Billy Bragg – Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards
It’s May 1st, International Workers’ Day. I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a Billy Bragg song. Not his version of the Internationale, though I thought about it, but this song always brings a smile to my face even while it entices you to be active with the activists.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Billy Bragg but each time I’ve seen him perform this song he changes some of the lyrics to put it in context with events that are relevant to the current time. I looked at a bunch of live clips on YouTube but I’ll leave it to you to look some up if you’re interested. They’re like little historical snapshots. For myself, I’ll always remember the time he sang, “In a perfect world we’d all sing in tune but as we’re all Smiths fans give us some room!” That was the same show where he covered Deee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” with help from the opening band, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, on the pretext of proving that Billy Bragg fans could dance.
I love the rousing end of this song. I don’t know how you can not feel fired up. When I start feeling pretty discouraged about the state of the world, and lately that’s really easy to do, I need to remember to play this song. One of the live clips I watched was from the City Winery in Chicago about a year ago and I really love how he talked about fighting cynicism, more than anything else. I’m pretty jaded but he’s right.
“So join the struggle while you may, the revolution is just a t-shirt away!”
A little t-shirt #tbt with your musical interlude.
I love, love, LOVE Billy Bragg! I first saw him at a Tower Records record signing that he and Michelle Shocked did back in the 80s where they did a little acoustic set. It was marvelous.
Would love to go see him again. It’s been ages. “You woke up my neighborhood…night after night we would row…”
He’s definitely one of my favorites. He writes a “love” song like no one else (in quotes because it’s almost always one-sided) and is always out there fighting the good fight.
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