RANT

Actually….the image I’ve selected for today is a bit misleading.  The songs, as the author says, are rants…..but they are very quier rants and excellent songs to listen to.  Over to long-time friend of this place and the old blog, Friend of Rachel Worth:-

Mixing pop and politics, I tend to be the one asking “what the use is?” I’m not sure whether it was growing up and seeing the disappointment of Red Wedge, watching pop stars meeting presidents or a general dislike of being preached to or feeling like I’m being told what to think. I’ve more than often found myself loving the sentiment but feeling strangely untouched by the song . If I think of all my favourite songs they tend to be less rally cries of big political statements and more the personal politics of love gone wrong. Where they do work for me is if they are more social politics ( Town Called Malice spring to mind) or subtle and ambiguous in what they are trying to say (10000 Maniacs Whats the Matter Here the Housemartin’s Flag Day are good examples of where you listen and think with a somewhat dark message hidden in a pretty tune)

Having said all that my favourite political song is still The The’s Heartland but Matt Johnson seems to have developed an odd belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories and The the tracks seem to attract the take down notices., so I’ve picked up a couple of others. Both arent subtle as both are personal rants set to music. One is full of weary angry disillusionment built on somewhat hippy ideals and the other is bile and bitterness at the hopeless of everyday life. What they have in common is a set of fantastic lyrics and like all rants they maybe outstay their welcome , building until they burn themselves out.

First up is No, Surrender from Del Amitri’s singer Justin Currie

Big Macs for the fat, lo-cal wraps for the call centre battery hens,
Japanese snacks for the choice-spoilt citizens, caviar kickbacks for the citadel denizens.

Airport shoeshines servicing the suits among the little silver stereos and hand-rolled cheroots,
First class passengers file on last after the scum are packed in with their tax-free loot.

Checkout calamity, you’re cheated out of loyalty points, ten more years at this joint you’d be home & dry,
Beggars beat round the cash machines but you just slip between them with the usual lie.

Terrible tales of kidnapped kids keep you focused on the family and filling up the fridge,
Neighbourhood watchers shop dole dodgers, stick their semis on the market & start racking up the bids.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Constant growth the cancerous cure, a swarming race of profiteers ensure
Cheap cars for the rich, cheap lives for the poor, cheap weeks in the sun, free drinks at the door.

Puerile propaganda plugs up the TV, keep folk following the money so they’ll never be free
Keep them swallowing the swill, the celebrities, the paedophiles, the immigrants invading from the
camp over the hill.

War talk, the big debate, footsoldiers in the capitol liberating new kinds of hate
Cum-shots of human dots caught in the spotlight’s glare; he dies who dares.

Fatuous fast-trackers sneering at the shelf-stackers, little Middle-Englanders can’t stand the backpackers,
Fortress Freedom, come on in, take your chances-you might win.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Sunset beaches security patrolled, keep out the undesirables who don’t accept the code
Equal opportunity to live in total poverty, execute the ignorant incarcerate the slow

Car caressing managers choking up the avenues, brain dead patriots standing in salute
Paperwork raining again and again so that billionaires can claim there’s an enemy to shoot

Pill pushers, doorsteppers, personal goal shoppers, lifestyle trendsetters, meditating mindbenders,
Hare-brained share sellers pumping out stocks til you’re choking on a chain-letter avalanche of dross.

God squads trawling through every country tracking down fools who are bullshit hungry
Blinded by divinity followers fall into the man-traps set along the Wailing Wall.

Athletes compete in grand charades while tanks flatten streets and a nation laughs,
Visa holders gape at the changing guards while creeps bribe bums to take their photographs.

Film fans flock to the latest schlock, blockbusters block out even the vaguest thought
Bankrupt schools grind out fool after fool then feed them to a system where idiots rule.

Polling booths, phone votes, bogus questionnaires, you get a say as if anybody cares
Joe Public doesn’t want to play so liquidate his life as he looks the other way.

