Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Who is Billy Bragg?(and LYR ADD)

Related threads:
Lyr Add: Between The Wars (Billy Bragg) (17)
Lyr Req: There Is Power in a Union (Billy Bragg) (7)
Lyr Add: Never Buy the Sun (Billy Bragg) (6)
Billy Bragg - Artist to Fan to Artist (3)
Billy Bragg and a good idea (8)
Billy Bragg and incitement to violence (100)
Lyr Add: Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie (B Bragg) (19)
The Selling Out of Billy Bragg??? (87)
Chords Req: A New England (Billy Bragg) (3)
Billy Bragg album notes (3)
BS: Billy Bragg and House of Lords (13)
Tune Req: Ideology (Billy Bragg) (2)
Billy Bragg in Bridport (UK) 12 Oct 2002 (1)
Billy Bragg takes on the Jubilee (20)
MP3 search Billy Bragg 'Walk Away Renee' (2)
Billy Bragg / Wilco / Natalie Merchant (1)
Billy Bragg on Radio, NOW! (4)
Lyr Req Power in a Union (Billy Bragg) (4)


Ringer 16 Nov 01 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 16 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Roger the slkiffler 16 Nov 01 - 09:51 AM
Ringer 16 Nov 01 - 09:59 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Nov 01 - 10:22 AM
InOBU 16 Nov 01 - 10:23 AM
Scabby Douglas 16 Nov 01 - 10:24 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 16 Nov 01 - 11:26 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Nov 01 - 11:42 AM
Ringer 16 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM
InOBU 16 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Paul 16 Nov 01 - 03:40 PM
Cllr 17 Nov 01 - 11:32 AM
Terry K 17 Nov 01 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,andy mööer 18 Nov 01 - 12:57 PM
Ralphie 18 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 01 - 04:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 01 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Paul 18 Nov 01 - 04:47 PM
Ringer 19 Nov 01 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Nov 01 - 01:57 PM
katlaughing 03 Apr 02 - 12:31 PM
katlaughing 15 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 15 Mar 03 - 08:43 PM
The Shambles 16 Mar 03 - 01:47 AM
Mugwump 16 Mar 03 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Ed 16 Mar 03 - 04:57 AM
JudeL 16 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Mar 03 - 08:30 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Ringer
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:42 AM

I realise that my question reveals an abysmal ignorance of modern culture. It arises because I came in half-way through a discussion between him and someone else on BBC Radio-4's Today programme this morning. They were debating (I think) modern music's failure to engage with today's politics in the way that, eg, Bob Dylan did in the 60s. I seem to remember hearing him in similar (ie discussion rather than playing music) contexts before, and have gathered that his political views and mine don't coincide. Other than that, I know him only as presenter of a TV program (which I enjoyed) of highlights of the Cambridge Folk Festival, a couple of years ago.

So, for what is he famous, other than being famous? In having managed to avoid his music up to now have I done myself a favour, or am I to be pitied? (I've had a look at his web site, and apart from confirming my view of his politics, it didn't leave me much wiser.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM

So from his website, you couldn't work out that's he's a musician?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,Roger the slkiffler
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:51 AM

Billy is proudly left-wing, was wooed by the New Labour crowd but isn't uncritical of them. He collaborated with the Guthrie estate in putting music to Woody's unrecorded lyrics, turns out in support of all the usual good (or woolly pinko bleeding-heart liberal as some would say!) causes. I think he seems a genuinely good bloke.
RtS (but as usual, what do I know about owt?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Ringer
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 09:59 AM

Oh, he's a musician is he, Guest? Thanks for that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:22 AM

He's a singer songwriter. He is from Essex. His writes topical folk music. He often accompanies himself on electric guitar only and he is quite a good player in that style. I first came to his music through "Mermaid Avenue" a collection of Woody Guthrie lyrics put to music by Billy and a US band called Wilco. Woody's own songs seem to fall into to categories, Topical folk, Union songs etc and quiry love songs. I truly enjoy his work and would highly recommend him to anyone who likes any of the above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:23 AM

Billy Bragg is God.
He also signed my pipe case and for the ulitimate force in the universe a rather nice and unasuming bloke.
Those who don't accept that Bill is God are surely going to hell.
Evangelicly yours,
Larry (waiting for the great leap forward)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 10:24 AM

I got this from Amazon... to be honest Bald Eagle, apart from your repeated statements of aversion to his politics, I didn't get the impression that you'd looked very hard at his website.

