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Archive for the ‘McCarthy’ Category

The well-fed point of view – McCarthy

Malcolm:
“I was thinking of people like Michael Jackson here, when they claim that you have to change people’s hearts rather than the world. It seems to me it should be the other way round. I like this song, although I don’t know anyone else who does. I’m not sure the others were very keen on it.”

Count me as an anyone else who likes it. Loves it, rather. On their last album and all, it may be my favourite McCarthy song behind Red Sleeping Beauty. And Comrade Era. It’s that guitar lead.

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The international narcotics traffic – McCarthy

I’ll leave it to the man himself. Malcolm:
“This is a translation of Bertolt Brecht’s name for Hollywood. I’ve transferred the name to pop music. When you think about the lighting, the noise, the dry ice, etc at some rock concerts, you come to the conclusion that the aim is to prevent people from thinking clearly. That’s what the song is about.”

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Yesterday’s song was…
Something wrong somewhere – McCarthy

Sorry. I didn’t wake up at home and didn’t touch a computer the whole day. Yay!

walkabout

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The wicked palace revolution – McCarthy

McCarthy lyrics fall usually into either one of three camps – in each, narrated, profoundly political and overtly out of place in the pop song matter milieu. In one, the song is narrated, to an acerbic and sardonic exact, by some powerful, heinous character with every forced ostentation of humanity and benevolence. Taken at face value, they’re like reading the thinliest veiled public professions of any powerful figure. Taken at face value, they belie the disquiet and disapproval with with Malcolm Eden wrote these songs. Though it’s not hard to remember their intent in the context of McCarthy, they could be appropriated word for word if someone wanted to. These include An MP Speaks, God Made the Virus, I Worked Myself Up From Nothing, I’m On The Side Of Mankind As Much As The Next Man, etc.

The second consists of a perspective shift to the person on the street – the powerless acting and bending under the powerful. They are fed the policies of those narrators of the first camp and swallow wholly, in an other way to illustrate life’s little crimes and iniquities. The narrator is usually someone wandering around Thatcher’s England observing lives and those that lead them. Questions are asked of position, purpose, provision to a state representative or to no-one, and in each case the answer is faith, life, pocket to those in power. The Procession Of Popular Capitalism, We Are All Bourgeois Now, Unfortunately, The Funeral, What Our Boys Are Fighting For, etc.

Finally, in the third camp are the more abstract but just as pointed fairy/moral tale songs. Perspective has moved now to the third person, to a storyteller; context has moved to anywhere a parable can be made. Along with Red Sleeping Beauty, In The Dark Times, and St. Francis Amongst The Mortals, The Wicked Palace Revolution is one of these songs. And along with every McCarthy song, it is great.

This is a little boring, and there are many songs falling outside these camps, but it’s something i noticed. A fantastic, fantastic band. Even if they weren’t so pointing so close the way of my own political compass, or omitted the politics altogether, the songs are too great for me not to love. I’m sure many people have turned their eyes blind to McCarthy’s lyrics to still be able to enjoy them without conflict. I’m happy i don’t have to. Well, not too much.

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