Don’t get sick, don’t get wise or they’ll gut you with a *justice* where everything is lies
March down Main Street, complain if you want but it’s twenty years straight for the losers at the front.

mp3 : Justin Currie – No, Surrender (Part 1)

mp3 : Justin Currie – No, Surrender (Part 2)

Second up is World Party and Always on My Mind

Where do you begin to explain the mess,
The mess you made of it?
I was only out for half an hour,
I said “please look after it”.
You had to think that you know best
And forget all the golden rules,
You ignored the difficult truth
And opened the door to fools.

Now I see the strong ones make,
I see the weak ones break,
I see you running out of time.

You got a finger in every pie,
Well what did I expect?
You made an art-form out of talking shit,
And partying ’til you’re wrecked.
In the small hours it’s so easy to feel
You’ve got some big ideas,
But in the morning you should put them away
Cos’ you know they’ll end in tears.

I see the strong ones fake,
While the weak can’t stay awake,
You know you’re always on my mind.

And football’s all about training shoes
Yeah, it’s added up to this.
And religion’s all about bums on seats.
And if you’re livin’ in the West
Mum’s apple pie is full of ‘E’s,
And Dad ain’t at his best;
His new car was designed by God
But Jesus, he looks a mess.

I see the strong ones take,
I see the weak, the weak ones ache,
You know it’s always on my mind.

While we’re busying ourselves with mines,
The chemists are working late.
They gotta breed an indestructible gene
To wipe us all away.
They’re just following their inquisitiveness,
Well that’s what they like to say.
But it sounds like they’re just following orders
Like the Nazis used to say.

I see the gas clouds shake,
I see the rivers ache,
You know it’s always on my mind.

What kind of music are you playing there, son?
What is that old machine?
Doesn’t matter I can’t hear the words,
Cos’ I don’t care what they mean.
Yeah I believe you,
You’re a real street fighter,
Gonna change the system from within.
Hey watch this guy, he’s a bare faced liar
Yeah, that’s, that’s him in the limousine.

I hear your bullshit take,
I hear your drum-machine break,
You know it’s always on my mind.

If Jesus came now
He’d say “Lord get me outta here,
Cos’ I, I just can’t handle this”.
The Lord would say
“Hey Jesus what d’ya mean?
It was always going to be this way”.
“All Mighty Father, you are full of shit,
Cos’ the folks down here, don’t wanna be saved.
Why have they forsaken themselves?
And used hypocritical armour-plating”.

I see the strong ones take,
I see the weak ones break,
You know it’s always on my mind.

If you were passing in a space vehicle,
And you came close to Planet Earth,
You wouldn’t stop by for tea
Cos’ of the screaming that you heard;
And the lying, and the cheating, and the gnashing of teeth,
And the straight-ahead mental deformation.
You’d head on to Venus
With its welcoming sulphuric acid precipitation.

Who’d want to stop where the strong ones reign,
But they won’t ease the weak ones pain?
You know out of sight would be really out of mind.

Well I’m sittin’ here watching little kids starve,
And worlds get thrown away.
I’m thinking there’s just gonna be more
Before any goodness has its way.
I’m sick of feeling sick of you,
You’re too smart to be like this.
But you’ve got no legends that will guide your soul,
Now you’re really taking the piss.

I see the weak ones strong someday,
Not in any silly Communist way,
More like in the movement of Elvis’ hip-sway,
When civilisation comes and stays,
When all the corporations have gone away,
When laughing gas is handed out on the Big Love Day,
When egos are driven underground cos’ they get no approbation,
When boys and girls are laughing in every nation,
When the Truth is pursued for relaxation,
When living with the world is our aspiration,
When there’s no mileage in hate, and no gas-stations,
And the creatures are protected from mammals to crustaceans,
And the soul has found it’s LIBERATION.
You know this is always on my mind 

mp3 : World Party – Always On My Mind

Note from JC

And with that, I’m ending this short series of political protest songs.  HUGE thanks to everyone who submitted their thoughts and words – lots of great tunes as well.