Covid-related.

Kelly rarely makes overt political references in his songs these days, but it’s always been clear where his heart lies, and thank God (Villers will kill me for that capital G) we have songwriters who do still tell the stories of the invisible. Particularly when our dear government, without hyperbole, is indeed getting away with murder.

“In the land of the little kings
There’s a price on everything
And everywhere the little kings
Are getting away with murder”


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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 19 years and still feels like this is his pretend job, mainly because it is.

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