80s songs that suddenly seem oddly relevant?
November 17, 2016 11:15 AM   Subscribe

So, post-election, I'm feeling kind of like I'm hearing a lot of songs (particularly 80s/Cold War era- songs) for the first time all over again. Help me build a playlist to explore this phenomenon?

In a weird sort of way, it kind of feels like the 80s all over again right now (only "worse"). I was a very young child in the 80s, though, and missed a lot of the political and current-events references in the music that permeated my early youth. To get me through the work day, I'm trying to build a playlist consisting of songs that I might've heard before but that are likely to take on renewed significance now.

Examples of the kinds of stuff I'm looking for would include, say, "Games Without Frontiers" (Peter Gabriel), "1999" (Prince), "Land of Confusion" (Genesis), "Heroes" (David Bowie), "The Way Life's Meant To Be" (ELO) etc. Basically stuff expressing a sense of precarity and uncertainty about the future. Any genre is ok, any level of relative obscurity is ok. Thanks!
posted by aecorwin to Media & Arts (105 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
99 Red Balloons!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:26 AM on November 17, 2016 [11 favorites]


Gang of Four
posted by brujita at 11:27 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh and Life During Wartime by the Talking Heads?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:27 AM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


The anthem for the whole thing should be Mission of Burma - Progress.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:27 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


REM--It's the End of the World as We Know it
posted by BadgerDoctor at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Peter Pumpkinhead by XTC.
posted by younggreenanne at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Underworld, Underneath the Radar (1988).
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Kate Bush - Cloudbusting

The Fixx - Stand or Fall

The Psychedelic Furs - President Gas

Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good (I think? I still have no idea what this song is about but it feels like it belongs here)

And pretty much everything by the Housemartins.
posted by Mchelly at 11:36 AM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Can't believe I forgot this one - Sting - The Russians
posted by Mchelly at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


There is a somewhat obscure band called the Faith Brothers from the UK who had a minor hit with a song called "Country Of The Blind." The lead singer and songwriter, Billy Franks, recently passed away. I can't help but think how the lyrics ring true. "Dream on and choose to see in the country of the blind...Communication over deadly silence, and hope over fear, the beautiful before the bland, so keep on pushing, don't be discouraged, dream on and choose to see in the country of the blind..."
posted by HeyAllie at 11:40 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Heaven 17's We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang

1st Verse:

Have you heard it on the news
About this fascist groove thang
Evil men with racist views
Spreading all across the land
Don't just sit there on your ass
Unlock that funky chaindance
Brothers, sisters shoot your best
We don't need this fascist groove thang
Brothers, sisters, we don't need this fascist groove thang
posted by bertran at 11:45 AM on November 17, 2016 [13 favorites]


The Death of a Disco Dancer- The Smiths
posted by cakelite at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dancing with tears in your eyes by Ultravox
posted by Tabitha Someday at 11:47 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Time Zone - World Destruction
posted by dywypi at 12:04 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have had Beds Are Burning in my head for days now.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:05 PM on November 17, 2016 [8 favorites]


Peter Pumpkinhead by XTC.

Not 80's. Substitute Generals And Majors.
posted by thelonius at 12:05 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


I notice this too whenever I'm listening to Third Wave on Sirius XM. I was born in 1966 so this is totally the soundtrack of my youth in the Reagan years. The other day it was something by PIL - really any of their songs will do.
posted by matildaben at 12:06 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
posted by Rob Rockets at 12:07 PM on November 17, 2016


REM - Flowers of Guatemala

The Mekons' Vengeance and in fact almost all their eighties work.

The Mekons' Amnesia is what's been in my head lately

Chumbawamba's Commercial Break [warning offensive language; sung in the voice of an apartheid-era upper class white woman]

Sisters of Mercy generally, particularly Lucretia

The Smiths, Ask. Beautiful video is by Derek Jarman. ("If it's not love, then it's the bomb that will bring us together")

Midnight Oil, Brave Faces

Skeleton Crew, Second rate ("You have to pay to have the body brought back")
posted by Frowner at 12:10 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh my goodness, these are SO GOOD. Thank you all so much. (And early-90s is totally fine, I really appreciated the reminder about Peter Pumpkinhead!)
posted by aecorwin at 12:12 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was just coming here with a Sisters of Mercy recommendation, but Frowner beat me to it! I'll just link to This Corrosion in that case.
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:14 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]




