Ding Dong The Witch is Dead may be grabbing the headlines, but will it ever be a top political song?
Well, it’s not on my top 5 – below – more suggestions welcome!
1) The Specials – Ghost Town
Les Reid from the Coventry Evening Telegraph has written an excellent blog about Thatcher’s legacy in the Midlands and this song about the climate of fear and loathing in the nation’s cities during the 80s should be essential listening on the National Curriculum.
2) Simple Minds – Mandela Day
The Ballard of the Streets EP was the highlight of 80s Rock Activism if you ask me.
3) REM – Ignoreland
Rarely played live. Hidden on Automatic for the People (but still managed to chart in the US). This is pure anti-Reagan / anti-Bush vitriol.
4) Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
Anti-war. Pro-working class. And the best bit is that right-wing-ers think he is backing them. Listen to the pain in the song.
5) Japandroids – No Allegiance to the Queen
Is it a protest about money, capitalism, the record industry or the Monarchy? Is it even a political song? Judge for yourself. I don’t care. It’s a great song.
If you want something radically republican, try Pele’s Raid The Palace, but is a key part of a political song the reaction it causes as much as the lyrics themselves?
So if I can have ‘No Allegiance’, maybe Ding Dong is a great political song after all?
Bronski Beat – Age of Consent
I didn’t properly understand at the time, but for the 80s this was ground-breaking. It’s also a reason to listen to ‘Small Town Boy‘ again.
Welcome your suggestions for other tracks / covers. And, yes, I know there is no U2 or Billy Bragg here. That’s deliberate.