#921: 1982, Gang of Four, I Love A Man In Uniform

by Ray_North on August 15, 2014

It’s day six of our Anti-War Song Week and I’ve plumped for this number from The Gang of Four – which in the finest traditions of good music was banned by the BBC, as it’s content, released as it was in the middle of the Falkands Conflict, was deemed to be too unpatriotic.

They clearly didn’t get it.

There’s nothing unpatriotic about this song – sure it’s quite cynical, and singer Jon King’s tongue is firmly in his cheek – but, rather than being an anti-war song in the true sense of the world, this is a song that screams out at the futility of being a soldier, and the exasperation that King feels that being a soldier is somehow seen as being sexy. For those reasons it is a brilliantly adolescent, brilliantly anti-authority – ‘Take Orders,’ sings King in a way that suggests that that was the last thing that he was going to do.

And this sentiment is important, because it is the adolescents, the fifteen year olds, the confused hormone enraged boys, who we expect to join up and fight our wars, regardless of whether they understand or empathise with the cause with which they’re fighting and risking their lives.

I was never a huge fan of Gang of Four – but I like this. And, like so many of the songs we’re featuring this week, I wish there were bands and artists today who were brave enough to write a song that might get banned by the BBC.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George_East August 15, 2014 at 7:38 am

Superb stuff. Not a huge fan of the Gang of Four? Their debut, Entertainment! is IMHO one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

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