fucking hate folk music! The nightmare returned a couple of weeks
Everyman was advertising an “underground soul night with
underground folk”…….. for fucks sake, Darrell Banks meets
me politico life, getting dragged to some leftie benefit night in
some freezing cold hall, listening to some arran sweated, beer
gutted, old fellah wittering on about some agricultural worker
from Hebden Bridge.(Why do they have always have more hair comin
out their nose than we have on our ead???)
Ellington, when he wrote the protest song par excellence,
“I’ve got it bad and that aint good” said, to write any tune
of social commentary was a skill, in that you leave it up to the
audience and give them credit for being able to suss it out. You
never ram the message down their throats. Duke Ellington has never
been in the pantheon of songs of protest. Neither has Aretha even
though Black America went on the move in the 1960s, accompanied by
her demanding ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ from “Think”.
it is still to Harvard educated upper class, Pete Seeger to whom
we were asked to look for genuine social commentary. He never did
take the advice he got from a union hall in New York when he
turned up with his banjo, and was told;
Pete, you’re not playing that, we’re only into Swing”.
got to give some credit tho, to Pete Seeger’s protégé, Bob
Dylan. According to Dylan the best protest song ever was one by
Jimmy Cliff called “Vietnam” about his mate who had been
called up to fight. The tune never charted in either the US or the
UK. Jimmy fused bluebeat, ska and reggae. It’s simplicity was in
the poignancy and power of the final few words where his mate’s
mum gets a telegram from Vietnam. It tells her…..
be alarmed, Mrs Brown, the telegram said, but Mrs Brown ……
your son is dead…..and it came from….. Vietnam.”
thing not really known about Bob Dylan was he had mystic qualities
on a par with Madame Zora. When “Times They are a
Changing” came out in the mid sixties, it was an exemplary piece
of fortune telling, as by 1970 The Tymes really were changing.
They had got rid of the two male lead singers and replaced them
with Teri Gonzalez and Melba Moore and came storming back into the
charts with “You Little Trust Maker”. Well in
Bob…….you nasally haired twat!