Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

Stand Up and Sing: Stiff Little Fingers

with one comment

by Nemo

As some of the other entries in our “Stand Up and Sing” contest have already established, great political music does not have to promote a specific party or platform. Often, it’s sufficient for performers to use their music to unleash pent-up anger, question the status quo, or raise possibilities for an alternative future. These are musicians after all, not politicians.

Stiff Little Fingers’ “Alternative Ulster,” released in 1978, is a case in point. The song expresses the band’s contempt for British repression in their native Norther Ireland, but doesn’t support any particular nationalist faction. In fact, the group had members (and followers) from both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds.  Maybe the band’s rejection of factionalism–combined with its fierce indignation toward contemporary life in Belfast–helps give  “Alternative Ulster” its continued urgency.


Written by Julian Nemeth

December 16, 2010 at 15:46

One Response

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  1. Yes! Yes! Also highly recommended “Suspicious Device” off the same album. Especially during these “war on terror” days.


    December 17, 2010 at 12:00

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