Recently I pondered songwriters who have such a great turn of phrase that they just make you sit up and take notice. They write lyrics that are forthright and that make you think. I heard a song recently that did just that, and I think it may have just crashed into my top 10 songs of all time, somewhere near the top. It went like this:
"We sing love songs in C,
And we do politics in G,
We do songs about our friends in E Minor,
So tear down the stars now,
And take up your guitars,
So come on folks and try this at home".
The song is by a British singer named Frank Turner. He has styled himself as the new Billy Bragg, which is no bad thing in my view. Moreover, he's the Billy Bragg for Generation-Y, and also for late GenX-ers like me who still have enough fire in the belly to still get pissed off at some of the world's stupidity. Frank himself would rather have himself regarded as a "skinny half-arsed English country singer", but I think that's selling himself short.
This song tells it like it is - forget the image, forget the labels, forget the style, just play the damn music and stop self-agrandising. Get off your butt, be your own rock star, be your own songwriter. Write the music you wanna hear.
"...'cos there's no such thing as rock stars
There's just people who play music,
Some of them are just like us,
And some of them are dicks..."
The song itself is fiery and passionate. It's a statement of intent. This is the roots of punk rock. If this doesn't get you fired up then nothing will.
"...The only thing that Punk Rock should every really mean,
Is now sitting 'round and waiting for the lights to go green..."
Brilliant stuff. Enjoy.