2011: 15 of the Best. #13…

November 30, 2011

13. Billy Bragg – Never Buy the Sun

From: Fight Songs: Polemical Tunes in an Age of Indifference
Released: October 18, 2011
Label: Billy Bragg
Buy it: Here.

Ol’ Big Nose actually released this is as a free download off his website on July 14, in the thick of the investigation and outrage at Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. This, of course, was after News of the World employees had been found to be tapping into personal voicemails and giving false hope to a missing girl’s parents that she was still alive as her voicemail message box had gone from full to empty. It was a special kind of mess in a year of pretty messy scandals, and although Bragg has been more prone lately to muse on political themes as opposed to unrequited love (a collection of free downloads from the past decade made up the Fight Songs LP), this one hit home beautifully. I’d put it down to the organ, but the melody is gorgeous and in case you need a quick education: “Scousers never buy the Sun” is a reference to supporters of Liverpool Football Club who have refused to buy the British tabloid since the wake of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. At that game, 96 Liverpool fans were killed in a stampede when more people flooded into the stadium than seating could hold. In the days following the tragedy, the Sun (also part of Murdoch’s empire) falsely reported that Liverpool fans sodomized and robbed the dead bodies of their fallen comrades. Pretty ugly, but while the rest of the world finally caught up with more widescale disgust in 2011, Bragg pointed out that Liverpool fans have had it right for 22 years.

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