Whilst in The Feathers pub (or more accurately, outside it, obviously) following the NUJ knees-up on Monday, we indulged in an interesting music discussion. Since then, I've been musing on how some tracks might be received today.
Red Red Wine, UB40 (1983) - "It is quite simply not appropriate that alcohol should be glorified in this way. Using red wine as a means to ease one's troubles is not to be encouraged in a civilised society. If the rap is included, the drink is mentioned over 20 times. This glorifies binge-drinking and adds up to over 40 units if they are drinking from a large glass. We are very concerned about the message this sends to our children." Don Shenker, Alcohol Concern
Road To Hell, Chris Rea (1989) - "It's all very well moaning about the M25 but road pollution is the biggest cause of global warming/cooling/wetness and he should have got the train." Ken Livingstone
The Power Of Love, Huey Lewis & The News (1985) - "I have written to the EU Commissioner for women to complain about this song's blatant sexualisation of young females. The line 'stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream' is quite unnecessary and portrays teenage girls as being interested in dirty sex with men. This is, of course, not the case at all. It is men, the aggressors, who unwelcomely force themselves on pure innocents. Young girls have no other interests except embroidery, cakes, and condemning catholicism as pure evil (that and lesbian sex, of course, which is perfectly acceptable). I have also asked that beer be banned because men like to drink it." Mary Honeyball MEP (Labour)
Lip Up Fatty, Bad Manners (1980) - "I don't wish to denigrate fat people, but we are facing an obesity epidemic in this country and songs such as this, which appear to trivialise being a fat bastard, are not helpful. I would have preferred it if Mr Bloodvessel had included lyrics that promoted five a day, or the obvious benefits of ballroom dancing. Perhaps he could issue a message to the audience before all live performances that being fat costs the NHS £189bn a year and that they should seek help from a government-funded charity on how to stop choosing what they want to eat. I have also e-mailed Mr Shenker of Alcohol Concern about the song 'Special Brew' by the same artist." Alan Johnson
Dancing On The Ceiling, Lionel Richie (1986) - "Whilst very pleased that 'everybody was having a ball', we are concerned that 'people started to climb the walls' without a proper risk assessment. There was no mention of ladders being used, and if they were, full training should have been given beforehand. It is also mandatory that should dancing have been taking place on the ceiling, that a full scaffold was erected as per Health & Safety legislation. We shall be looking into this matter urgently, in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, to ensure that proper legal process was followed." Health and Safety Executive
Get Outta My Dreams (Get Into My Car), Billy Ocean (1988) - "This song is deeply irresponsible and should be banned forthwith. We are constantly advising that children avoid getting into a stranger's car, but Mr Ocean is glorifying such behaviour with lyrics that are targeted at a young age group. Research funded by us has shown that one in every 3 cars is driven by a paedophile who wants to viciously attack anything that moves." Childline
Play The Game, Queen (1980) - "It's quite wrong for Queen to say 'when you're feeling down and your resistance is low', that you should 'light another cigarette and let yourself go'. We are calling on the government to hide this single under the counter as it has quite obviously been funded by tobacco companies. 106,000 people a minute die from smoking related diseases, or is it 300,000, I can't remember which figure I pulled out of the air last. Besides, it's irrelevant, as smoking isn't a relaxant at all, smokers just think that experiencing relaxation means that they are relaxed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our research proves that nicotine patches are far more relaxing and slightly less costly, at £28 for a week's supply on special offer at all good pharmacies. Get yours now, you know it makes sense (Was that good, Pfizer? Do I get my bonus now?)"
Walls Come Tumbling Down, Style Council (1985) - "It's quite clear by referring to 'Public Enemy Number 10' and calling for walls to be destroyed, that this band are inciting terrorism against democratically-elected government officals. Mr Weller has been detained under the terrorism act and his computers have been seized. We are looking into his known associates, but in the meantime, he is being beaten up ... err ... questioned, at Belmarsh prison." Jacqui Smith
Any more suggestions?