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”?

Sorry, Sorry

That’s S.O.R.R.Y.

©2007 by The Proclaimers.