“ Theirs is a land of hope and glory Mine is the green field and the factory floor Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers And mine is the peace we knew between the wars “
Billy Bragg again my friends and even more apt than ever before as recently and finally I’ve actually got a job, and its working on production line in a factory, here in Essex. After all the stress of disappearing finances, money will soon start going into my bank account, instead of continuously hemorrhaging out of it.
My life really does echo that line if you factor in my love of green open spaces too “Mine is the green field and the factory floor “….although green field walks might be a little scarce for a little while, as weekends are taken up and any other spare time is premium. Having said that though, I have managed to cover a fair bit of countryside around Chelmsford over the past three years, from The Rodings to The Chignals, through the Chelmer Valley as far as Ulting.
I’m afraid some other of Billy Braggs lyrics are coming back to haunt us too in fact the rest of the verse is ringing more true as ever, as David Cameron and Barack Obama start shouting about “Hope and Glory” as the start sending “Bombers” to Syria to fight ISIL, leaving us to remember “the peace we knew between the wars.
I’m not going to go off on one about the politics of the situation or even recall any of the atrocities that have occurred, all I will say is that going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan never really solved anything it only ended up leaving us in the position we are now in Syria, fighting people with axes to grind wanting revenge over things that happened in those previous conflicts.
Back to Billy born Stephen William Bragg on 20 December 1957, Billy Bragg is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, and his lyrics mostly deal with political or romantic themes. He has been called the “Bard of Barking”. He became a critic’s darling and a champion of populist activism in the mid-1980s as he fused the personal and the political in songs of love and conscience.
His debut album, Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. Spy, brought critical acclaim, reached the British Top 30, and yielded the hit “A New England” in 1984. A committed socialist, Bragg played a number of benefit performances during the British miners’ strike of 1984–85. (He later helped form Red Wedge, an organization and tour that supported the Labour Party.)
Adding to the spare instrumentation of his first albums, Bragg began releasing increasingly polished work, including Talking with the Taxman About Poetry (1986), featuring the Motown-inspired “Levi Stubbs’ Tears,” and Workers Playtime (1988). After the more dogmatic The Internationale (1990), his songwriting resumed its characteristic blend of simple, poetic lyrics and evocative melodies, conveyed by Bragg’s limited but emotive Cockney-inflected voice, on Don’t Try This at Home (1991) and William Bloke (1996). More popular in Britain (where he reached number one with a cover version of the Beatles’ “She’s Leaving Home” in 1988) than in the United States, Bragg nevertheless collaborated with American alternative-rock band Wilco on Mermaid Avenue (1998), an album built on lyrics by folk music legend Woody Guthrie; Mermaid Avenue Vol. II was released in 2000.
Other albums followed as Bragg carved out his own following with regular tours across the world. As British cultural and political life both devolved to the United Kingdom’s component nations and became increasingly multicultural, Bragg became interested in the notion of English identity, one of the subjects at the centre of his book The Progressive Patriot: A Search for Belonging (2006). In 2011 he released Fight Songs, a compilation of political songs that he had posted to his Web site as free downloads over roughly the previous 10 years.
With British and Europe experiencing difficult times especially during the “World Financiers” austerity led clampdown Billy Bragg remains just as popular as he was back in the John Peel inspired indie craze of the early to mid-1980’s.