Tuesday, March 28, 2006

LONESOME DEATHS



The Israeli election is predicted to deliver a Yes for a shrinking Palestine in the West Bank and the extension of Gaza's tenure as a reservation for the natives.

Cue: "Don't Fence Me In" by the Sons Of The Pioneers.

Some topical ointment from Billy Bragg, however.

In general I've preferred his love songs rather than the 'political' songs, though of course the categories are by no means exclusive. But you should definitely give a listen to a new tune about the war on terror Israel style.

You can download "The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie" about the young woman from Olympia, Washington who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza. It borrows from Bob Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll", a song on The Times They Are A Changin' about a black barmaid who died after a wealthy Baltimore resident verbally abused and hit her with his cane because she didn't bring him his drink quickly enough.

Bragg's song was recorded in Ann Arbor and I don't know if it's jet lag, the whiff of a head cold, post-gig sore threat or just the vocal mellowness of age, but he sounds really gruff and deep, almost like Johnny Cash in the late 60s on those Talking Blues inherited from Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Somehow I can take the straight-on, super direct lyrics because of that weariness in Bragg's voice. The despair offsets the mannered though effective cynicism of the Bob Dylan original.

1 comment:

Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong said...

Come and check out my collection of Rachel Corrie jokes. http://whypalestiniansgetitwrong.blogspot.com/2006/04/rachel-corrie-jokes-come-and-get-em-i_01.html