dimanche, janvier 07, 2007

if you've got a blacklist i want to be on it

I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but I just got familiar with Billy Bragg's solo work.
He's a British musician known for his blend of folk, punk-rock, and protest music. He has been active for over 20 years since his early career as a regular contributor to anarchic UK live rock show The Tube. His music is a combination of poetry and political comment, with a dash of romance. He has collaborated with many other musicians, including Johnny Marr of The Smiths, protest folk singer Leon Rosselson, R.E.M., Less Than Jake, Kirsty MacColl, and Wilco. He, along with Paul Weller and others, was a leading member of UK left-wing musicians pressure group Red Wedge in the Thatcher-dominated 80s.

In recent years he has broadened his audience thanks to his involvement with Wilco on the album Mermaid Avenue and its follow-up Mermaid Avenue Vol II.
After listening to the song "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards" (1988) a lot this weekend, I got "Must I Paint You a Picture, The Essential Billy Bragg."

His sound: Think busking folk singer skewering pop culture and spouting lefty politics — in a delightful, lilting English accent.

Meanwhile, here are the lyrics for "Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards." They're useful when deciphering his thick English accent.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's disappointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathise with her, but he thinks that he should warn her
That the Third World is just around the corner

In the Soviet Union a scientist is blinded
By the resumption of nuclear testing and he is reminded
That Dr. Robert Oppenheimer's optimism fell
At the first hurdle

In the Cheese Pavilion and the only noise I hear
Is the sound of someone stacking chairs
And mopping up spilt beer
And someone asking questions and basking in the light
Of the fifteen fame filled minutes of the fanzine writer

Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forwards

Jumble sales are organised and pamphlets have been posted
Even after closing time there's still parties to be hosted
You can be active with the activists
Or sleep in with the sleepers
While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

One leap forward, two leaps back
Will politics get me the sack?

Here comes the future and you can't run from it
If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it

It's a mighty long way down rock 'n roll
From Top of the Pops to drawing the dole

If no one out there understands
Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman

In a perfect world we'd all sing in tune
But this is reality so give me some room

So join the struggle while you may
The Revolution is just a T-shirt away
Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

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