“The Queen took a detour!” – HM in Pop, from Slowthai to Smiths to Blur | Pop & Rock

TonHis most famous song about Queen Elizabeth II is called god bless the queen, and the second most famous as well. The Sex Pistols decided to record and release their anti-monarchist tirade just in time for the Silver Jubilee, the most brilliant provocation of their career, with little but brilliant provocation. The band played the song under the original title No Future for several months, but manager Malcolm McLaren said it sounded “like a commercial for a bank”. Better, he thought, to hijack the national anthem, turn it upside down, and ride the jubilee. What a coup.

Another thing the Sex Pistols hits share with the national anthem is that it’s not about Elizabeth Alexandra Marie Windsor, but a national symbol of Great Britain. For John Lydon, the Queen was more than just a byword for the “fascist regime”, she was “not human” at all. The song quickly moves from ruler to aggrieved ruler, “Flowers in the Dumpster.” Britain in 1977 was so fraught with political, social and economic anxiety that, for many young people, a patriotic Jubilee celebration was a bitter farce of nostalgia and denial, like bunting at a bomb site.as Jon Savage England’s dream: “It’s the ultimate declaration of pop music’s perpetual existence, just as the masses celebrate the past.”

ballad singer Leon Rosellson is more verbose on her jubilee Elaborating on Savage’s point:

Because while the pound may tumble despite panic in the air
Cupboards are nearly empty despite the government’s likely collapse
While the stairs began to rattle, the mice began to stare
Everywhere she envelops her subjects in a mystical unity
We know we’re safe when the babysitter is there

Re-released for its platinum jubilee (as it was in 2002 and 2007’s festivities), God Save the Queen is guilty of the same nostalgia it critiques — a cheesy echo of a brilliant explosion. So successful in 1977 that rumors persist to this day, and to keep it off the top of the charts, the Pistols’ tirade appealed to anyone who hated Jubilee, and was a target for those who didn’t. The tabloids are crazy. Layden claimed he was knifed by a mob who cried: “We love our queen, you bastard!” Yet 38 years later, the singer claimed: “I never said I didn’t either. I Just don’t like the institution.” This abstract quality is present in almost every song about the Queen. She’s a red-white-blue blur that rarely swims into focus.

Jagged blows... a manic street preacher outside Buckingham Palace in 1991.
Jagged blows… a manic street preacher outside Buckingham Palace in 1991. Photo: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

The Queen came to the throne in 1952, the same year she launched the UK’s Top 40 chart, but she was never a pop fan.in her list 10 Favorite Songs Released to the media in 2021, the only numbers released during her administration are Gary Barlow and Cing by Gary Barlow and Cing by Sing by Gary Barlow featuring military wives , perhaps for reasons not entirely related to the quality of the music. She loved Golden Age Broadway musicals and, according to Lady Elizabeth Anson, was “an excellent dancer. She had a good rhythm”.

The first song about the queen was Young Tiger’s 1953 very real calypso I was there (at the coronation). Apparently, she looked “really divine.” But before the Sex Pistols, the monarch’s presence in pop was largely limited to peculiar cameos. Kinks’ David Watts’ mediocre narrator complains that he’s never met the Queen. The Beatles’ Penny Lane firefighter keeps her portrait in his pocket, but so do people who carry cash – as Paul Weller sings in Jam’s Down at midnight subway station: “I fumbled for change and then Take out the queen.”

Songs about meeting real people are hilarious, like Paul McCartney’s goofy love song “Her Majesty” (“a very pretty girl, but she doesn’t have much to say”) or U-Roy’s hilarious toke fantasy Holy Grail in the Palace: “I’m going down / licking my holy grail / dubbing my majesty.” In BB King’s Better Not Look Down, the party-weary queen seeks advice from a respectable blues guitarist: “Oh, BB, sometimes It’s hard to put things together/Can you tell me what you think I should do?”

Speaking of protests, the Sex Pistols’ all-out offense is still the Alpha and Omega of anti-monarchist rants. Only Manic Street Missionary Repeats Approaching its ferocity, jagged blows to “Stupid Banner Scum” and “Royal Khmer Rouge”; royalties for the exploited are too blunt to be taken seriously. The lyrics to Stone Roses’ Elizabeth My Dear may be outspoken, but they’re a ballad. In Smiths’ Nowhere Fast, Morrissey fantasized about nothing more treasonous than pulling down his pants in front of Her Majesty. Catatonia’s Storm the Palace is a comedic punk Republican manifesto: “Turn it into a bar / Let them work at Spar.”

