Monday, July 09, 2012

Bella, ciao

That's why, I think, these "political" lyrics contain so few arguments; why some of them seem almost deliberately naïve. The album; the concert; the act of making music and poems is the argument. The beautiful harmonies and terrible rhymes are offering us a model of a different kind of world.

I don't know if I believe it. I don't know if I believe "that words can save us." I don't know whether one guy spoiling a lot of people's night at the opera really does anything about the concentration camps. But that isn't the point. The little guy with the rattle is doing a small thing to re-assert his human dignity; just like the waitress who spits in the soup of the customer whose been leching at her and the soldiers who carry on singing until they're slaughtered. Maybe that's all we can do. The melody is the message.
     Me, 2010

If anyone asks me to explain my political beliefs at the moment, I tell them to listen to Chumbawamba albums. Not that anyone ever does. (Ask me, I mean.)
     Me, 2010

But I love, adore and respect this side idolatry the fact that Chumbawamba make every show they perform a political "happening", and somehow manage to do so without seeming preachy. Possibly because the songs are so sweet and fine: I imagine they could charm even a died-in-wool liberal democrat.
     Me, 2011

Chumbawamba have walked onto the stage wearing "Bono, Pay Your Taxes" t-shirts. This is why I love them.
    Me, Tweeting from Avalon Tent in Glastonbury, 2011

Catch your breath, 
feel the life in your bones
Enjoy what's to come, 

not the things that we've done.
Save all your prayers, 

take the pain and the hurt
And add your chorus to my verse

A playlist of songs which remind me of the good times. Usual caveats apply.


Julia said...

I enjoyed this very much. Thank you.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Tubthumping (Tubthumper)
Amnesia (Tubthumper)
By and By (A Singsong and a Scrap)
Jacob's Ladder (Readymades and Then Some)
Bankrobber (A Singsong and a Scrap)
On Ebay (Un)
Singing Out the Days (ABCDEFG)
Wagner at the Opera (ABCDEFG)
Torturing James Hetfield (ABCDEFG)
Add Me (The Boy Bands Have Won)
El Fusilado (The Boy Bands Have Won)
Charlie (The Boy Bands Have Won)
Waiting For the Bus (The Boy Bands Have Won)
Ra-ta-ta-tay (ABCDEFG)
Word Bomber (The Boy Bands Have Won)
Bella, Ciao (A Singsong and a Scrap)

Alvano Richie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.