From the monthly archives:

January 2013

#617: 1994, Youssou N’Dour with Nenah Cherry, 7 Seconds

January 31, 2013

Our International Week of songs started in West Africa.  After tracks from Brazil, Cuba, Slovenia, Japan and Germany we return there, to Senegal.  To the country’s current Minister of Tourism and Culture, in fact, and the only pick of the week to have worried the UK charts (this got to number 3).  It was also […]

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Ray North’s Six Nations Preview

January 31, 2013

So, how do you win the Six Nations? As a Welshman who has witnessed three grand slams since 2005, I feel fairly well qualified to answer this question: and in my rarely humble opinion it’s this: First, you need a decent front five who will not lose scrums and will win you possession from the […]

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More Education Hypocrisy From Clegg

January 31, 2013
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Is this the best argument in favour of Scottish Independence?

January 30, 2013

By Guest Blogger Charlie East-West Kevin McKenna is from a staunch Scottish Labour family with no previous hint of Scottish nationalism. He has previously been a strong advocaste of Union. But his recent Observer article on the merits of Scottish Independence has surprised the political classes in Scotland. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/20/scottish-independence-becoming-only-option As a lifelong supporter of the […]

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Boundary Changes: The End of the Tory-Mander

January 30, 2013

There was a lot of huffing and puffing from the Tory benches last night as the boundary changes finally went down to defeat by 334 votes to 292.  The only regret I have in respect of this is all of the enormously hard work put in by Jackie South of this blog in analysing the […]

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Top of the Pops 1960s Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Chart

January 30, 2013

As a result of the blog being broken for much of this month, this post is somewhat late, but in the early hours of New Year’s Day, with the posting by Jackie South of Ella Fitzgerald’s topical, What Are You Doing On New Year’s Eve? Songs To Learn and Sing reached its 100th song to […]

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Israeli Elections – So Close To Something Positive…

January 30, 2013

Last week’s voting in Israel to elect the nineteenth Knesset is likely to go down in history a missed opportunity for a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but were a lot closer to something positive than many dared hope.  Negotiations to form a new government continue, but the most likely outcome appears to be […]

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#616: 1981, Kraftwerk, Computer Love

January 29, 2013

Ah, International Song Week – a winner in every way in my book! And as I considered my turn, I had to remind myself of the countries that had yet to appear on our wonderful blog – to my astonishment, no Germany! Actually, I wasn’t astonished at all, let’s face it Germany has a crap […]

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Week 4: Prat – Joint Award for Eden Hazard and Charlie Morgan (ballboy!)

January 29, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to 2 people, who together managed to conjure up an incident of Prattishness, that many will struggle to emulate – it’s Chelsea impetuous Eden Hazard and Swansea’s Ballman Charlie Morgan. You’ll notice that this award is posted a couple of days later than it should have – […]

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Week 4: Villain – George Osborne

January 28, 2013

This week, our panel unanimously decided that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the greatest villain of the last seven days Our worst fears have been realised last week: the economic figures for December show a contraction of the UK economy, an indication that we may be in a triple-dip recession (or more perhaps properly, […]

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Week 4: Hero – Barack Obama

January 27, 2013

For his unashamedly progressive second inaugural speech, President Barack Obama is our Hero of the Week I supported Hillary Clinton as Democratic Party candidate for the Presidency in 2008.   My reasons for doing so was that for all of the impressive change-oriented speech-making of Barack Obama, there appeared, to me, to be a very real […]

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#615: 1997, Shonen Knife, It’s A New Find

January 26, 2013

Day 5 of International Week and about time we broke the duck so far on Songs To Learn and Sing in artists from the Far East.    Our only previous trip to the largest of all of the continents, Asia, only took us as far  as India. Japan’s Shonen Knife first came across my radar through […]

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The Coalition’s Economic Apocalypse

January 26, 2013

Alas, being the father of three little kids I don’t get the pictures (as I will always call them) as often as I’d like – I can tell you anything about Toy Story, Shrek or Ice Age bloody 2,3 and 4, but I think I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen Skyfall. […]

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#614: 1987, Laibach, Life Is Life

January 26, 2013

After songs from Mali, Brazil and Cuba, the fourth song of our International Week comes from (what is now) Slovenia, from liberal art-school leftie industrial-noise dissidents Laibach. Laibach was the old German name for the Slovene capital, Ljubljana, and much of the band’s output then was to mock the post-Tito Yugoslav state as one that […]

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Triple Dip Recession Ahoy!

