Viva La Revolucion

Libyan rebels are poking round in Moammar Gaddafi’s compound and finding weird scrapbooks dedicated to Condeleezza Rice. That’s not too surprising, I remember when Idi Amin was deposed in Uganda they found reels and reels of 16mm Tom and Jerry cartoons in his bedroom. And who can forget Imelda Marcos’ shoes? When you’re a ruthless dictator nobody tries to talk you out of indulging your bizarre whims.

Beyond the mountains of comedy gold, we’ve got rebellion of various flavors happening from Libya to Syria to England. All around the world people are rising up against injustice. Here’s what it sounds like.

Nouvelle Vague “Guns Of Brixton” (The Clash)
Somebody who “works with” Jimmy Cliff sent me an email. It would have been cool to get an email from Jimmy Cliff, but I’m sure he’s a very busy man so he had his people contact my people. The email contained a link to a page on Soundcloud with a stream of a new cover he did of “Guns Of Brixton” with one of the guys from Rancid. It’s a good song and I wanted to post it so I asked for an mp3. I didn’t hear back from Mr. Cliff’s people before the deadline for this post passed. Which is too bad because it was that song that provided this week’s theme.

But I’m just as happy, maybe even happier, to post this version from Nouvelle Vague. The original version was all bluster and defiance but this lounge version is all coolly-considered threat. I find it much more harrowing than the original.

The Swingle Singers “Star Wars Theme” (John Williams)
Yes, it’s the theme from everybody’s favorite family-friendly tale of violent revolution. I’ve always wanted to make a version of Star Wars from the perspective of the Empire, with Darth Vader bravely struggling to win a civil war and preserve the Empire. He’d be Abe Lincoln in a cape.

Anyway, the Swingle Singers do a great job here of replicating the sweeping orchestration of the original using only their voices.

Eli Radish “Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” (comp.¬†Frank Loesser)
In the late 60s antiwar hippies Eli Radish wanted to protest the Vietnam War. So they put out an album of sarcastically-performed patriotic songs called I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier. Unfortunately the irony of the record was lost on the hippies and the patriotic war supporters didn’t like the idea of dirty hippies singing their favorite ditties. The album sank without a trace. Too bad, because the music’s pretty good.

Vains Of Jenna “I’d Love To Change The World” (Ten Years After)
I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do. That’s often the problem with revolutions. People come together to topple an oppressive government but then can’t agree among themselves on what to do next. All too often you end up with a new government that’s no better than the old one. Let’s hope that the Libyans get it right.

Violent Femmes “Children Of The Revolution” (T. Rex)
The title makes you think that it’s the lesson plan of the Cuban Public School System, but it’s really about good old-fashioned teen rebellion.

3 thoughts on “Viva La Revolucion

  1. BM

    Not sure if it’s me or what, but the T. Rex cover that downloads is only 17KB every time I tried it. Either way, another great post.

  2. JoeG

    As always, love your posts but I too am having problems with the Violent Femmes (their cover of T. Rex, not the Femmes themselves!). Thanks for all the work you do on the blog – always appreciated.

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