Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge (20 March 2020)

I must admit I had completely forgotten about Jim’s MM Music challenge today, so it was brilliant to see his post in my reader. It’s just as well one of us is organised!

I had two completely different thoughts today, resulting in three songs! But, what the hell, I’ll post them all, and you can pick and choose. It always seems to be songs – through my other posts I have realised that 90% of the stuff that clicks with me is music, but I’m sure one day soon I will think of something else.

Straight away, I’d love to Change the World. Okay, but what if you specifically don’t want to change the world? And straight away I’m thinking of the Kirsty MacColl song from the early Eighties, which contains the lyrics:

I don’t want to change the world,
I’m just looking for a new England.

But then I thought I’d twist it a little bit. You see, Kirsty never wrote the song. In fact it was written by the very politically-aware English folk singer, Billy Bragg. He is still going as a singer, and very much still politically active. I’ve ended up with some of his music just because, from my viewpoint, his politics is pretty sound. I guess while you might have heard of Kirsty, you’re less likely to have heard of Billy, but his music is very simple – just him and his guitar, normally, and pleasant.

So, here is A New England, written and performed by Billy Bragg (lyrics).

And if you’re reminiscing about Kirsty MacColl’s version, here that is, too:

You can kinda see why Kirsty had the hit, but Billy’s is more raw.

Okay, there’s the first thought. The second thought was completely different. In his own post, Jim mentions Alvin Stardust. I remember his death, I remember his name, but most of his work was before my time. I do remember this one, though, from 1984, called I Feel Like Buddy Holly. I listened to chart music a bit back then. The song was written by songwriter Mike Batt and its lyrics are under this link. I’m avoiding posting them myself because this post is long enough already. Before writing this post, I hadn’t heard this song for 35 years!


  1. This is the first time that I have listened to Billy Bragg and I like this song a lot. I am also not familiar with Kirsty MacColl, but I can see why her A New England became a hit, real good stuff. I don’t recall mentioning Alvin Stardust, but I am happy that you posted this song by him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I just kind-of thought that everybody would know Kirsty MacColl. She did Fairytale of New York with SM. She died very prematurely in a speedboat accident, was it Acapulco?
      I like Billy Bragg too, but you can see why he was never really mainstream. Another of his songs is “There is Power in a Union”. Mega political. If you’d like to hear more, his biggest chart hit was Greetings to the New Brunette. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfKcG3gn3F8 Also mid-Eighties.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And yes, I must have heard “Alvin” and thought “Alvin Stardust”. He was a British singer. he must’ve died around 2013 too. I think he was big in the Seventies, but I would not have imagined him as particularly international. Ah, just looked it up – 2014. But he was about 70, which is older than I first thought, too. Memory playing tricks.

      Liked by 1 person

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