January 25, 2013

Last night the Bullingdon Boys had a reunion in a pizza joint in Davos. There was, according to an eye witness, much gaffawing amongst a dining party consisting of David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson. This apparently joyous night out led to speculation amongst many yesterday night that the Q4 2012 GDP figures must […]

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#613: 1997, Buena Vista Social Club, Candela

January 24, 2013

I’m really liking international song week – already George has managed to unearth one of the greatest hats ever worn by a guitarist, whilst Jackie has taken us to Mali, which is without doubt, home of some wonderful music – which should NEVER NEVER be suppressed by religious lunacy. I digress. Interestingly one man links […]

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Now Even The Tories Don’t Believe Cameron And Clegg On The Economy!

January 24, 2013

David Cameron likes to boast that the coalition’s economic programme is going swimmingly. Nick Clegg likes to make the same boast. The ‘defecit’ they tell us is being reduced at a fantastic rate, which means that everything is going to turn out well after all – hurray and hazzare! Only problem is that it is […]

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#612: 1968, Os Mutantes, Panis Et Circenses

January 23, 2013

As Jackie South observed in the opening song of International Week, until his post of the great Ali Farka Toure’s Diaraby, there had not been a single song from Africa posted on Songs To Learn and Sing.    And until my post today, there equally had not been any songs from South America.  Two whole continents […]

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Six Thoughts On David Cameron’s Europe Speech

January 23, 2013

After, a farcical build up, which saw the date of the speech changed on at least 3 occasions and an interview with the Prime Minister on the Today programme about a speech that had not yet been made, this morning David Cameron finally delivered his speech on Britain’s relationship with the European Union. As predicted […]

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Prince Harry: Another Classless Royal

January 23, 2013

And I don’t mean devoid of the incumbrance of class in a Marxist sense either: I mean devoid of grace, sensitivity, intelligence, judgement. In short, I mean that Prince Harry has, this week, shown himself to be a total knobhead. I didn’t have a particular problem with his naked pictures – I mean, after all, […]

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#611: 1994, Ali Farka Toure, Diaraby

January 21, 2013

After our enforced absence, a return to our regular Songs to Learn and Sing feature with the start of a new theme week. When I put together our atlas of songs chosen so far, it was clear that there were vast parts of the globe that had yet to feature. Unsurprisingly, it was largely anglophone […]

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Week 3: Villain – Mokhtar Belmokhtar

January 21, 2013

This week, our panel has awarded its villain award to Algerian terrorist leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar. This week, our panel was split on who should win our award.  In the end, our other nominee, Lance Armstrong, won our prat award instead.  Rightly so – despite the deeply unpleasant behaviour of the cyclist, no-one has died as […]

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Barack Obama the Progressive: The Second Inaugural

January 21, 2013

‘We the people declare today that most evident of truth that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall’ I am writing this having just watched Barack Obama’s inauguration.  I haven’t yet fully digested the contents […]

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Week 3: Prat – Lance Armstrong

January 21, 2013

This Week’s Prat of the Week is disgraced cyclist, Lance Armstrong for his partial apology on Oprah Winfrey show. In many ways Lance Armstrong is the epitome of the sporting villain.  Not only is it clear now that he cheated his way to 7 Tour de France titles while acting as a distributor of drugs […]

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#610: 2013, David Bowie, Where Are We Now?

January 21, 2013

This is a post by Ray North which was originally posted on 10 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. I couldn’t resist picking this new […]

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Piers Morgan Gets The Gun Debate Right

January 21, 2013

This is a post by Guest Blogger, Charlie East-West which was originally posted on 10 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. By Guest Blogger, Charlie […]

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#609: 2012, Bill Fay, The Never Ending Happening

January 21, 2013

This is a post by George East which was originally posted on 9 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. So, it is a bit later […]

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The Debate Between Scroungers and Strivers: Where Does The Greed Really Lie?

January 21, 2013

This is a post by Ray North which was originally posted on 8 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. If ever you needed to remind […]

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#608: 2012, Jake Bugg, Trouble Town

January 21, 2013

This is a post by Jackie South which was originally posted on 7 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. I greatly enjoyed my colleague George […]

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Week 1: Prat – Gerard Depardieu

January 21, 2013

This is a post by George East which was originally posted on 7 January 2013 but which was lost from the site during our recent difficulties.  It is not clear whether the post is complete and unfortunately all comments on the post and any graphics originally posted have been lost. The first (and slightly belated) Prat […]

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