And, if you're from the UK, I can't quite understand how you've missed knowing anything about him. If you're in the US I could see that he might have passed you by.

Cheers

STeven

Born Barking, Essex, England, 1957.

As with most British musicians of the 80s, Billy Bragg was inspired to pick up a guitar by punk -- and more specifically a Clash gig in 1977. In true DIY fashion, he formed a band, Riff Raff, with his childhood friend Wiggy, who taught him how to play the guitar he'd just picked up. Riff Raff split in 1981, although Bragg's later video, . . .Goes To Moscow, contains a version of their seminal two-chord dash, "I Wanna Be A Cosmonaut".

Bragg's next, bizarre career move was to join the British Army -- he wanted to drive a tank. He lasted just three months, got discharged and, fresh out of uniform, began to gig as a solo artist. After a year of touring, he came to the attention of music publishers Warner Chappell, who allowed him to record some demos in their studio. The results turned out to be a full debut album, LIFE'S A RIOT WITH SPY VS. SPY, released by Go! Discs in 1984.

It was a tour of Britain -- through 1984 and 1985 -- visiting communities torn apart by the miners' strike, that turned Bragg into the political songsmith of current legend. He began to play benefits and pen overtly political songs, some of which found their way onto the BREWING UP WITH BILLY BRAGG album (1984). Serious chart action was to follow in 1985, first with Kirsty MacColl's version of "A New England" (for which he wrote a new verse), and then with his own BETWEEN THE WARS EP (1985), for which he took a lone guitar, an amp and a checked shirt on to the image-dominated Top Of The Pops TV show, and into the Top 20. 1986 saw the political stakes raised with a leading role in Red Wedge, an organization and tour (also involving The Style Council, Madness, The Communards and Morrissey) that threw its weight firmly behind the Labour Party and unsuccessfully tried to make politics 'sexy'. Later in the year, Bragg released what was to be his first great single, "Levi Stubbs' Tears". The album that followed, TALKING WITH THE TAXMAN ABOUT POETRY (1986) -- subtitled 'the difficult third album' -- not only broadened the musical backdrop but saw a new and sharper lyricism that ranged from trade unionism to the pressures of young marriage. With pianist Cara Tivey, he recorded "She's Leaving Home", a contribution to an NME benefit album of Beatles covers, SERGEANT PEPPER KNEW MY FATHER (1988); released as a double A-side with Wet Wet Wet's "With A Little Help From My Friends", it topped the UK charts for a month, with all proceeds donated to Childline, an organization devoted to helping children in trouble.

'Capitalism is killing music' was the cheery message emblazoned on Bragg's next release, the accomplished WORKER'S PLAYTIME (1988), but the album's political element was kept to a minimum -- essentially, this was an honest and beautiful set of love songs. 1990's THE INTERNATIONALE, on the other hand, focused on out-and-out socialist lyrics. The two were to mix on "Sexuality", the 1991 single that took Bragg back into the charts; its 12" version even boasted a dance remix. For DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME (1991), a full band (still featuring Wiggy) was recruited, and augmented by guests like R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Peter Buck. Bragg then took a break from the music business after the birth of his son Jack in 1993, popping up only to play alongside S*M*A*S*H at the Carnival Against The Nazis in 1994, and at the Glastonbury Festival in 1995. Always more than just a musician, Billy has also assumed the role of political and social commentator, contributing to British newspapers and the NME, and fronting several documentaries for BBC radio and TV. Nevertheless, eagerly awaited new material and live work was not far away.

This new role of father was one that was to shape much of his next album, WILLIAM BLOKE (1996). A companion piece, "Bloke On Bloke" (1997), was followed by the Blatant Electioneering Tour running up to the general election, culminating on the night itself with an emotion drenched London show. Fittingly, his first ever gig under a Labour government came at the union-backed May Day free festival in Finsbury Park. The politics of another period provided the basis for his next project, MERMAID AVENUE (1998). Backed by alt-country heroes Wilco, it took a collection of Woody Guthrie's lyrics and set them to new music. An immensely fitting combination, and one that drew high praise from all quarters, not least Guthrie's own daughter. © Rough Guides


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:26 AM

Billy Bragg is a foolk singer, he was at Beverley this year.john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 11:42 AM

Hmmm It might be worth noting that Billy was chosen buy Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter Arlo's full sister, to put Woody's songs to music because she thought that Billy was the current artist closest to Woody's legacy. For what its worth I agree.

