MUSICIANS love using their cushy jobs to give you a condescending telling-off. Like these artists who are so much morally better than you, the twats.
Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins, 1989
Thank f**k we had balding twat Collins to alert us to the presence of homeless people, because before this droning hit we assumed they were some hipster fad for ‘urban camping’. ‘Oh, think twice/ ‘Cause it’s another day for you and me in paradise’ sings Phil. Maybe for you with your millions mate, but some of us still have 15 years to go on the mortgage for a pokey semi. Interestingly, at no point does he mention giving the homeless a couple of quid himself.
Earth Song – Michael Jackson, 1995
Banging on about everyone else ruining the planet is a bit rich if you spend your days jetting around the world on carbon-belching tours. Doing bad things generally is another issue we won’t go into with Jacko. Still, Earth Song is partially redeemed by the most ridiculous lyric ever in: ‘What about elephants?/ Have we lost their trust?’ You have to grudgingly respect someone so off his rocker he reckons he’s besties with Dumbo.
Meat is Murder – The Smiths, 1985
Veggies can be pretty self-righteous at the best of times, and this lecture is particularly tiresome when you inevitably consider Morrissey nowadays. So it’s okay to be a right-wing twat flirting with National Front imagery and sinisterly muttering about Britain going to the dogs, so long as you never eat a Nando’s? The priorities are off, like when people point out that Hitler liked dogs. He’s also not very good at guilt-tripping you: ‘And the flesh you so fancifully fry/ Is not succulent, tasty or kind.’ Oh you daffodil-waving dickhead. Don’t pretend you’ve never had bacon.
Get Out of Your Lazy Bed – Matt Bianco, 1984
Temporary musical anomaly Matt Bianco is best known for the classic ‘You’re a bunch of wankers’ phone-in on Saturday Superstore, which prompted the rather unsporting policy of time delays for supposedly live shows. Get Out of Your Lazy Bed seems to be a massive overreaction to a girlfriend having lie-ins. ‘I’ll drag you out of bed,’ warns Matt, before descending into threats of actual violence: ‘You can sleep on the floor/ ‘Cause I’m knocking you out.’ It should really be called I’m a Controlling Abuser, but Top of the Pops DJs wouldn’t have liked saying that.
You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore, 1963
Giving someone a preemptive bollocking without specifying what they’ve done wrong would be labelled gaslighting nowadays. No such problems for Lesley in 1963, as she confusingly sets out the terms of a relationship. ‘Don’t say I can’t go with other boys,’ presumably works both ways, then? As anyone familiar with relationships will know, of course it f**king doesn’t. As for ‘When I go out with you/ Don’t put me on display’ – don’t flatter yourself, love.
Don’t You Want Me – The Human League, 1981
Phil Oakey is agog that anyone could have the temerity to dump him. Hopefully he’s playing a character in the song, not being himself. Hopefully. ‘Don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now/ And I can put you back down too,’ he threatens, like he’s talking to an ornament on the mantelpiece. He concludes his lecture-cum-therapy-session with: ‘Now I think it’s time I lived my life on my own/ I guess it’s just what I must do.’ If this is self-empowerment he’s bloody bitter about it. He probably only got rejected because of his stupid haircut, so frankly you’ve only got yourself to blame, Phil.