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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 16, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    Best Political Song [2]

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    We had a good exchange on this blog on the question: What is the best political song ever? I nominated Marvin Gaye’s Abraham, Martin and John but there were plenty of other suggestions. Read all about it by clicking here.

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    One that was  unaccountably left out by all of us was, of course, La Marseillaise, not just the French national anthem but a clarion-call for liberty everywhere. And who could forget the moving and inspiring scene in the classic film Casablanca?

     Come to think of it, you could argue that Casablanca is the best political film ever.

    • barbera says:

      Don’t forget France initiated the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. I dunno, it’s just too cosy (from a Second World War historical perspective) to place Germany in the role of oppressor and practically everyone in the role of oppressed. The tune, which the Germans are singing in this clip from Casablanca is entitled Die Wacht am Rhein (The Watch on the Rhine) and had great historical significance for the Germans vis a vis their historical conflicts with France. At any rate, always one for the underdog, I am just loving Greece at the moment and all things Zorba. As I said before elsewhere (can’t remember which blog) the music of Mikis Theodorakis, generally, but particularly in film Zorba the Greek (1964), Dir. Michael Cacoyannis, would make the stones cry out. I hope Greece can Zorba-dance their way out of this current crisis! S’agapo Greece!! Since YouTube clamped down on stuff, I can’t get a good link but try this

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      BLIMEY! Maybe this blog should be renamed ‘Politics the Musical’, get an agent, go on tour, hire a director…rep, West End or Dub equivalent BROADWAY…..

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      ‘Common People’…Jarvis Cocker

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      In poor taste Deaglan, given the outcome of the match on Saturday…Not rubbing it in for playing Garrison Games surely! No place for Politics in Sport now is there?

    • barbera says:

      Yes, and for some reason it really, really irks me the way Bogart & Bergman speak to Sam (Dooley Wilson) in that movie (Casablanca). Do what you’re told Sam — Play it, Sam — thought I told you never to play that again Sam! Sheeeez! How can Deaglán talk about liberty in the same sentence as CasaBLANCA! I’m surprised they had black keys on the piano. Actually drove from Dublin to Casablanca and back with a couple of friends in the 70′s. Everywhere else was great but Casablanca (for me) was categorically the most boring place in the world.

    • robespierre says:

      You could argue that but even though Casablanca is my favourite film and I have seen it at least 20 times it is about love lost against the backdrop of war and politics. Casablanca is put forward as (almost) the only place where there are no obvious politics as Vichy holds rein and the people wait and wait and wait…

      Citizen Kane
      is a more political contemporaneous film.

    • Deaglán says:

      I like your comments a lot, Barbera but please don’t tell me political correctness has got to Casablanca!?

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      As if on cue, a letter in today’s IT on the Anthem anathema…topical Moi?

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      Seems my comments on the National Anathema were a bit too radical for the lads with the funny shaped balls,so far so nothing unusual.
      So I’ll post them here on the ‘Politics the Film/Musical’ site…given that the Marseillaise is the lead comment…
      A letter is printed in today’s IT with which I entirely concur.
      I could not believe my chluasa/oreilles when I heard the ‘Irish’ team sing that feckin’ ‘Irelands Call’ instead of the NATIONAL Anthem!
      Unlike the French, whose rendition of the Marseillaise resounded around the Stade de France, adding the ’16th man’ to the squad, the puny whimpering of the IRISH team could hardly be heard above the Gallic buzz in the Stadium.
      In the words of Francois Pienaar if they (ie the NIrish liggers) don’t want to sing the Anthem then they can ‘F*ck Off’. Either that or form their own NInternational Squad and sing whatever they like. Like wise if they don’t consider themselves Irish then why don’t they put themselves up for selection for the England or better still their cherished fatherland, Scotland, or don’t the Brits want them? No surprise there then!
      When they were so soundly beaten by the French I couldn’t have cared less other than to give a Gallic shrug. So can the IRISH RFU get this SORTED?
      Now I’ve always wondered if I had a bit of French in me…

    • barbera says:

      Afraid so, Deaglán, it’s everywhere now. Can’t comment on anything these days except that you’re looking through pc-tinted specs. Redact is the word — redact, redact, redact and reinvent — history ain’t what it used to be; is what you want it to have been.
      Don’t think I’m wearing those pc shades though and if we’re talking Bogart, well here’s a little bit of rubbish counterculture political singing in a movie!
      (Actually I’m covered in ashes today, given the Wednesday that’s in it and hope to do lots of penance for the next 39 days!)

    • JerryF says:

      I would nominate “A Nation Once Again.”

    • barbera says:

      “Big Yellow Taxi” (1970), Joni Mitchell –environmental statements therein – “Paved paradise to put up a parking lot” — “Hey, farmer, put away that DDT now”.

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      @9 already been there Jerry, Declan thought it might offend the Prods…speaking of which didn’t you receive my post on the Rugger or are you closing ranks with the funny shaped Ball brigade? Anything worth seeing at the Matinees?

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      Bogart… another iconic figure that would come into the ugly/sexy category…Covered in ashes sounds attractive Barb.ie AND 39 days (phew! I thought I had to give up my favourite Red for six weeks) of penance and masticating (the toes of the statues smutty!) you must be in your element Alana… returning to Political ( OK as long as their not too Political eh Dec?) songs my own personal mantra ‘Rebel Rebel’ (Bowie) or ‘This is Not A Rebel Song’ (Sinead)…

    • Blimey O'Riley says:

      No! not that one I think there was one with l little more bite…

    • barbera says:

      Here’s La belle Joni in action
      Politics … plus c’est la même chose

    • Fred Boenig says:

      Here is a site with a free “Music for Social Change Sampler” with some great songs


    • Paul says:

      Your comment…the march of the women the suffragettes anthem often called shoulder to shoulder

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