Do you think it works in a song?
Do you think it works in a song?
> Do you think it works in a song?
Yes just look at The Queen is dead.
Not sure about bands using the war theme nowadays in songs, sure Morrissey does it in a unique way, subtle hints and so on and the music is fantastic but...
and it enables you get a poignant message accross... If you use your soap box with subtlety the point will be driven well and truly home....
> and it enables you get a poignant message accross... If you use your soap
> box with subtlety the point will be driven well and truly home....
Now if only Morrissey could master this tehcnique.
> Now if only Morrissey could master this tehcnique.
I think it can work to an extent but is better left to the album tracks rather than singles unless you are going to attempt it in a subtle way e.g. "Hand That Feeds" by Nine Inch Nails. generally people don't want the opinions of others, political or otherwise, ramming down their throats.
Political songs are okay just as long as you have the sense to understand that rock and roll songs can't provide you with any real answers. But they can point you in the right direction. A three-minute pop song can't make complicated matters go away, but they can simplify them to help you sort out your basic feelings about them. I was convinced that vegetarianism was in almost every way a better choice than eating slaughtered animals after reading about it in the local library, but I would never have read those books and articles if "Meat Is Murder" hadn't appealed directly to my heart.
In Morrissey's case, I think his best, most effective political songs are not overtly political. Opening people's minds about problems of gender, sex, and class using humor, irony, and highly personal writing is far better than screaming through a bullhorn. He gives you just enough of a political hint, in most songs, that you don't take away a specific political message but rather a new sense of what exactly the word "political" encompasses. In "The Queen Is Dead", the line "Life is very long when you're lonely" is far more provocative than any of the "political" stuff about law and poverty, but used in the same song each gives the other an added richness.
Sometimes the farther you go in the opposite direction, the nearer you come to your destination. For this reason "Nowhere Fast" and "Interesting Drug" work much better as "political" songs than "Margaret On The Guillotine" or "America Is Not The World". I mean, the funniest, most cutting comment he's made about government came in a song about obsessional love-- the line about high court judges in "The More You Ignore Me". I love Morrissey's instincts when it comes to politics, but the more he discusses various subjects, the more you wish he'd keep quiet. A bon mot that skewers Blair is fantastic, but beware further listening.
Among other artists, I think The Clash did politics pretty well. So did The Jam. Billy Bragg is wonderful, but sadly he's almost more of a pamphleteer than a poet; all his best writing is about love. U2 is good for bombast-- sometimes that's not a bad thing. R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe has keen insight into politics, but you can't understand half the shit he sings. Actually, the smartest political band of all was The Dead Kennedys. Too bad the majority of their music is totally unlistenable. Still, in the end they're the only thing a political band should be: inspirational.
If an artist has political views and feels the need to express them through their art I don't see the problem. Should entertainment make you think? It depends. The problem is when the writer or artist doesn't really have anything to say so they look to politics for a sort of legitimacy. I think it is very exciting when music can connect to the real world, but some bands that try to be "important" might be compared to an afterschool special. It's just hack. There is no art and no craft.
Morrissey in his new song, saying "If the USA doesn't bomb you" seems to have offended some people. Whatever you think of that, I think that the song is incredibly strong. I love it. If that is a taste of the album I can't wait. The song certainly doesn't suffer from being "political".
All of us are affected by politics though, whether we ignore it or not.
I see the song as more than political anyway. It is dealing with the larger issues. When all of the politicians are dead and burned to cinders, if there is anyone left to hear it, the message of that song will still be relevant.