Billy Bragg to me is like the British Bob Dylan with a harder political punk twist. I first heard of him when I fell in love with the song "To Have & To Have Not" by Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards, finding out that it was a Billy Bragg cover.
I found this song shortly after called "Waiting For The Great Leap Forward." What I love about this song, is that throughout time, Billy never leaves the song dated, he updates the lyrics to the time but always keeping the intensity of the song intact. The song discusses how fucked certain political powers are, the way our economy as well as England's has went to shit, pokes fun at the rich and pop culture, and most importantly reiterates the importance of starting your own revolution. "If no one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man, while you're waiting for the great leap forward."
The original song is off of his Worker's Playtime album and gives us an understanding of the past, and what was going on during Reagan, and Thatcher's reign.
The original from 1988 (year I was born)
Claiming this song as his theme song, Billy keeps up with the times, the lyrics changed from one political power to the next, still poking fun with a cynical realization that no matter who's in power, they all act just as shit as the last in charge. In later versions, talking about politicals, music and the "War on Terrorism".
"And I don't believe we can defeat no Axis of Evil, by putting smart bombs in the hands of dumb people."
(From the Henry Rollins show in 2007)
The latest version is from 2013, still giving his open opinion dropping inuendo the song from everything to "Occupy Wallstreet" to "Free Healthcare" & advise on "ignoring trolls in the comment section on the Internet" and a comment on his most outspoken topic, the reign of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher where the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
(From SXSW 3/15/2013)
The latest version of the song, only holds a ghostly glimpse into the possibility of what our world may turn into. During a revolutionary time of split politics, views on religion, marriage, etc. & and a hard economic time, songs like this ring out to me. What the lyrics may be restructured into next, the future can only tell...