Billy Bragg, Help Save the Youth of America
The Jam, Going Underground
The Clash, Know Your Rights
Public Image Ltd., Rise
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2016 [6 favorites]


Tonio K: The Funky Western Civilization

They put Jesus on a cross
They put a hole in J.F.K.
They put Hitler in the driver's seat
And looked the other way
Now they've got poison in the water
And the whole world in a trance
But just because we're hypnotized
That don't mean we can't dance

posted by davebush at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bob Dylan, Jokerman
Talking Heads, Making Flippy Floppy
posted by the Real Dan at 12:34 PM on November 17, 2016


Immediately thought of a fav compilation album Life in the European Theatre. I have been singing The Stranglers' "Nuclear Device" for the past week.
posted by Saddy Dumpington at 12:36 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Demolition Man, Grace Jones (written by Sting), has been going through my head for weeks.

I'm a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom
I kill conversation as I walk into the room
I'm a three line whip
I'm the sort of thing they ban
I'm a walking disaster
I'm a demolition man
You come to me like a moth to the flame
It's love you need but I don't play that game
'Cos you could be my greatest fan
But I'm nobody's friend
I'm a demolition man

posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans"
posted by ubiquity at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Lunatic Fringe" by Red Ryder - stuck in my head for weeks now.
posted by JubileeRubaloo at 12:47 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Most of U2's War album, particularly Sunday Bloody Sunday, Seconds, Refugee, and New Years Day.

(yes, these songs may be about specific things but they're also very relevant to more recent events)
posted by bondcliff at 12:50 PM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Crowded House, Don't Dream It's Over. KEXP played this last Wednesday. It didn't stop the crying, but it felt hopeful.
posted by Gorgik at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Elvis Costello's Brilliant Mistake from his album King of America.
posted by bertran at 12:59 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


From 1979, but it seems extremely apropos: Citizenship, by Patti Smith. ("Lady liberty, lend a hand to me; I've been cast adrift/Adrift, adrift from the citizen ship")
posted by Frowner at 1:05 PM on November 17, 2016


Demolition Man , Grace Jones (written by Sting)

The Police also recorded it; iirc, Grace Jones' version was released first.

While we're at it, "Invisible Sun" too
posted by thelonius at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is from the 1970s, so I don't know if it's what you're looking for, but Gil Scott-Heron's "Winter in America" has been in my head ever since Election Night.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bruce Cockburn's If I Had a Rocket Launcher.
posted by Naberius at 1:17 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Help Save the Youth of America by Billy Bragg
posted by gateau at 1:20 PM on November 17, 2016


"David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans""

That's from 1997.
posted by I-baLL at 1:21 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Under Pressure.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths. I just thought it was a funny song as a teen. I heard it again the other day and it is a stunningly incisive portrait of an abusive narcissist.
posted by Cranialtorque at 1:32 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Call, The Walls Came Down "I don't think there are any Russians/And there ain't no Yanks/Just corporate criminals/playin' with tanks"
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 1:34 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


On a somewhat-related note, see also the old AskMe question requesting for ‘Nuke related songs of the 80s and 90s.’
posted by misteraitch at 1:34 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Another Talking Heads: (Nothing But) Flowers
Fishbone - Party at Ground Zero
Police - Driven to Tears
Living Color - Cult of Personality
Tears for Fears - Mad World
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:35 PM on November 17, 2016 [7 favorites]


Lunatic Fringe (posted upthread) immediately reminded me of both The Fixx's Red Skies at Night and Golden Earring's Twilight Zone
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 1:41 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pet Shop Boys - It Couldn't Happen Here

David Bowie & Pat Metheny - This Is Not America (theme from "The Falcon and the Snowman")
posted by dnash at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]


Dead Milkmen -- VFW
posted by AJaffe at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dnash, you just beat me to "This Is Not America."

