Music and British Identity: Crass


Primary members: Steve Ignorant, Eve Libertine, Joy de Vivre, Penny Rimbaud, G. Sus
Band Biography
Albums of focus: Best Before 1984 (1984)
Songs for study:

 

"Do They Owe Us a Living?" - from Best Before 1984 (1984)

Fuck the politically minded
Here's something I want to say
About the state of nation
The way they treat us today
At school they give you shit
Drop you in the pit
You try and try and try to get out
But you can't
Because they've fucked you about
Then you're a prime example
Of how they must not be
This is just a sample
Of what they've done to you and me

Do they owe us a living?
Of course they do!
Of course they do!
Do they owe us a living?
OF COURSE THEY FUCKING DO!

They don't want me anymore
Cause I threw it on the floor
They used to call me sweet thing
But I'm nobody's plaything
And now that I am different
They'd love to bust my head
They'd love to see me cop-out
They'd love to see me dead

Chorus

The living that is owed to me
I'm never going to get
They've buggered this old world
Up to their necks in debt
They'd give you a lobotomy
For something you ain't done
They'll make you an epitomy
Of everything that's wrong

Chorus

Don't take any notice
What the public think
They're so hyped up with T.V.
They just don't want to think
They'll use you as a target
For demands and for advice
And if you don't want to wear it
They'll say you're full of vice

Chorus

 

"Gotcha" - from Best Before 1984 (1984; song recorded 1982)

"Gotcha!" comes from the infamous headline run by the British newspaper, The Sun, during the war. The Sun held a right-wing, pro-war stance compared to The Mirror's and The Guardian's anti-war stance.

Below is the 4 May 1982 cover of The Sun:

Sun's Gotcha

Gotcha!
You Argie bastard,
Gotcha!
You fucking spik,
Gotcha!
You latin bender,
Gotcha!
You dago prick...
Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!,
Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!
Our boys have got it right...

Right now!
Rule Britannia
Right now!
Britain rules the waves
Right now!
Britain never, never, never, will be slaves!

Gotcha!
you Argie bastard,
Gotcha!
you dago gimp,
Gotcha!
you motherfucker,
Gotcha!
you greasy pimp...

Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!,
Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!
Our boys have got it right...

Right now!
God save her majesty,
Right now!
Raise the Union Jack
Right now!
God save Margaret Thatcher, she'll claim our empire back!

Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!
Thatcher's got it right...

This is Thatcher's Britain
Built on national pride,
Built on national heritage, and the bodies of those who died
To wave the flag on the Falklands
To protect us from the Irish hordes,
To support the rich in their difficult task of protecting themselves from the poor

Yes, this is Thatcher's Britain,
So let's increase the strength of the police
Let's expand the military
Let's all arm for peace

Let's suppress all opposition,
Let's keep the people down
Let's resurrect past histories for the glory of the crown

Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!, Right now!
Thatcher's got it right...

Right now!
God save Prince Charlie
Right now!
God bless his wife
Right now!
God bless their fortune
Right now!
God bless their privileged life...

Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!,
Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!

Gotcha!
You Argie bastard,
Gotcha!
You fucking arsehole,
Gotcha!
You bloody wog

Right now!
Let's back Britain,
Right now!
Let's tighten up it's laws
Right now!
Let's up and atom, let's rally to the cause...

Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!,
Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!, Gotcha!

Thatcher's got it right!

Gotcha!
You Argie bastards,
Gotcha!
You commie scum,
Gotcha!
You bloody scoundrel,
Gotcha!
You Paki bum,
Gotcha!
You thieving Arab,
Gotcha!
You slit-eyed gook,
Gotcha!
You dirty browner,
Gotcha!
You pacifist poof,
Gotcha!
You senile cripple,
Gotcha!
You dirty whore,
Gotcha!
We'll get all the benders and many more


"Sheep Farming in the Falklands" - from Best Before 1984 (1984; song recorded 1982)

Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming
Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming
Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming

Fuck off to the Falklands for your sea-faring fun
Big man's jerk off dreamland,
looking down the barrel of a gun
Friggin' in the riggin' another imperialist farce
Another page of British history to wipe the national arse
The royals donated Prince Andrew as a show of their support
Was it just luck the only ship that wasn't struck was the one on which he fought?
Three cheers for good old Andy,
let's take a pic for his mum
And stick it up the royal, stick it up the royal, stick it up the royal album

Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming

Onward Thatcher's soldiers, it's your job to fight...
"And, you know, I don't really give a toss if the cause is wrong or right,
My political neck means more to me than the lives of a thousand men,
If I felt it might be of use to me I'd do it all over again

The Falklands was really a coverup job to obscured the mistakes I've made,
And you know I think the gamble I took could certainly be said to have paid
With unemployment at an all-time high and the country falling apart
I, Winston Thatcher, reign supreme in this great nations' heart."

Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming

While the men who fought her battles are still expected to suffer
Thatcher proves in parliament that she's just a fucking nutter
The Iron Lady's proved her metal,
has struck with her fist of steel,
has proved that a heart that is made out of lead is a heart that doesn't feel

Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming

Now Thatcher says,
"Oh raunchy Ron [Reagan], we've fought our war
Now it's your turn to prove yourself in El Salvador
I've employed Michael Heseltine to deal with PR
He's an absolute prick, but a media star

He'll advocate the wisdom of our cruise missile plan
Then at last I'll have a penis just like every other man
They can call it penis envy,
but they'll pay the price for it..."
But the peasants are hungry Mags,
"Let them eat shit."

Sheep farming in the Falklands,
re-arming in the fucklands
Fucking sheep in the homelands,
her majesty's forces are coming

Who the fuck cares, we're all having fun?
Mums and dads happy as their kids play with guns
The media loved it, when all's said and done...
"Britain's bulldog's off the leash," said The Sun

As the Argies and Brits got crippled or died
The bulldog turned around and crapped in our eyes
Brit wit, hypocrite, don't you yet realise
You're not playing with toys, you're playing with lives!
You piss straight up in your self-righteous rage
Wilfs, goms and gimps in the nuclear age

Four minute warning, what a shock,
Well, balls to you rocket cock
You're old and you're ill and you're soon going to die
You've got nothing to lose if you fill up the skies
You'd take us all with you, yeah, it's tough at the top
You slop bucket, shit filled, puss ridden, death pimp snot..YAH FUCK

 

 

 

GRAFFITI STUDY WALL: MUSIC & VIDEOS
SEX PISTOLS
KRAFTWERK
THE CLASH
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
JOY DIVISION
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
AU PAIRS
COCTEAU TWINS
ARTERY
HUMAN LEAGUE
HEAVEN 17
THE SPECIALS
CABARET VOLTAIRE
TEARS FOR FEARS
DEPECHE MODE
THE SOUND
THE GLOVE
THE CURE
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS
GANG OF FOUR
NEW ORDER
U2
THE POLICE
CRASS
NEW MODEL ARMY
ELVIS COSTELLO
SPLIT ENZ
THE THE
XTC
THE EXPLOITED
DISCHARGE
THE SMITHS
THE HOUSEMARTINS
RADIOHEAD
PORTISHEAD
PET SHOP BOYS
M Y BLOODY VALENTINE
SLOWDIVE
CRASH MUSIC
MUSIC OF THE TROUBLES

VIDEOS:

SEX PISTOLS
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (LIVE)
THE CURE (LIVE)
COCTEAU TWINS (LIVE)
NEW ORDER (LIVE)
PORTISHEAD (LIVE)
JOY DIVISION MINI-DOCUMENTARY
NUCLEAR WAR PREPAREDNESS: PROTECT & SURVIVE MANUAL