I wasn’t going to suggest another song, really I wasn’t. For me to nominate a third track for the Uborka Mix CD would simply be far too cheeky, wouldn’t it? But it’s all Mike’s fault – his post about Magazine’s A Song From Under The Floorboards reminded me that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I failed to mention a particular punk/new wave classic.
And the best bit is that I’ve also remembered the original Uborka instruction about my chosen song representing my weblog. Because this one does. Sort of.
I’m sure that some of you have already been able to hazard a guess, because I’ve mentioned it many times before on my own site. But in case you’re still none the wiser … ladies and gentlemen, prepare to flex your righteous indignation against the evils of society by strumming that air guitar along with Eddie and the Hot Rods, as they launch into Do Anything You Wanna Do. It’s in the key of E, if you’re planning to play along in that true punk spirit of learning three chords and then forming a band; otherwise you can just listen to it and read the lyrics.
Don’t need no politician
Tell me things I ought to be
Neither no optician
Tell me what I ought to see
Yeah! That’s right! We’re not gonna take none of that shit from society anymore, d’you hear? We’re not gonna be pushed around, right? We’re damn well gonna rhyme ‘politician’ with ‘optician’ in a non-ironic way – cos we’re the Yoof Generation and we don’t care! And then … oh God, revolution is such hard work, isn’t it? … then we’re going to get out on the barricades and tell The Man what’s wrong with the world today! We’re gonna overthrow the government! Yeah! Except, um, we’re just going to have a nice cup of tea first …
And that’s the secret of this song. Yes, it’s a shaking-your-fists-against-the-world anthem, but rather than try and do anything proactive about it, the lyrics indulge in bland generalities such as asking “them” what they expect from you. (Be sure to ask “them” nicely, however, and politely agree to come back later if they’re busy.) The song also claims that “you got something to say”, but fails to specify what that something might be. Aw, bless their rebellious but confused little hearts.
Ultimately, then, this song illustrates my crusading zeal writ large: yes, of course I want to change the world for the better, and of course I want to escape from the everyday and reach for the stars (hello, S Club 7), but I shall do it through pouring many of my waking thoughts into an obfuscational weblog. That’ll show ’em, won’t it?
Gonna break out of this city
Leave the people here behind
Searching for adventure
Is the type of life to find
And the best solution to coping with society’s ills, according to Eddie and his extremely Hot Rods, is just to make a move, get out, leave. The way it’s phrased, however, glosses over the defeatism in a emptily poetic way that would make any politicial speech-writer proud. Which is good, because I’d hate to be thought of as defeatist. Perish the thought. Don’t be thinking that my frequent act of burying my head in the sand isn’t a powerful act of conscious rebellion. Because it is. Oh yes. I’m choosing to stick my head in the sand. That’ll show ’em (repeat to fade).
It’s also for this reason that I don’t think it’s entirely coincidental that Do Anything You Wanna Do must make an exceptional driving song. Roof down, wind in your hair, speeding along the motorway. Oh yes, let’s leave that dull, suburban, middle-class life behind, once and for all.
Except … this doesn’t work quite so well on the Central Line. Eddie and the Hot Rods plainly never had to “break out of this city” on public transport.
The revolution will not be televised. It may, however, be slightly diluted. And possibly postponed indefinitely.