Home Otwo Music

Brexit bop: The never-ending Brexit playlist

Ben Russell counts down the 10 best songs to get you through this never ending ordeal.

Alternative Ulster – Stiff Little Fingers. “Alternative arrangements to the Northern Irish Backstop” is probably my most hated phrase in the Brexit lexicon. ‘Alternative Ulster’ was released during the height of the Troubles, the last time the Irish Issue raised its head. With no-deal seeming increasingly likely, it is an issue that will be raised again.

Anarchy In The UK – The Sex Pistols. It was on April Fools Day that the British Parliament voted against every possible solution to Brexit that had been put to them. It was unadulterated anarchy. It is also interesting that those who grew up with punk in the 70s were among those most likely to vote Leave in 2016.

Career Opportunities – The Clash. The policy of Austerity in the UK since 2010, and the poverty it entailed, undoubtedly contributed to the use of the 2016 as a protest vote by many people. Joe Strummer, The Clash’s front man, sums up this feeling of dejection in this 1977 punk classic.

Jerusalem – Hubert Parry. This hymn seems to power the likes of Mark Francois and Jacob Rees-Mogg, who will not stop until they “have built Jerusalem, In England’s green & pleasant Land.”

Making Plans For Nigel – XTC. It is debatable as to whether Brexit itself would have occurred without the rise of UKIP and Nigel Farage. Nigel, has supported the hardest possible Brexit since the Referendum, and the Conservative Party is seemingly making their plans to suit him.

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths. When Theresa May went to Brussels in early 2019 to renegotiate the Northern Irish backstop, she may as well have been singing this 1984 B-side.

She’s Lost Control – Joy Division. Theresa May leads a zombie government. It cannot be killed, as it still has a notional majority in the House of Commons. However, there is no majority for any form of Brexit. She really has lost control.

So Long, See You Tomorrow – Bombay Bicycle Club. A fitting tribute to the current view of the EU. If Britain leaves without a deal, they’ll be back at the negotiating table within days.

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin. Self-explanatory. The sunlit uplands of post-Brexit Britain appear to have sunk like a lead balloon. Vera – Pink Floyd. Roger Waters was critical of the depiction of Britain as standing alone during WWII. This is reinforced by sound effects and dialogue taken from 1969’s Battle of Britain at the opening of this song. Unfortunately, many Brexit supporting MPs do not hold Waters’ view.