Video: The Recession Sessions #1: Bright Sparks

A specially commissioned protest song by Doctor Millar

The Irish Times features the first of a series of online ‘musical columns’. Temper-Mental MissElayneous, Doctor Millar and other songwriters will sing about Ireland and its crises, to rekindle the social fire at the heart of music.


Our first protest song is ‘Bright Sparks’, about bankers, by Doctor Millar.

The doctor, aka Seán Millar, is a lyricist and songwriter whose work is regularly included in lists of the best Irish albums. Since starting out with a band called The Cute Hoors, he has released five solo records and composed music for theatre, as well as presenting ‘The Hot Press Hot Spot’ each week on East Coast FM. Millar is also a passionate supporter of community art.

‘Bright Sparks’ is inspired by the Anglo Irish Bank tapes. “The Anglo tapes were no real surprise to me,” Millar says. “The guys all talked pretty much exactly the way I expected them to. What shocks me is how prominent a position in our society they were afforded. How powerful and listened to they were. How impressed by the outward signs of wealth we are. Our wealth.

“I know a lot of very bright people who do unbelievable work: scientists, community workers, activists . . . You could pretty much pay them all for what one of these guys gets a year.”



Bright Sparks

Are you the kind of guy,
Who will happily accept,
A million quid a year,
To sit behind a desk,
And send us all to hell,
In a broken ass-and –cart,
And never bat an eye,
I said are you that kind of guy?

You pay peanuts you get monkeys,
But you pay blood you get sharks,
You're beautiful to watch
All you bright sparks.

Borderline psychopaths,
With half decent grades,
Delusional and desperate for success,
Who've learned to think like money,
And wear the right clothes,
That's what we need,
A few more of those

Men and women,
Without compassion or shame,
Who see themselves as players,
And us as the game,
And we're lucky to get them,
For a million quid a year,
Cos they're exactly what we need,
Running things around here.

You pay peanuts you get monkeys,
But you pay blood you get sharks,
And they had us at hello!
The bright sparks

There’s a dark tide risin',
Of violence and despair,
You can feel it on the streets,
You can taste it in the air,
And they’re building an ark,
They want to man it with a crew,
To beat off the locals,
Maybe even kill a few!
To put the fear of god in us,
So we won’t raise our eyes,
And see them loading up our boat,
With our meagre supplies

You pay peanuts you get monkeys,
But you pay blood you get sharks,
And it’s us or it's them now,
The bright sparks.

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