musicology #121

socialcommentaryweek #1

(Billy Bragg – Take Down The Union Jack)

themusicologist has tried to keep politics off the menu but it’s one of the subjects that infuriates me. the deceipt, corruption, greed and unbeleivable hypocrisy is just too much for me to not have a musical say.

unfortunately the only politics left today is the politics of greed and the blame for that lies with those who shape society. ultimately responsibility lies with each of us but we all know that ‘the law’ restricts us from taking action in ever increasing ways and is in fact an establishment tool that has very little to do with justice.

the subjects that are, (for me), most important are Health and Education, essentially because I have two children and find myself at the ‘sharp end of the stick’ in both areas. of course economics are an issue but money has no place in my heart so holds little interest.

one of musics greatest attributes is delivering a message and themusicologist is often heard singing this one as I go about my life so I was especially pleased when my eldest asked for this one to be added to her I-Pod..this is what I call education. just as Curtis and Paul Weller, (among many others), helped shape my views so it may be with the next generation.

I’m starting the socialcommentaryweek with this one by one of themusicologists most respected artists who has always stood up to be counted and in my humble opinion is one of the finest songwriters to hail from these shores…taken from his 2002 Set ‘England, Half English’.. just like to add that I am proud of the culture that is a part of me and it saddens me to see it fade away to be be replaced by the globalisation ideology that has been forced apoun us since the end of World War II. I believe whole heartedly in community but not in homogeny and brother Bragg articulates many of my thoughts and feelings perfectly … lyrics Bragg-La … lyrics.

“take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset,
and put it in the attic, with the emperors old clothes,
when did it fall apart? sometime in the 80’s,
when the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean,

Britain isn’t cool you know it’s really not that great,
it’s not a proper country, doesn’t even have a patron saint,
it’s just an economic union that’s passed it’s sell by date,

take down the Union Jack it clashes with the sunset,
and ask our Scottish neighbours if independence looks any good,
cos they just might understand how to take an abstract notion,
of personal identity and turn it into nationhood,

is this the 19th Century that I’m watching on T.V
the dear old queen of England handing out those M.B.E’s
a member of the British Empire that doesn’t sound too good to me

Gilbert & George are taking the piss aren’t they
Gilbert & George you’re taking the piss.
what could be more British than here’s a picture of me bum

take down the Union Jack it clashes with the sunset
and pile up all those history books but don’t throw them away
they might just have some clues about what it really means
to be an Anglo hyphen Saxon in
to be an Anglo hyphen Saxon in”

(Billy Bragg 2002)


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