"Sign O' The Times" - Prince
"All She Wants To Do Is Dance" - Don Henley
"For America" - Jackson Browne
"Dirty Laundry" - Don Henley

From 1979: "Oliver's Army" - Elvis Costello
From 1992: "Ignoreland" - REM
posted by SisterHavana at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"From 1979: "Oliver's Army" - Elvis Costello"

Hmm, well, you know, if we're doing Oliver's Army then let's throw "Blue Skinned Beast" by Madness into the mix.
posted by I-baLL at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2016


Even though it came out in April 1990, it references the 80s directly, so I'm going to cheat and include it.

Edit - the single was released in June 1989, so I'm good!
posted by cnc at 2:22 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


OMD's Dazzle Ships album is an exercise in Cold War and technology paranoia.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:23 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


As may be obvious from the name, several of Naked Raygun's songs fit the bill.
posted by jclarkin at 2:28 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Shipbuilding by Elvis Costello, sung here by Robert Wyatt.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 2:37 PM on November 17, 2016


Bowie's simple and touching Fantastic Voyage from 1979.

...that's no reason
To shoot some of those missiles
Think of us as fatherless scum
It won't be forgotten
'Cause we'll never say anything nice again, will we?
And the wrong words make you listen
In this criminal world
Remember it's true, loyalty is valuable
But our lives are valuable too

posted by merocet at 2:44 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, The President.

When I hear the word "Democracy," I reach for my headphones...
posted by the matching mole at 2:54 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ooohh, flashing back to the stompily danceable single American/Soviet by C.C.C.P.


posted by younggreenanne at 3:06 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Sound - Missiles
posted by lmfsilva at 3:09 PM on November 17, 2016


This has been on repeat for me: N.W.O.
posted by JulesER at 3:12 PM on November 17, 2016


Oh, and (from 1994, though) Killing Joke's Pandemonium. Heck, listen to everything by these guys- they're really angry about this sort of stuff, and they've been at it since 1978 or so.

And The Stand, too, since the sides of the fence remind me so much of the book!
posted by JulesER at 3:20 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Genesis, "Land of Confusion" (1986):

Superman where are you now
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, men of power
Are losing control by the hour.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


How, how, how did we get this far without (in my mind) the most perfect political protest/forecast song of all time, Elvis Costello's Night Rally?

I would send out for assistance but there's someone on the signal wire
And the corporation logo is flashing on and off in the sky
They're putting all your names in the forbidden book
I know what they're doing but I don't want to look
You think they're so dumb, you think they're so funny
Wait until they've got you running to the
Night rally

posted by mykescipark at 4:01 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


End of the Innocence, Don Henley.
posted by Jubey at 4:04 PM on November 17, 2016


"Those new kids at school seem cool
But dad says not to talk to them
Stick to your old friends
They're not our kind
So now there's lots of fights"


This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere) by the Dead Kennedys:
posted by 23skidoo at 4:20 PM on November 17, 2016


"Fourth of July," "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts," and "See How We Are," all by X.
posted by littlecatfeet at 5:02 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


"America," by Kurtis Blow
posted by littlecatfeet at 5:03 PM on November 17, 2016


Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays; far too relevant. (From just a bit before the 80's, though.)
And he can see no reason
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?


Public Enemy - Fight the Power
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be


Toto - Africa
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say. "Hurry, boy, it's waiting there for you."


Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:31 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's a little earlier at 1975, but Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is what I've been listening to for the last week.

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

posted by Alison at 5:44 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Lunatics have Taken Over The Asylum by Fun Boy Three was a comment on Reagan/Thatcher-isms.

Ghost Town by The Specials speaks to the general malaise and disillusion.
posted by ovvl at 5:52 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


DEVO. So much DEVO.

"Freedom of Choice" is probably the big one, with the outro denouement of "Freedom of Choice / Is what you got / Freedom from choice / is what you want".