Slowthai at Glastonbury in 2019.
“Britain is no big deal”… Slowthai, Glastonbury, 2019. Photo: Alicia Kanter/The Guardian

In Billy Bragg’s Take Down the Union Jack, the Queen is a throwback to the 19th century.She’s House Martin’s flag-day greedy parasite and cynical would-be dictator Crass’s Big A Little A. In the grime era, she resurfaced as a mockery of privilege and inequality in Dizzee Rascal’s 2 Far (“I Live on the Street and She Lives Tidy”) and Slowthai’s Nothing Great About British, but when Slowthai Aim for weapon-level curses There is little controversy about her in 2019. On the one hand, people like Prince Andrew have done so thoroughly to discredit the monarchy from within that external attacks now feel more like paintballs than grenades. The heretical power of the Sex Pistols cannot be replicated. On the other hand, Slowthai’s insults weren’t really directed at her personally. No protest songs.

The songwriter recognizes the Queen’s fundamental paradox: being the most recognizable woman in the world and completely unknown. She seems to have elevated herself to the demands of the agency. Rosellson sang “A glass cage around her, nothing in her eyes”. The lack of a deep understanding of real people creates room for imagination and dreams.

The Greatest Phantom Is The Queen Is Dead, Both Are Johnny Marr’s Favorites Morrissey Lyrics and a four-cornered masterpiece by the Smiths, each member is in full swing. The unfathomably strange and majestic song opens with a sample of the wartime ditty “Take Me Back to My Dear Old Sickness” from the 1962 film “The L-Shaped Room,” which is outdated in the circumstances . It was not just the monarch who died, “her head was hanged”, but the whole country, the “desolate swamp” and the smell of decay.

watch video Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead by Derek Jarman

At the same time, there’s a subversive gay slant, like the song’s title, from the novel “The Last Exit to Brooklyn,” as well as extensive concert hall humor. As Michael Fagan infamously did in 1982, Morrissey broke into Buckingham Palace. “I know you and you can’t sing,” the Queen said bitterly. “That’s fine,” he replied. “You should listen to me play the piano.”

All aspects of the young Morrissey coexist here, linked only by the dreamy logic, the urgency of the band’s rampage, and the silver thread of feedback. This is England, full of grief and absurdity and the contempt of the weak; suffocating privilege and hypocrisy, but also wit and romance.Morrissey, without exception, described the royal family as “very boring, unexplainable and unforgivable” but queen Is Dead is the exact opposite.

It’s a peculiar irony that the Smiths’ song has as long a shadow as the Sex Pistols’ song, that the singers of both bands have turned into nostalgic reactionaries.You can find traces of Morrissey’s dark whimsy in “This Is a Low, Blur” dirge written for Britain in the form of absurd shipping predictions: “Queen, she has rounded the bend/jumped from the end of the land Come down.” It’s there too, in Dirty Pretty Things Tired of England, where she “sits on the throne of her bingo cards and chicken bones”, in Libertines American Radio, found her crying and watching old movies while drinking afternoon tea at the palace. She has a shadowy life in the song, as a tragicomic symbol of loss and national decline — more of a victim than a perpetrator.

In 1981, Steve Ignorant of Crass.
“Quasi-dictatorship”…Steve Ignorant of Crass, 1981. Photo: Steve Laporte/Getty Images

Pet Shop Boy’s Queen’s Dream Stands out as an unusually nuanced and moving portrayal. “I read that one of the most common dreams people have is that the Queen comes to their home,” explains Neil Tennant. “Sometimes it’s an anxious dream, and sometimes it’s a beautiful dream.” (The poorly drawn boy dreams of marrying her You are right, but that didn’t stop him from flirting with their next-door neighbor, Madonna. ) In this scene, Tennant weaves reflections on the AIDS crisis and the breakdown of Princess Diana’s marriage. This subliminal queen is a source of empathy (“The queen says I’m terrified/Love doesn’t seem to last”) and awkward comedy (“Because I’m naked/The old queen disapproves”). The ultimate authority figure is also a matriarch grieving the death of love. The tenderness from a pair of self-proclaimed Republicans is surprising.

It’s likely to be the Queen’s final jubilee, which brings a bittersweet farewell to the extravaganza. You might argue that Britain in 2022 is just as grumpy, aimless and dirty as 1977, if not more, but less interested in a sick 96-year-old widow complaining. Her goals are too weak and her strength too drained for anyone frustrated with the state of the country. The mood is even lower than that of God Bless the Queen.

What about Charles? Only the Smiths have acknowledged his existence, and it’s not been kind: “Didn’t you long for / Appear in front of the Daily Mail / Wear your mother’s bridal veil?” Seven years later, we know him all too well. There is melancholy there, but no mystery. You suspect few people would dream of a king, and even fewer would consider him worthy of a ferocious profile or surreal reverie. How could he possibly inspire the imagination as much as the woman who is everywhere and nowhere in the eyes of the songwriter?