Like Woody did, Billy gets out there among the people and learns from them and sings for them. Like Woody, his politics are very pink, bordering on red. I have a DVD of the BBC documentary, "The Man in the Sand" the making of Mermaid Avenue. I'm big fan of Billy Bragg's. I won't agree that he is God, but I am slightly jealous of Larry for having met him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Ringer
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM

Quite right, Scabby Doug: I didn't spend long on his web-site. I quit as soon as I found that the links to his newspaper articles just put up today's Independent, eg, rather than the article I wanted.

I do vaguely remember having heard (probably the Today programme again) that WGuthrie's daughter had nominated him to record a lot of WG stuff. But I truly have never heard of him, other than as mentioned, in the context of music. But then I avoid all modern music, only ever go to guest-less sessions, and the only concerts I pay to attend are classical.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM

Oh ye of little faith... no that before I shook the hand of Bill, I walked with a limp, after the limp was gone and replaced by a facial twitch. But, you who doupt, well, one day you will find out the truth and woe to the infidels! Of cource he may not be a God... he may be from off a UFO, but well, anyone who can come to the US and sing about socialism and even try to straighten out the audience on their misconceptions about the same, is well, at least a Saint.
By the way, dash board billys are avaiable for those who send in two lables from Workers Playtime and the top of their heads to Bragg is God Inc. Bonapart Street St. Helena, Atlantic Ocean SH1235
Pope Larry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 03:40 PM

Bald Eagle,

There are links to each article on Billy's site, you clicked in the wrong place.

Rather than clicking on the publication's name (which will indeed bring up the homepage of said publication) click on the 'More' button by each article, which will bring up the article in question.

Paul


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Cllr
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 11:32 AM

Anyone who likes Billy Bragg should check out Robb Johnson who is the finest exponent of Urban Folk I have ever heard bar none.Cllr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Terry K
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 05:26 PM

Yeah, Billy Bragg. Very predictable, stereotype politics, couched somewhere in the mid seventies, but fairly unpredictable singing. His "New England" is absolutely unmissable!

Cheers, Terry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,andy mööer
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 12:57 PM

who's politics aren't stereotype?, which individual does not have at least some typical human characteristics,ideals,politics,etc there are so many of us that I think everything is a stereotype, including people that criticise people for being stereotypes AND especially people who point things like this out without the use of full stops and punctuation in general.I'm proud of my conformity and general sameness.actually I just changed my mind.anyway the tall poppy syndrome seems to be alive and snipping, good to see!,poppy snippers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Ralphie
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM

Having worked with Bill often.....A thoroughly decent bloke....!
Also concur with a previous comment re Robb Johnson.
Never mind the politics, (as the Sex Pistols might have said)
Regards Ralphie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 04:23 PM

So Mr Eagle writes "So, for what is he famous, other than being famous?"

I'd have thought there were a few clues in the fact that when you click on the link the Bald bird found so uninformative, there's a great big picture of the man with his guitar, and immediately underneath "Billy's been back in the studio with The Blokes, writing and recording songs for a new album".

Clearly too much of a leap of logic to have speculated "Now I wonder if that man with a guitar who records songs might just have written any songs..." And then to type the five letters word "songs" (or the four letter word "song" for that matter)into the search engine lying conveniently next to those words. Up comes a link to an alphabetic list of all of them, with the words just a click away. No flashy graphics, black and white words, a model of how it should be done.

That's not to say Bald Eagle mightn't have decided on closer inspection that the they probably weren't the sort of songs he or she would be likely to like. But that's another matter entirely.

There probably are plenty of people about who are just famous for being famous. Billy Bragg isn't one of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 04:36 PM

And in case those instructions were too complicated, here is the link to the list of songs. Just click on the underlined titles and see what happens...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 18 Nov 01 - 04:47 PM

You are right McGrath, but Bald Eagle left the site in disgust when a link took him to the 'wrong' place.

As I pointed out above, he'd clicked in the wrong place.

But for someone who avoids all modern music closed mindedness is probably second nature


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Ringer
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 01:42 PM

Yes, I think I knew he was a musician, McGrath. You can be a caustic bugger when you try, can't you? As to the songs, as I've pointed out here before, from my point of view words without music are worthless, and BB's are no exception: less-than-doggerel, without scansion or true rhymes or regularity of rhyming pattern (but I only looked at 2 at random). But that doesn't mean that when they're performed with music they're worthless. I remember, frinstance, many years ago (and before I'd ever heard it sung) studying The Twa Corbies among a number of poems as literature, and not being impressed; but when Maddy Prior sings it, I'm spellbound.

