Princess Stomper

You don’t need to shout to be heard: nine present-day political songs

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By Princess Stomper

“The Clash may have spoken for a highly politicised UK in 1976, but they don’t have anything to say to the disenfranchised and desensitised youth of 2011. Unless someone is prepared to stand up in their place and start screaming soon, this generation is in danger of losing its voice altogether.” – Krissi Murison, The Guardian, 2011

Never mind the bollocks, writing about the state of the nation(s) didn’t die with punk. You can’t realistically pretend that complaining about the state of things ended with Gang Of Four. The mood in the first years of the new century was very different to the decade before it. Gone was the hope and idealism, and in its place was selfish greed and a kind of dull sense of alienation for those who couldn’t participate in the tulipomania of easy credit.

That said, perhaps the zeitgeist of the early 21st Century could have been summed up in Liam Lynch’s novelty one-hit wonder.

Slowly, with the changing economic and political situations across the world, moods have changed from apathy to fear, depression, confusion and anger. There’s hardly been a dearth of social commentary in the past few years, even outside its more traditional “home” of rap. The latest Foetus album, HIDE, was almost entirely political, drawing its nightmare apocalypse from war-torn Sierra Leone and the oilfields of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Ministry expressed their dislike for Dick Cheney in rather less poetic terms

and, of course, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake certainly fits the bill.

Still, even those were relatively recent releases, you could be forgiven for insisting on contributions from less long-established acts – political songwriters who could be described with the words “this generation”. There are plenty of those, too.

(continues overleaf)

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