Joe Hendren

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Red Radio, not that revolutionary

Yesterday, while wandering through the Warehouse, I listened to the music they blasted through the stereo in the red barn of imports. They probably play music because such shops have found music keeps people buying.

It was then announced that I was listening to 'Red Radio'.

I was a bit puzzled.

There may be a red flag flying here, but Red Radio definitely seemed to be missing something. Where was the rousing chorus 'Solidarity Forever' or 'Union Maid'? While these songs have an important history, they are probably due for an update - a punk/metal backing or a phat hip hop beat - now that would be intriguing. Would a greater consciousness of unions in the warehouse lead to better pay and conditions for warehouse workers?

Its possible they might play the Manic Street Preachers' later MOR sounding material like 'If you tolerate this' - though I doubt many shoppers would have the slightest idea what the song was about (the Spanish Civil War).

Any other requests?

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At 10:45 am, Blogger Rich said...

The people I work with sometimes inflict Radio Hauraki on the office. Quite a few of the "rock hits from the 40's 50's and 60's" that they play are in fact protest songs - a lot of the things they are protesting about are somewhat historical (How many people, these days, know that Khe Sanh was a battle in the Vietnam war?)

The oldest political song I know of is World Turned Upside Down - which refers to the Diggers movement during the English Civil War. The most obscure is Being Boiled by the Human Leage (and more recently Dick Majik Johnson) which protests about silkworm farming.

At 5:19 pm, Blogger Joe Hendren said...

thanks for that Rich,

yes you are right that a large number of songs from that era being protest songs - in fact this explains a lot about by musical tastes!

I think its a real shame when the meaning of such songs is lost as the history is forgotten -

its a similar phenonmen to Che being reduced to a face to sell T-shirts instead of the face of the cuban revolution that dared to spit in the face of uncle sam.

At 9:09 pm, Blogger Ghet said...

The Internationale? I'm sure a diet of constant Billy Bragg would have a huge effect on their custom.

At 10:06 am, Blogger Rich said...

I wish one of our Auckland supermarkets would bring in a "cool music night" and turn off the MOR musak and play some good stuff. Just one night a week?


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