Barbara and I saw The Proclaimers at the Aladdin Theater (acknowledged on its own site as the former “number one exhibitor of the X-rated classic” Deep Throat) last night. Their songs tend to cluster around three topics, not necessarily in this order: Scottish nationalism and anti-royalism, love, and Christianity. They often have a good dose of humor in them, which sets them apart from the usual religiously-influenced “rock” group. For those of you only familiar with their early-’80s anthem “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, check out “Lady Luck”, “The Light”, and “What Makes You Cry?” It’s a complicated relationship, but they sing great harmonies. Still, Barbara and I were a little overwhelmed by the crowd of handwaving fans at the show, who seemed to range in age from teenagers to septuagenarians. A bit different experience than the last time when we saw them downtown at Dante’s, and a guy about ten years younger than either of us tried to pick a fight with Barbara.
One of the songs off their most recent album — Life With You — definitely caught my ear. Here’s a bit of an interview they did with the Sunday Herald:
Let’s talk about S.O.R.R.Y
Craig: That song is about the number of armchair warriors, the press especially, who were very keen to get us into Afghanistan and, more recently, Iraq. The whole thing has gone tits up and is quite obviously a disaster and the people who put the troops in there will be very harshly judged by history. A lot of people have said yes, I supported it for this reason. But now I don’t but there are quite a few clinging to the idea that this was a good idea. And I think they can’t say that little word the greatest issue since the second world war, and they were on the wrong side.
When Tony Blair was challenged about it, he said he was answerable to God
Charlie: That will wash in the United States but it won’t wash here.
Craig: I can’t think of any British prime minister who would have dared bring God into it. People don’t like that. Right-wingers have always avoided using it because they understand it’s not a good thing to mix your own spiritual beliefs with the actual governance of a country.
Your prose is elegant
As you demonstrate contempt — it’s true
And the targets you attack
Mostly deserve a whack from you
Yes you’re entertaining
You fill up the page
Fill it up with your rage
But now there’s a doubt
Over the wisdom you hand out — in spades
Please tell us which you think
Is the country we should next help invade
What a bloody carnage
You cheered us into
And the others like you
Who never wore a uniform
Unless it was a uniform
Of a school or youth organisation
But for whom watching others do
What they would never do
Holds a sad fascination
And now I’m reminded
By feelings so strong
Of Bernie Taupin’s lyric
To Sir Elton’s song
Can you say the hardest word?
You demand apologies
From public figures on their knees
As you invite them to say “So long”
So let’s hear your rendition
Of words of contrition
For getting it so wrong
Would you like to say something?
Would you like to say “sorry”?
©2007 by The Proclaimers.