What’s The Best Recession Song – This Time Around?18 Dec 11
You can hardly turn on the TV these days without being confronted with an overwhelming torrent of bleakness. I’m slowly becoming unsure whether the curse of our generation is the crippling debt, soaring unemployment and obstinately sluggish growth, or whether our true curse is that we have to listen to everybody bleating on about how screwed we all are 24/7. Is there any better way of crushing confidence and morale than to bash people’s heads into the ground with incessant reminders of specifically which creek we’re up without which requisite implement?
But there is a silver lining to this most towering of cumulonimbi, a light at the end of this most Tokeinesque of dark places. The light is music… Or at least it should be.
I say should be because history has taught us that economic crises around the world have inspired some of the most enduring music of all time, and it’s because music has the ability to bind us as a society. No matter how often David and George tell us we’re “all in it together”, nobody’s buying it; as satisfying as it is to picture dear old Fred Goodwin rooting through the reduced section in his local LIDL, before switching the heating off and huddling round the oven while he cooks his 99p cheese and tomato pizza, we’re all aware of the reality.
Music however, is something can bring us together. So where is our recession music this time?!
The great depression patiently mused for Woodie Guthrie. The second world war brought to prominence the Andrews Sisters, Dame Vera Lyne and Edith Piaf. The recession in the mid-70′s conspired to bring us punk music and Thatcher’s controversially polarizing regime in the 80′s served up that most quintessential of recession songs, “Ghost Town” by The Specials.
So I ask you… Where’s our recession music now? It must be out there somewhere. Surely labels are missing a trick here. We all know that themes we can all relate to sell records by the busload, and there doesn’t seem to be a much more ubiquitous subject right now than our being hung out dry by the powers that be… AGAIN.
Maybe I haven’t had my ear close enough to the ground. Perhaps you can help me. Let’s have your suggestions for our Lehman Brothers award for “Best recession anthem 2008-2011″. Answers on a postcard please (or in a comment would do just fine).
PS. Our more curious of subscribers can find some further reading of the great history of recession music here.