Playlist of the Week #2: Punk History (and a bit of Rock & Roll)


I found something I actually wanted to watch on BBC4 this week! A documentary that wasn’t about religion or art: Punk Britannia. OK, so the programme is 3 years old, but I missed it first time around, so it was like it was new. Anyway, it was the second of three episodes about the history of British punk and two tracks on this week’s playlist is inspired by it.

  1. Sham 69 – If the Kids Are United

I love this song, but I’d never thought too deeply about it, or learnt that much about the band. The documentary featured Sham 69, saying they had a different background to a lot of punk bands (many of whom went to art school) and so attracted a different audience. Unfortunately for them this included National Front supporters, at a time when (much like now) there was a lot of anti-immigration, xenophobic sentiment. And this song was Jimmy Pursey’s response. I particularly like:

Just take a look around you
What do you see?
Kids with feelings like you and me
Understand him, he’ll understand you
For you are him, and he is you

  1. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster

  1. Bo Diddley – Who Do You Love

My final track is inspired by a blog post I was reading on Everyday Feminism about cultural appropriation, which included the fact that rock & roll was largely shaped by black musicians. Record companies liked and wanted the music, but from a white person. Nowadays people think of Elvis and The Rolling Stones when they think of rock & roll, but mostly forget some of greatest musicians that influenced them and helped develop their sound. And here’s one.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *