Saturday, 8 May 2010

Political Songs for after election day: Part 2

IF YOU have read the last post, you know the score, add your own political songs below the fold. If you haven't read the last post, what you waiting for?
Here's Part Two of my favourite political songs for after election day.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott Heron: Intellectual black consciousness, proto rap which lambasts the growing commercialisation of American life in the age of television advertising. Sadly, not on his play list in Liverpool last week, but still a very potent example of political polemic nearly 40 years since it was first written.

Shipbuilding – Elvis Costello: The bitter sweet ironic reality of politics in a song. Costello juxtaposes the prosperity that the Falklands War brought to the working class shipbuilding communities in the early 80s with the reality that these people were building ships to kill in the South Atlantic. Best version is this much shown Robert Wyatt cover from the Whistle Test.

Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil: There can’t have been many more political bands to have worked over the last 30 years and there can be very few who have had a global hit about Australian Aboriginal land rights. Lead singer Peter Garrett is now Australian Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.

Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine: A popular anarchist/ left wing band writes an anthemic protest song that accuses the military and police of being in the Ku Klux Klan. And now all we know about it is that it kept Joe McElwotsit off the Christmas Number 1. Go figure.

Vive la Quinte Brigada – Christy Moore: He wasn’t afraid to put his head above the parapet during the Troubles and say what he felt even if it was controversial, but this beautiful song is a loving tribute to the Irish Socialists who fought on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. It’s an education listening Christy.

If you are in the orbit of Spotify, I have started a playlist here Political Songs for Election Day


  1. I don't know how to do that fancy You Tube link thing but this song came to mind when I read your request. It came out in 1988 and nobody bought it. They were a good band this lot.

  2. Paul Brady - The Island

    And So I Watch You From Afar - These Riots Are Just The Beginning. << Maybe a bit of an obscure one, but the songs entirely influenced by secterian riots etc.

    Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues)

    Kevin Devine - Another Bag Of Bones :