Stand down, Margaret!

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5 The Jam
A Town Called Malice 1982
Smart lyrics and a Motown-lifting bassline which pioneered “soulcialism”.

6 Robert Wyatt
Shipbuilding 1982
Elvis Costello’s lyric recounts the tragic irony of an unemployed man who finds work in a shipyard before his squaddie son is killed in the battleship he’s built.

7 Style Council
With Everything To Lose 1985
Weller at his angriest, later reworked as “Have You Ever Had It Blue” for the Absolute Beginners soundtrack.


8 Morrissey
“Margaret On The Guillotine” 1988
Deliciously spiteful fantasy of Mrs T’s execution.

9 Elvis Costello
“Tramp The Dirt Down” 1989
Costello replaces the elliptical political allusions of “Pills And Soap” and “Shipbuilding” with this blunt death fantasy.

10 Kirsty MacColl
Free World 1989
A bile-filled, sorrowful letter addressed to Thatcher, recorded with Johnny Marr.

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