So much beauty out there

November 17, 2009

White Lines (Don’t Do It)

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 12:35 pm

In honour of Alan Johnson’s decision to fire the government’s chief advisor on drugs policy for suggesting that the policy should be based on scientific evidence rather than tabloid headlines, here’s the world of pop discussing drugs. But will they make Alan happy with outright condemnation, or will they suggest that there are nuances and complexities and make Alan angry?

Music posted on this thread is intended to create interest in the featured artist. Should copyright holders object to the use of material on this blog, please contact me and the links will be removed ASAP.

Curtis Mayfield – Freddie’s Dead

Drug: Heroin

Message: If you get involved with heroin, you will die. Thumbs up for Curtis’ clear, uncompromising and funky message.

Serge Gainsbourg – Aux enfants de la chance

Drug: Heroin, PCP, Magic Mushrooms

Message: Drugs fuck you up (“c’est celui qui vous baise a l’aise”). For once, Serge is wholly on message. The only problems, would the kids take advice on the dangers of illicit drugs from a chain-smoking alcoholic assuming they had been paying attention in their French classes.

Gillian Welch – My Morphine

Message – Admittedly it allows that morphine can have it’s moments “you should have seen me and my morphine when we used to go dancing in the war, spin me right off my feet” but ultimately demonstrates that it will result in pain, emptiness and yodelling.

Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper

Drug: Valium

Message: Overall tone of disapproval (and who could have more insight into the struggles of the suburban sixties housewife than the Stones) but not the outright unqualified condemnation that the government would like to see.

Linoleum – Marquis

Drug: Cocaine

Message: Doesn’t explicitly mention cocaine, and dwells more on the hangover than the high. Acceptable.

John Prine – Sam Stone

Drug: Morphine

Message: Sound on the damage wrought by drugs, but perhaps dwelling on the fate of injured soldiers more than necessary in the current political climate.

The Magnetic Fields – Love Is Like A Bottle of Gin

Drug: Alcohol

Message: Who cares what their message is, alcohol is legal.

Jeffrey Lewis – No LSD Tonight

Message: A clear refusal from Jeffrey, and an admirable willingness to resist peer pressure. But I think we could do without the admission that other may find acid fun.

Townes van Zandt – Waiting Round To Die

Drug: Codeine

Message: Suggests that drugs are the only thing that can be relied upon in a troubled world. Very off-message. The only hope our kids have got from not being corrupted is if they do like me and mishear “his name is codeine” for “his name is called Dean”.

Pulp – Cocaine Socialism

Message: Suggesting that Labour politicians might offer drugs to pop stars? No, no, no!

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