Are you saying that because he writes songs he's famous? Somehow, I can't believe it; you exemplify the fact that writing songs and being famous aren't necessary one and the same thing (and I don't mean to be disrespectful there). I think, rather, that you're just ribbing me for not spending long on BB's site.

Guest, Paul: like most of us, I suspect, I like what I like. I can't get enough of the music I do like - why should I waste time listening to music I don't like? Sure, I might have missed the odd nugget, but then I delight in having missed the crap. De gustibus non est disputandum, as Julius Caesar might have said.

By the way, Scabby Doug: thanks for the info from Amazon: much the most pertinent post on this thread (imo).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Nov 01 - 01:57 PM

I can be a lot more caustic than that. The point I was making twas that if you don't like someone's songs it's fair enough saying that - but you have to give them a fair crack of the whip before you say that.

If you knew them well enough to have a view on them, and the view was that they were rubbish, then it'd be fair enough to be offering the opinion that there was something strange about someone being famous for their songs when the songs weren't any good.

And I wouldn't agree with that, because I think he's pretty good.

But as you say Bald Eagle, you don't know the songs well enough to have an opinion about them. So it feels a bit like lashing out at random.

Mind you, I'm with you on ther way writing songs is not sufficient to make you famous.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: NPWA (No Power without ...) (Billy Bragg)
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 12:31 PM

Just released this year, so I assume it is new. I thought Escamillo and others would like to read these lyrics. I heard it on NPR, yesterday. There may be a real audio of it at www.billybragg.com or www.billybragg.co.uk. (Just checked. You can see a video and hear part of the song here: http://www.billybraggonline.com/ecard/ and at the bottom of that, there is a place to click to hear the whole song.)

NPWA (No Power Without Accountability)


I grew up in a company town
And I worked real hard ''til that company closed down
They gave my job to another man
On half my wages in some foreign land
And when I asked how could this be
Any good for our economy?
I was told nobody cares
So long as they make money when they sell their shares

Can you hear us? Are you listening?
No power without accountability!

I lost my job, my car and my house
When ten thousand miles away some guy clicked on a mouse
He didn't know me, we never spoke,
He didn't ask my opinion or canvass for my vote
I guess its true, nobody cares
'Til those petrol bombs come spinning through the air
Gotta find a way to hold them to account
Before they find a away to snuff our voices out

Can you hear us? Are you listening?
No power without accountability!

The ballot box is no guarantee that we achieve democracy
Our leaders claim their victory when only half the people have spoken
We have no job security in this global economy,
Our borders closed to refugees but our markets forced open

The World Bank says to Mexico,
We'll cut you off if you don't keep your taxes low
But they have no right to wield that sword
'Cos they take their orders from the chairman of the board

IMF, WTO,
I hear these words just every place I go
Who are these people? Who elected them?
And how do I replace them with some of my friends?

Can you hear us? Are you listening?
No power without accountability!

WORDS: Billy Bragg (2002) MUSIC: The Blokes (2002)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM

refresh for the song in my previous posting


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 08:43 PM

Ringer (I don't understand the Bald Eagle connection) you'd have made less of a pratt of yourself if you'd taken the trouble to learn just a little bit about this wonderful guy before spouting off. But then, as you say, your mind is closed.

Larry/InOBU/Pontiff.... LOL!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 01:47 AM

See also

Billy Bragg and PELs


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: Mugwump
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 04:51 AM

Bragg is another one of those hypocrites who makes wads of cash championing the working class!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 04:57 AM

What has he done that is hypocritical, Charles?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: JudeL
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM

When someone is determined to be close minded, don't get mad at them, pity them for they have chosen to limit themselves and deny themselves the opportunity to experience the amazing variety that is the world.

Yes, there are forms of music that I enjoy more than others and there are individual performances that could be a lot better. Yet if I reject almost everything without even giving it a fair hearing, I make myself the poorer. The phrase "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" comes to mind.

This bit about not wasting time, unless suffering from a terminal disease (other than life itself), that is just so much nonsense, and an excuse. I just hope that you do not apply this type of bigotted thinking to other areas of your life. And yes I did use the word bigotted, rejecting something as valueless without further thought or examination simply because of it's classification is a form of bigotry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Who is Billy Bragg?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 08:30 AM

Fionn, there was a member here called Bald Eagle. I think he must have changed his membership name to Ringer. Making that change would change the name on all previous member posts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 9:26 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.