Thursday 1 December 2011

Oh Lord, I've got the Leveson Inquiry Paul McMullan Blues: Ten rock songs about journalism

A combination of the Guardian launching a Spotify app and getting the blues about the shameful evidence of crap journalism being exposed by the Leveson Inquiry has inspired me to run some of the best rock lyrics about journalism.

Most Acerbic...

Ballad of a Thin Man (Bob Dylan):

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand

You see somebody naked
And you say, "Who is that, man?"

You try so hard

But you don't understand

Just what you'll say

When you get home
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

The song is said to be about Jeffrey Owen Jones, an intern on Time magazine, who interviewed Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival on the increasing popularity of harmonicas, while missing the controversy around Dylan going electric.

Pills and Soap (Elvis Costello):

They talked to the sister, the father and the mother
With a microphone in one hand and a chequebook in the other
And the camera noses in to the tears on her face

The tears on her face

The tears on her face
You can put them back together with your paper and paste

But you can't put them back together

You can't put them back together.

Here's a few dedicated to Paul McMullan...

News of the World (The Jam)

Each morning our key to the world comes through the door
More than often its just a comic, not much more

Don't take it too serious - not many do

Read between the lines and you'll find the truth

Read all about it, read all about it - news of the world

Polythene Pam (The Beatles

Get a dose of her in jackboots and kilt

She's killer-diller when she's Jacked to the Hilt

She's the kind of a girl that makes the "News of the World"

Yes you could say she was attractively built

Yeah yeah yeah

Sunday Papers (Joe Jackson)

Mother doesn't go out any more
Just sits at home and rolls her spastic eyes
But every weekend through the door
Come words of wisdom from the world outside

If you want to know 'bout the bishop and the actress

If you want to know how to be a star
If you want to know 'bout the stains on the mattress

You can read it in the Sunday papers, Sunday papers

The Men From the Press...

When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan - The Band)

I left Rome and landed in Brussels
On a plane ride so bumpy that I almost cried

Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin’ muscles

Everyone was there to greet me when I stepped inside

Newspapermen eating candy

Had to be held down by big police
Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent

When I paint my masterpiece

YouTube link and with The Band

The Ballad of John and Yoko (The Beatles)

Made a lightning trip to Vienna, eating chocolate cake in a bag.
The newspaper said, "She's gone to his head,
They look just like two gurus in drag".
Christ you know it ain't easy, You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going

They're gonna crucify me.

Caught the early plane back to London.
Fifty acorns tied in a sack.

The men from the press said,
"We wish you success,
It's good to have the both of you back".

Newspapers are history...

Yesterday's Papers (The Rolling Stones)
Who wants yesterday's papers
Who wants yesterday's girl

Who wants yesterday's papers

Nobody in the world

The Journalism Blues: What's Happened to the News? (The South Moudy Blues)
I once was a reporter,
I used a pad and pen

I only had to find out who, what, where and when
Now they want a podcast, take a photo with my phone,

Write a blog and post on Facebook; never felt so all alone

Oh Lord, what’s happened to the news?

Help me keep my head up;

Save me from the jour na lism blues!

I once was a gatekeeper
I always checked my facts and beat

Now nobody cares; they just wanna see me Tweet.

They all want a quick read, news from the Internet
I know times they are a changing, but they ain’t gonna see me sweat

Oh Lord, what’s happened to the news?

Newspaper ownership...

It Says Here (Billy Bragg)
It says here that the unions will never learn
It says here that the economy is on the upturn
And it says here, we should be proud that we are free
And our free press reflects our democracy

Those braying voices on the right of the House
Are echoed down the Street of Shame
Where politics mix with bingo and tits
In a strictly money and numbers game

Where they offer you a feature
On stockings and suspenders
Next to a call for stiffer penalties for sex offenders

It says here that this year's prince is born
It says here do you ever wish
That you were better informed
And it says here that we can only stop the rot
With a large dose of Law and Order
And a touch of the short sharp shock

If this does not reflect your view, you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land.

Make that 11 songs: Here's Van Morrison with Fame from his 2017 album Roll With The Punches.

Oh, fame again
The press has gone and made another mess of it
Oh, just because they got
So much invested in it
But they say you're to blame it's your own fault
'Cos you got mixed up in fame

Make that a dozen...Paper Back Writer by the Beatles mentions the Daily Mail..

It's a dirty story of a dirty man,
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son is working for the Daily Mail
It's a steady job,
But he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.
Paperback writer, paperback writer.


Jon Slattery said...

Andrew Darling emailed me another suggestion:

Black Diamond Bay (Bob Dylan)

I was sittin` home alone one night in LA
Watchin` old Cronkite on the seven o`clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothin` but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes
Didn't seem like much was happening,
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There`s another hard-luck story that you`re gonna hear.
There's really nothing anyone can say.
And I never planned to go anyway, to Black Diamond Bay.

Dougal said...

She said that she was working for the ABC News
It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use
Her perfume was unspeakable
It lingered in the air
Like her artificial laughter
Her mementos of affairs

from Elvis Coslello's Brilliant Mistake

Jon Slattery said...

Thanks Dougal.

David Lee Roth once said:"Rock critics like Elvis Costello because rock critics look like Elvis Costello."