Playing: lefty songs of celebration

Surprisingly enough, I'm feeling rather chipper today - former Prime Minister J-Ho has finally been booted from office, former Treasurer Costello has piked it and all seems well with the world.

I realise that it's a little churlish to carry on too much like a porkchop about the change of government but hopefully people will indulge me with the selection of tunes for today's Monday sunset show. Normal service will resume next week :)

So I've chosen a selection of lefty themed songs for Prime Minister Ruddy (to remember where he comes from) and a few on-your-bike former Prime Minister Johnny et al songs to make up for 11 years of dodginess and national soul-besmirching.

The Red Flag - Billy Bragg - The Internationale 3:13

This is one of the anthems of the socialist/lefty movement and seems somehow the most appropriate. This version uses the originally intended tune, the jaunty Jacobite anthem called The White Cockade, instead of the usual, slightly dull tune that is generally used, that being "O Christmas Tree/Tannenbaum"

These are a few of the lyrics:

The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

It well recalls the triumphs past;
It gives the hope of peace at last:
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

It suits today the meek and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place,
To cringe before the rich man's frown
And haul the sacred emblem down.

Which side are you on - Billy Bragg - Back to basics 2:35

Another Billy Bragg song, mostly because I still have strong memories of going to a friends 21st birthday in a pub in South Melbourne in 92 on the night Jeff Kennett was elected premier of Victoria, getting completely stonkered and singing Billy Bragg songs in a bloke circle rather loudly in commiseration.

This song seems particularly apt as the opening verse talks all about the government passing anti-union laws and this was (imho) what finally brought former Prime Minister Howard and Co. down.

Sulk - Billy Bragg - Accident waiting to happen 3:47

One more Bill tune to finish up - I was pretty happy to hear that former foreign minister Alexander Downer cracked the sads on election night and refused to talk to the media. The next morning he came out and pronounced that he'd known all year they were going to lose this election. Lexie, this one goes out to you. Please, do us all a favour and run for the Liberal leadership.

'Tis of thee - Ani Di Franco - Up Up Up Up Up Up - 4:43

This is a little more broadly lefty and is a beautiful song telling of the people who get left behind when governments focus exclusive on the dollar over society.

Mao Tse Tung Said - Alabama 3 - Exile on Coldharbour Lane 5:17

There was a pretty cool YouTube video that popped up during the election that told the story of Prime Minister Ruddy in the style of a chinese propaganda film. (Because, you know, he's fluent in Chinese)

This song has a little bit about Mao and is just cool in general - it also talks about change.

Fortress Europe - Asian Dub Foundation - Enemy of the Enemy 3:53

Without doubt, one of the most disgusting elements of the (former Prime Minister) Howard era was his racist attitude to refugees and Muslims. This song, while about Europe in this instance, captures this vibe.

Little Animals - Beasts of Bourbon - Little Animals 5:14

I just generally like this song and it touches on environmental themes (although it gets somewhat cynical or something at the end), which are another area that the Howard government rather screwed the pooch on.

New Kid - The Bellrays - Australiapithicus 2:23

This track is lively and (Prime Minister) Rudd is the new kid but beyond that, it's probably a bit of a stretch. The album does have Australia in it though and did anyone else here the open rock riff that played on Saturday night when he took the stage for the victory speech? What was that all about?. (and what was it?)

Most likely you'll go your way and I'll go mine - Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde 3:24

Apparently (former PM) Johnny has said that his favourite musician is Bob Dylan - but only for the music, not for the lyrics (which tend to lean to the left.) I've never been entirely sure whether he's just said this because he thinks it will wind the lefties up or not but whatever the case, this seems like something of an appropriate selection for a goodbye/piss-off song.

A big star The City Lights Escape from tomorrow today 2:56

This song is a slightly older one in that it references former Health Minister Tony Abbott (a.k.a the mad monk) as Industrial relations minister. It's a top song though and highlights the out-of-touchness and harshness of the former government even back then.

Hallelujah - Custard - Goodbye Cruel World 4:59

Just a beautiful song in general and fairly obvious I'd imagine.

I'm sorry! Little Johnny (a.k.a Pauline Pantsdown) Rock against Howard 3:33

Rock against Howard was a (slightly patchy) album that came out around the 2004 election and this one finally allows us to here (former PM) Howard using the much avoided "sorry" word. Some very clever cutting up of Howard audio clips into a good novelty dance track, featuring former PM Howard announcing that he's the "genius of love"

December Skies - Cowboy Junkies - Early 21st Century Blues - 5:19

Beautiful modern anti-war song

Bougainville Sky - Fred Smith - Bagarap Empires 3:19

Another beautiful song about our neighbours to the near north and a fight against a big mining company.

Time to go - The Fuelers - Hot Dang 3:54

Apparently it is. (Actually, I would have said this in 98 but apparently a small number of key electorates disagreed - even though Labor actually won the majority vote)

Mullay - Muyngarnbi - Songs from Walking with the Spirits 4:00

Former Prime Minister Howard's attitude towards the Aboriginal community in this country was woeful at best, with the recent intervention little more than a tactical political strategy to shift the focus of criticism to the states and at the same time strategically grab a bunch of land. This track is interesting in that it merges Aboriginal vocals and "western" instrumentals

Out of time - The Rolling Stones - Aftermath - 3:44

Out of touch and out of time - kind of says it all really.

God's gonna cut you down - Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways 2:39

Former PM Howard could only cosy up to the money obsessed new evangelical Christians while acting like a jerk for so long before he got what what was coming.

What a wonderful world - Nick Cave and Shane McGowan - B-side and rarities II 3:03

Right now, to me it is a wonderful world.

Singapore Tom Waits Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years 2:46

I've just finished reading a book of interviews with and articles about Tom Waits - there's not necessarily a big connection to (former PM) Howard here although you could argue that his attitudes towards Asia leave something to be desired.

Home is where the hatred is - Esther Phillips - The Best of Blaxploitation 3:26

One of the worst aspects of the (former PM) Howard government's political strategy was the way it used the Karl Rove / George W Bush approach of social division, smear and general negativity to foster fear and selfishness. This song looks at that in broad terms in a powerful way.

Now sure, I'll admit I may be venting a bit about the man and his cohorts but after today, I'll try to move on and look at the world with positivity. For all the people out there who believe that he deserves respect, I'll give him that for his action on gun control after the Port Arthur massacre and for going into East Timor, but his much vaunted handling of the economy could have been done by a five year old with the amount of money flowing into the place from China.

Let the Rudd revolution begin.

(Please don't fuck this up Kevin)