Vox Political on the Continuing Relevance of Kirsty MacColl

Mike over at Vox Political has written a short piece, remembering how it was 16 years ago today that the world heard the sad news of the death of the singer and songwriter, Kirsty MacColl. Mike states that listening to the lyrics of her 1989 track, Free World, it seems that very little has changed, and that we need more singers like her.

See his article at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/18/kirsty-maccoll-died-16-years-ago-today-but-her-music-is-as-relevant-as-ever/#comment-92400, where there’s a video of her singing this.

I’m not surprised that MacColl was politically engaged, as I think her father was the folk musician, Communist and conscientious objector Ewan MacColl. And Mike’s right – we do need more musicians like her. The 1980s were a very bleak time, with Maggie in No. 10 shutting hospitals and schools, among too many other closures. But it was also a time of very politically engaged music by the very talented musicians that emerged in the decade. UB40 took their name from the unemployment benefit form. There was Billy Bragg, singing his ‘urban folk’ songs about the miners during the Miner’s Strike. And Joanna, one of the commenters on Mike and this blog, also notes in her comment that the Style Council’s ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ is also acutely relevant, as song of resistance to everything Thatcher and the Tories represent. That had the lyrics

‘You don’t have to take this cr*p,
You don’t have to sit back and relax
You can try and change it…
Lights go out,
Walls come tumbling down’.

Here’s a video of Paul Weller explaining why he puts his politics into music, and the band playing that same track.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Vox Political on the Continuing Relevance of Kirsty MacColl”

  1. joanna Says:

    Thank you Beastie!!
    I thought it was relevant because although the song touch on the electricity crisis, it also says that everyone uniting can make a difference and “walls come tumbling down. Sting also brought out a single called “the Russians” I think about the cold war.

    The other song that really impressed itself on my memory is, “Gimme hope Joanna” and no not because it has my name in it, it doesn’t. It should be spelt Johanna. The lyrics are amazing!

    Other notable songs are “Electric Avenue” and “I don’t wanna dance” by Eddy Grant,

    It might not be a political song but my favourite song of all time is “one Love” Bob Marley.

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Jo! I put up a piece about the continuing relevance of Sting’s Russians a little while ago, when our lords and masters started ramping up tensions with Russia. Just as Thatcher and Reagan did when Sting first recorded it.

      It’s interesting that you mentioned ‘I don’t wanna dance’ by Eddy Grant, as I was watching this on an old edition of Top of the Pops with friends a few days ago. 🙂

  2. joanna Says:

    Hi Beast here are the full lyrics, it is totally relevant today. especially the “dangle jobs like a donkey’s carrot” bit.

    You don’t have to take this crap
    You don’t have to sit back and relax
    You can actually try changing it
    I know we’ve always been taught to rely

    Upon those in authority –
    But you never know until you try
    How things just might be –
    If we came together so strongly

    Are you gonna try to make this work
    Or spend your days down in the dirt
    You see things can change –
    YES an’ walls can come tumbling down!

    Governments crack and systems fall
    ’cause Unity is powerful –
    Lights go out – walls come tumbling down!

    The competition is a colour TV
    We’re on still pause with the video machine
    That keep you slave to the H.P.

    Until the Unity is threatened by
    Those who have and who have not –
    Those who are with and those who are without
    And dangle jobs like a donkey’s carrot –
    Until you don’t know where you are

    Are you gonna realize
    The class war’s real and not mythologized
    And like Jericho – You see walls can come tumbling down!

    Are you gonna be threatened by
    The public enemies No. 10 –
    Those who play the power game
    They take the profits – you take the blame –
    When they tell you there’s no rise in pay

    Are you gonna try an’ make this work
    Or spend your days down in the dirt –
    You see things CAN change –
    YES an’ walls can come tumbling down!

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for this as well, Jo! I’ve never managed to work out what all the lyrics were, although I managed to catch some of them. And you’re right – they are still very, very relevant.

  3. joanna Says:

    Hi Beast here is one more, which is also relevant today, I think?
    By the Pet shop boys

    We’re buying and selling your history
    How we go about it is no mystery
    You check it with the city, then change the law
    Are you looking forward?
    Now you want some more
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    It’s easy when you got all the information
    Inside help, no investigation
    (No investigation, investigation)
    No questions in the house, no give and take
    There’s a big bang in the city
    We’re all on the make
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    Our gain is your loss, that’s the price you pay
    I heard it in the House of Commons: everything’s for sale
    We’re shopping
    We’re shopping
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    Ah ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah
    Ah ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    We’re S-H-O-PP-I-N-G, we’re shopping
    We’re shopping
    We’re shopping
    We’re shopping
    We’re shopping
    We’re shopping

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Thanks again for this, Jo. I was never into the Pet Shop Boys, though I liked a couple of their songs – West End Boys and ‘In Suburbia’. It looks to me like they’re particularly commenting here on the ‘Big Bang’ in the City, when all the City firms were caught up in a frenzy of buying and selling, as well as the general privatisation and destruction of British institutions under Thatcher.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: