Music Rules: Because enlightenment no longer does


As a way to vent my frustration at the US debacle…I mean, election, here are five Canadian political songs from the past for your commiseration, since we can’t say enjoyment.  Lyrics (with selected highlights) and links to youtube videos can be found under the fold.

Rush, “Beneath, Between And Behind” (1975)

Rough Trade, “What’s the Furor About the Fuhrer?” (1981)

Bruce Cockburn, “The Trouble With Normal” (1983)

Bruce Cockburn, “Call It Democracy” (1983)

Red Rider, “Lunatic Fringe” (1981)

No, posting Cockburn’s lyrics doesn’t violate of my “no profanities” rule.  I’m quoting him, not saying it myself.

Rush, “Beneath, Between And Behind”

Ten score years ago
Defeat the kingly foe
A wond’rous dream came into being
Tame the trackless waste
No virgin land left chaste
All shining eyes but never seeing

Beneath the noble bird
Between the proudest words
Behind the beauty, cracks appear
Once with heads held high
They sang out to the sky
Why do their shadows bow in fear?

Watch the cities rise
Another ship arrives
Earth’s melting pot, and ever growing
Fantastic dreams come true
Inventing something new
The greatest minds, but never knowing

Chorus:

The guns replace the plough
Façades are tarnished now
The principles have been betrayed
The dream’s gone stale
But still let hope prevail
That history’s debt won’t be repaid

Chorus:

 


Rough Trade, “What’s the Furor About the Fuhrer?”

It’s the dawn of a brave new world
Another empire is rising from the ashes
The cult of the illiterate
Walking, talking automatons
Hitler’s legacy is ours
We’re under corporate control
And the worst atrocities don’t faze us at all

What’s the furor about the Führer?
We’re just sinking right back into it
Everyone of us is a neo-Nazi
Living in a so-called democracy

A new master race goosesteps into our hearts
Society is like Berlin before the fall

White Baptists, screaming fascists
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blood and glory, same old story
Government by total oppression
Hitler’s legacy is ours
We’re under corporate control
And the worst atrocities don’t faze us at all

What’s the furor about the Führer?
Airwaves thick with propaganda
Terrorists, the new SS
We’re in the midst of a recession

A new master race goosesteps into our hearts
Society is like Berlin before the fall

— (interlude) —

What’s the furor about the Führer?
We’re just sinking right back into it
Everyone of us is a neo-Nazi
Living in a so-called democracy

A new master race goosesteps into our hearts
Society is like Berlin before the fall

What is this furor about the Führer?


Bruce Cockburn, “The Trouble With Normal”

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs, “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese
Play pinball with the third world trying to keep it on its knees
Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
And the local third world’s kept on reservations you don’t see
“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
When the ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
Tenants get the dregs and the landlords get the cream
As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

 


Bruce Cockburn, “Call It Democracy”

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North south east west
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

I-M-F, dirty M-F
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

I-M-F dirty M-F
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

 


Red Rider, “Lunatic Fringe”

Lunatic Fringe
I know you’re out there
You’re in hiding
And you hold your meetings
I can hear you coming
I know what your after
We’re wise to you this time
We won’t let you kill the laughter

Lunatic fringe
In the twilight’s last gleaming
This is open season
But you won’t get too far
Cause you gotta blame someone
For your own confusion
We’re on guard this time
Against your final solution

We can hear you coming
No, you’re not gonna win this time
We can hear the footsteps
Way out along the walkway
Lunatic fringe
We all know you’re out there
Can you feel the resistance
Can you feel the thunder

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