But there's also: "Beautiful World", "Cold War", "Social Fools" (from 1978, but holds up), and pretty much their entire discography.
posted by SansPoint at 6:02 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


And, because it just came up on iTunes, "Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode
posted by SansPoint at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah DEVO

Something bout the way you taste makes me want to clear my throat.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


Might also revisit People Are People too.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 PM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]




(and this probably wouldn't be on the radio, but Ice T - Freedom of Speech)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:24 PM on November 17, 2016


Bruce Cockburn – "If I Had a Rocket Launcher"

And as someone who was a teen in the eighties, I'll probably be relistening to some Dead Kennedys. "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Police Truck" seem relevant these days.
posted by Lexica at 7:58 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pink Floyd On the Turning Away
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2016


Sinéad O'Connor - Black Boys on Mopeds
posted by wreckingball at 8:22 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've had Cyndi Lauper's True Colors stuck in my head since the election. Just seems to hold that tiny ember of hope that am desperately clinging to right now.
posted by platinum at 8:46 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


David Bowie's 1980 Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) was the Bowie album that tried to do this at the time, from the opener 'It's No Game', and persisting throughout, including its hit singles 'Fashion' and 'Ashes to Ashes'. Framed as renouncing dystopian fantasy, it's chock full of political menace and unequally shared/alienated trauma, surreal as always.

Honestly though it feels a little in bad faith right now. Not sure what's up with that.
posted by feral_goldfish at 8:50 PM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


This sums up my anger at evangelicals: Dead Kennedys Moral Majority.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:41 AM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The anger I feel as a Christian, btw.

Hüsker Dü Deadly Skies.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:50 AM on November 18, 2016


Cover of "Let's Have a War" by Poster Children.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2016


Oh man, Dead Kennedys for sure. It's a little unsubtle, but Stars and Stripes of Corruption by the Dead Kennedys sounds like it could have been written this week except for the Soviet references.

The Timbuk 3 song Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades) was actually written (or at the very least, the music video was made) with explicit nods to potential nuclear holocaust.

I think New Order might be another band to check out for some songs. True Faith sounds like it could be what you're looking for.

Also, Falco's song Der Kommisar got a lot darker when I actually looked at the lyrics.

There are probably so many! What an awesome thread. :)
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:44 AM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


My favorite Police song from the past few months has been Rehumanize Yourself.

He goes out at night with his big boots on
None of his friends know right from wrong
They kick a boy to death 'cause he don't belong
You've got to humanise yourself

A policeman put on his uniform
He'd like to have a gun just to keep him warm
Because violence here is a social norm
You've got to humanise yourself
posted by irisclara at 6:46 AM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Love and Rockets: Ball of Confusion

People moving out, people moving in
Why, because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Vote for me and I'll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today

posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:42 AM on November 18, 2016


O Superman (Laurie Anderson)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 7:54 AM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]




We're getting into real deep, abstract stuff here, but The Residents's 1981 album "Mark of the Mole" is about economic migrants traveling to a decadent land, being exploited for work, then being rendered unemployed due to automation, and a subsequent war.

No parallels with the current situation at all, nope.
posted by SansPoint at 8:19 AM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Framed as renouncing dystopian fantasy, it's chock full of political menace and unequally shared/alienated trauma, surreal as always.

Good point about Bowie's Scary Monsters. If I may push the Bowie time frame back to the '70s, I would also strongly suggest his album Diamond Dogs (I keep typing that as Diamond Dongs, which I mention only because I think everyone needs a laugh at this point), which is a dystopian concept album based on Orwell's 1984. I was listening to it the other day and it's eerie how chillingly prescient it suddenly feels, especially We Are The Dead, 1984, and Big Brother.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 8:50 AM on November 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can't wait for Part III of "California Uber Alles" / "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now".
posted by whuppy at 11:56 AM on November 18, 2016


They Might Be Giants - Kiss Me, Son of God
posted by speicus at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2016


I know we're doing 80s mostly, but I'd like to submit my W presidency song-on-repeat, R.E.M.'s "Bad Day."
posted by deludingmyself at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Men at Work - "It's a Mistake".
posted by snortasprocket at 2:16 PM on November 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


More REM: World Leader Pretend

"I sit at my table and wage war on myself
It seems like it's all, it's all for nothing
I know the barricades
And I know the mortar in the wall breaks
I recognise the weapons, I've used them well.

...

I've a rich understanding of my finest defences
I proclaim that claims are left unstated
I demand a rematch

I decree a stalemate
I divine my deeper motives
I recognise the weapons
I've practised them well
I fitted them myself"
posted by smirkette at 5:29 PM on November 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was just listening to this: Ivan Meets GI Joe off the Clash's album Sandinista. That whole album, in fact, is pretty relevant - consider:

The Leader;

Rebel Waltz:

As the smoke of our hopes rose high from the field
My eyes played tricks through the moon and the trees
I slept as I dreamed I saw the army rise
A voice began to call, stand till you fall
The tune was an old rebel one.


