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Christy Moore, Ballad of an Ordinary Man
February 9, 2012 3:54 AM   Subscribe

"I learnt this song in Grimsby over in England about 1987. It was during the Thatcher era. There was all kinds of things happening, over in England. But I'll say one thing about Thatcher, some fantastic songs were written during her reign." Christy Moore -- Ballad of an Ordinary Man (SYLT)
posted by Mister Bijou (31 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
...and here's another.
posted by pompomtom at 4:34 AM on February 9, 2012


Some great psalms were written in the time of Pharoah. Not sure that's a point in his favour.
posted by iotic at 4:49 AM on February 9, 2012


More like damning with faint praise.
posted by pompomtom at 4:57 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some great psalms were written in the time of Pharoah. Not sure that's a point in his favour.

Right, but these days much of the world is in the same shit as North England ca. 1987, only the soundtrack is much crappier.
posted by Skeptic at 5:08 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not sure that's a point in his favour.

Well, you can tell a lot about a person from the qualities of the people who dislike them. If there is a good song in it, that's all for the better.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:36 AM on February 9, 2012


Even on a good day, the worst parts of Grimsby—Freeman Street, Hainton Avenue, Nunsthorpe—are still enough to convince an honest man that parts of England are a third–world country.
posted by Jehan at 5:48 AM on February 9, 2012


Elvis Costello - Shipbuilding. Written for when Thatcher decided that getting people killed over a desolate rock that nobody had ever heard of would be an excellent way of getting herself reelected for the first time.

Billy Bragg - Which Side Are you On. Written for when Thatcher decided that destroying entire communities would be an excellent way of getting herself reelected for the second time.

Elvis Costello - Tramp The Dirt Down. Written for all of us who want to outlive Thatcher just so that we can finally, finally, finally experience the deep dark joy of seeing the back of her.

Morrissey - Margaret On The Guillotine. Written for those of us who can't help but feel cheated that Thatcher is going to meet a natural end.
posted by veedubya at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


iotic, pompomtom - pretty much the point of the quote, isn't it?
posted by IAmBroom at 6:13 AM on February 9, 2012


Related.

We did the songs then too.
posted by chavenet at 6:41 AM on February 9, 2012


There are single serving websites for everything these days...
posted by ouke at 7:06 AM on February 9, 2012


Even on a good day, the worst parts of Grimsby—Freeman Street, Hainton Avenue, Nunsthorpe...

Idunno. Taking a look at the streetview just now, there seems to be a lot more going on there than the namesake Grimsby I grew up in.

posted by Capt. Renault at 7:10 AM on February 9, 2012


Apropos of Costello's Shipbuilding, Robert Wyatt singing it and doing a better job in my opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6T9qp9XbRY

(one of my favourite songs ever BTW)
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 7:10 AM on February 9, 2012


Good to see (and hear) this, both as someone who lived in the North in the early 80s and as someone who gets tired of hearing political music stopped before 1980.
posted by immlass at 7:21 AM on February 9, 2012


Hefner's The Day That Thatcher Dies seems apropos. Loathing makes for good music.
posted by a sourceless light at 7:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Francey's Torn Screen Door has a lot of hate for the banks in it. All about farmers forced to give up their trade. And it was written in the late 90s. He's Scottish by birth so I guess this fits the thread.
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:57 AM on February 9, 2012


The best song about the Thatcher era ending, in my humble opinion, is the Mekons' “Vengeance”:
Don't be depressed, don't be downhearted!
There's a might crisis comin'
Peals of thunder, pearls of wisdom
Reagan / Thatcher dead and gone!
Also, the best song written about the Falklands War actually appears to be a satirical song about how stupid liberal outrage over that war was: The Fall's spectacular opus, “Marquee Cha-Cha.”
posted by koeselitz at 8:03 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish I could say this song wasn't at all relevant right now.
posted by Acheman at 8:26 AM on February 9, 2012


I think Margaret influenced nearly every song The Smiths performed. "We cannot cling to the old dreams anymore" from 'Still Ill' is the firstthing that comes to mind. Read about Margaret while listening to Moz. It's like watching the Wizard Of Oz while listening to Dark Side of The Moon.
posted by shushufindi at 8:30 AM on February 9, 2012


This list wouldn't be complete without Thatcher Fucked the Kids.
posted by xena at 8:41 AM on February 9, 2012


I wish I could say this song wasn't at all relevant right now.

More relevant.
posted by Jehan at 9:03 AM on February 9, 2012


Dave Wakeling (starts at the 1 min mark)
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:31 AM on February 9, 2012


I once walked down Cornmarket Street in Oxford late at night and heard one of Oxford's legions of not-very-good buskers singing a song whose sole lyrics were "Gordon Brown is a wanker... Gordon Brown is a wanker... he's a waaaaaan-kerrrrrrrrr..."

Maybe it didn't attain the heights of poetic inspiration cited above, but then, it was probably about as much as Brown deserved.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]




Simple, but effective, The Larks - Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:06 AM on February 9, 2012


And a good recent one Billy Bragg - Never Buy The Sun
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:08 AM on February 9, 2012


Even on a good day, the worst parts of Grimsby—Freeman Street, Hainton Avenue, Nunsthorpe—are still enough to convince an honest man that parts of England are a third–world country.
posted by Jehan at 1:48 PM on February 9


As a man who was born and raised in Grimsby I can only second this as hard as it is possible to second something. I grew up thinking that a good night out was one that didn't end up in getting attacked. I'm not exaggerating. From what I hear from my dear old mother (who still lives in the house I grew up in), it hasn't improved.

In the sixties, Grimsby and its contiguous neighbour Cleethorpes (The Last Resort) were bleak, grey and rough. In the seventies, when I became a teen, the cod war with Iceland crippled the once-proud fishing industry and suddenly there were a lot of unemployed and angry dockers and trawlermen in those pubs, loading up on shitty Worthington E and looking to vent some of their frustration. I was never any good at running so I had to learn how to fight dirty and then run. I went to university in Leeds with just two aims: get drunk a lot and find a way to never have to return to Grimsby to live. I achieved both, against some fairly sizeable odds.

When I moved to London my mother fretted constantly. "Be careful down there! It's dangerous! You might get mugged!" Oh, how I laughed. In two years of going out in Grimsby I had been in more scrapes and street fights than I could even remember. Moving to London was moving to civilisation. Even the rough areas seemed relatively welcoming and peaceful.

Grimsby. A good place to come from. To come from.

Jehan - are you from Grimsby? How come you know it?
posted by Decani at 2:13 PM on February 9, 2012


There was a cod war?
posted by thelonius at 2:30 PM on February 9, 2012


Cleethorpes (The Last Resort)

Oh yes, that was my local 'sea side' too... but as a friend later pointed out, it's technically 'estuary side'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:45 PM on February 9, 2012


There was a cod war?
posted by thelonius at 10:30 PM on February 9


Yes.
posted by Decani at 2:50 PM on February 9, 2012


From that link, the point I mentioned:

Iceland achieved its overall aims, to the detriment of the already declining British fisheries,[19] severely affecting the economies of northern fishing ports in the UK, such as Grimsby, Hull and Fleetwood.[20]
posted by Decani at 2:51 PM on February 9, 2012


> Grimsby. A good place to come from. To come from.

Ha! Doncaster in my case. And +1 on the music grown out of Thatcher's choices.
posted by mdoar at 4:21 PM on February 10, 2012


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