Music

Don’t make sense, not to keep on pushin’

John Harris isn’t impressed with Labour’s adoption of U2’s Beautiful Day as their campaign song.

I’m not sure it was a wise choice either.

What is the central message? Don’t let the Tories back isn’t it?

Well I know that Michael Moore has already tainted The Who’s We Won’t Get Fooled Again. And that the line ‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ has been wearily churned out by the non-Labour left to compare Blair with Thatcher. But why not reclaim it? There are plenty of lines that work:

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the foe, that’s all

…..I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

If Oasis were still on message then what better anthem for a mildly moderately reformist government than Little By Little? If Labour were interested in trying to win the argument over Iraq it would even work on that level:

We the people fight for our existence
We don’t claim to be perfect but we’re free
We dream our dreams alone with no resistance
Faded like the stars we wish to be

But these songs are all about aspiration and feel-good factor. So what about simply trying to offer a series of attractive proposals to the public?

Everybody needs love and adventure
Everybody needs cash to spend
Everybody needs love and affection
Everybody needs two or three friends

These are the things
These are the things
The things that dreams are made of

New York, ice cream, TV, travel, good times
Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, good times

How could you not vote for that?

But when it comes to aspirational political songs the master, for me, is Curtis Mayfield. Move on Up would probably work best as a lively tune on the battle bus:

Just move on up
and keep on wishing
Remember your dreams
are your only schemes
So keep on pushing
Take nothing less –
not even second best
And do not obey –
you must have your say
You can past the test

But lyrically is there a better song for backing the idea of sticking with the Labour Party than the Mayfield and the Impressions number Keep on Pushing? (There are even a few bits for the Christian Socialists):

I’ve got to keep on pushing (mmm-hmm)
I can’t stop now
Move up a little higher
Some way, somehow

‘Cause I’ve got my strength
And it don’t make sense
Not to keep on pushin’

Chorus:
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Keep on pushin’

Verse 2:

Now maybe some day
I’ll reach that higher goal
I know that I can make it
With just a little bit of soul
‘Cause I’ve got my strength
And it don’t make sense
Not to keep on pushin’

Verse 3:
Now look-a look (look-a look)
A-look-a yonder
What’s that I see
A great big stone wall
Stands there ahead of me
But I’ve got my pride
And I’ll move on aside
And keep on pushin’

Feel free to make your own suggestions:

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