Something About England:

They say the immigrants steal the hubcaps
Of respected gentlemen
That life would be wine and roses
If England was for Englishmen again....

There were masters and servants and servants and dogs,
They taught you how to touch your cap;
Through strikes and famine and war and peace
England never closed that gap


And of course, Washington Bullets.

Or pretty much any Midnight Oil from Red Sails in the Sunset, but especially When The Generals Talk:

Up there on the platform he is speaking to the people;
The people are responding with clapping and with cheering,
But they're taken for a ride, taken in his stride


And then there's Billy Bragg, what about Accident Waiting To Happen: "Your life has lost its beauty, its dignity and its passion/You're an accident waiting to happen/A dedicated swallower of fascism".

Or Attila the Stockbroker's This Is Free Europe:

Dead of night in Carpentras
Brings the ghosts from the days of Vichy
Broken windows in the high street
Swastikas in the cemetery
Blond young men on a Rostock evening
Beer and loathing on their breath
Ten to one like their cowardly fathers
Arms outstretched in the sign of death

Some may seek respectability:
Austria, France, they're winning votes
Playing on the Left's confusion
Pressing flesh, not slitting throats
Laws enacted to appease them
Testify to Europe's shame
They may dress in suits and ties now
But the answer is the same....

...Don't tell me it doesn't concern us
It's not something to ignore
They are feeding on our apathy:
That's how it began before.....

If it takes a voice then shout the truth
If it takes a hand then hold them back
If it takes a fist then smash them down
From Cable Street to Hoyerswerda
Griffin, Schonhuber and Le Pen -
This is Free Europe! Never again!

posted by Frowner at 3:25 PM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dear God - Midge Ure
Oh, what the heck - Dear God - XTC
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 5:20 PM on November 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Most things by Leonard Cohen, particularly some of the later stuff.

The Future:
[...]
Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby
That's an order!

Give me crack and careless sex
Take the only tree that's left
And stuff it up the hole
In your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
I've seen the future, brother
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Won't be nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said repent, repent, repent
I wonder what they meant
[...]


Anthem:
[...]
I can't run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
A thundercloud
And they're going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

You can add up the parts
You won't have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
[...]


Democracy, in its entirety: http://genius.com/Leonard-cohen-democracy-lyrics

First We Take Manhattan: http://genius.com/Leonard-cohen-first-we-take-manhattan-lyrics

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin


Can probably keep going for a long time. further reading.
posted by cybertaur1 at 12:03 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's one that probably escaped most of you: I Heard the Screaming Jets How'd he get Peter Gabriel to do that? It's cold war creepy, you might not want to watch.

And then we have an actual song called eighties. Maybe you don't want to click on that either. It's Killing Joke. Don't tell me Kurt Cobain never heard it.

"Push, push, struggle."
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:21 AM on November 24, 2016


Oh and how could I forget Bowie's "When The Wind Blows"?
posted by merocet at 3:22 PM on December 8, 2016


snortasprocket: “Men at Work - "It's a Mistake" .”
Yeah. “Overkill” too.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:27 PM on August 9, 2017


Talking Heads, Swamp

Now when your hands get dirty
Nobody knows you at all
Don't have a window to slip out of
Lights on, nobody home

posted by Meatbomb at 4:35 AM on August 10, 2017


Sting, Fragile

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

posted by Meatbomb at 5:22 AM on August 10, 2017


Billy Bragg, Waiting For the Great Leap Forward

Here comes the future and you can't run from it
If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it

posted by Meatbomb at 5:36 AM on August 10, 2017


OK, last one, this one is going out to my boy Donald in the White House.

A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines on TV

Touch me
How can it be
Believe me
The sun always shines on TV
Hold me
Close to your heart
Touch me
And give all your love to me
To me

posted by Meatbomb at 5:52 AM on August 10, 2017


How did we not get Alphaville, Forever Young on this list yet? The ultimate 1980s nukes will destroy us all song.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:02 AM on August 10, 2017




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