Crock and Roll

by John J. Miller on June 2, 2010 · 4 comments

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

The Journal of Popular Culture has turned its scholarly gaze toward my list of conservative rock songs. From my reply, published on NRO:

I guess I should be flattered. Spencer, who is a Ph.D. candidate in American studies at Michigan State University, thinks that my three-page article from a four-year-old issue of National Review is worth a 22-page response in an academic publication. And it isn’t just any old 22-page response. It’s a 22-page response that accuses me of “investing meaning in rock music through a dialectical process of negotiated use.”

This guy has my number. That’s exactly how I pitched the story to my editor.

Also, there’s a pretty big error in Spencer’s article (which I don’t address in the NRO article).

  • Gillian

    I like how Spencer states that it is “well known that Metallica spent a year and a half recording this album”, yet he can’t pin down when the Gulf War started? I’m also wondering in what circles is this well-known? Cause I sure didn’t know that, let alone care.

  • John

    Hang your head in shame, Mr Miller. For such a huge Kinks fan, you twice neglected their two greatest conservative songs:

    1. “Sunny Afternoon” –“The taxman’s taken all my dough…”

    2. “Village Green Preservation Society”–“We are the office block persecution affinity/God save little shops, china cups, and virginity”

  • Joseph

    Another (arguably) Conservative song that missed the cut: “Part of the Union” by the Strawbs.

    I say arguably because the song is from the perspective of a Trade Unionist bragging about his power. Lefties tend to interpret it at face value – indeed, some Unions actually sing it at protests. However, many people also see it as an ironic song – it could be said to be a satire of the over-powerful British Trades Union at the time. I could probably write a 22 page article about it if I was so inclined; fortunately I’m not.

    “You won’t get me, I’m part of the Union… And I always get my way if I strike for higher pay; when I show my card to the Scotland Yard, this is what I say… Although I’m a working man, I can ruin the Government plan… The sight of my card makes me some kind of Superman.”

    I think it’s ironic and hence Conservative; I’m sure that my lefty neighbours will have a different view.

  • Mike Filippelli

    My contribution to the discussion comes from the band King’s X. Early in their career they were labeled a Christian band but they do not consider themselves one (especially since the bass player came out). The (pro-life) song is called “Legal Kill” from their album “Faith Hope And Love”. The lyrics are:

    Only know what I believe
    The rest is so absurd to me
    I close my eyes so I can’t see
    But the picture just gets clearer everyday
    I read somewhere to learn is to remember
    And I’ve learned we all forgot
    There was peace in her before
    But that was yesterday
    But I can see the beauty that is here for me
    The chance to live and walk free
    From a legal kill
    I know your side so very well
    It makes no sense that I can tell
    The smell of hell is what I smell
    And you hand it out with handshakes everyday
    I have trouble with the persons with the signs
    But I feel the need to make my own
    Yes there are two ways to be
    And truth does not depend on me
    But I can feel the fight for life is always real
    I cant believe its no big deal
    It’s a legal kill

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