Friday, July 10, 2015


Sorry, but I find myself some way distant from all-out celebration.

Same-sex marriage, please don't get me wrong, I am all for the equality of opportunity so arising, and the equivalence of status, in law, if not the sanctity of the religious ceremony, for those who seek it, but. There remains a but, primarily a fear, the fear, that the bigots and the blind will use this as ever more rationale to champion their bluster, to bludgeon and bash, to blame the gay for queering their pitch. So the songs I propose remain those of the oppressed. And I hope to a pink garbed God that I am wrong. And that she will forgive me.

My love for erstwhile agit-p(r)op anarcho-punks Chumbawamba is no secret, their support for societal underdogs high on their many and varied agendas. This song, from 1994's 'Anarchy' spells it out starkly, in the style and format of an old English folk song. OK, so the scene described is arguably less common an occurrence these days, the weapons being now much more subtle and refined. But still vital listening, and it still makes me weep. Here's a different arrangement, with the powerful video made by the band:

Perhaps it is no surprise, but, here in the U.K., where same-sex marriage has been mostly* legal for shortly over a year, this has lead to similar "reminders", or rose-tinted warnings from the past, the most direct being the film 'Pride', commemorating the role of Mark Ashton, who formed the LGSM: Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, during the bitterly divisive class warfare of the Miners Strike of 1984/5. (The same Mark Ashton to later die of A.I.D.S., commemorated here by his friend Jimmy Somerville of the Communards.) It's a good film, go see it.

(My asterisk* above denotes that the province of Northern Island, hotbed still of a fermented and fermenting religious hypocrisy, has differed from Scotland and from England & Wales by still disallowing the ceremony, allowing only civil partnerships, and with no plans to change.)

The lyrics of Rod Stewart's 1976 hit, 'The Killing of Georgie' might seem a little clunky nearly 40 years on. But, even with all our modern and civilised ways, especially with all our modern and civilised ways, I wonder. I guess it's up to us. And our children.

Buy Chumbawamba version 1 and version 2
Buy Communards
Buy Rod Stewart
And buy Pride, the film.

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