August 13, 2006
The Real Evil Empire

Thus Joe Jackson, in a song he called Evil Empire:

There’s a country where no one knows
what’s going on in the rest of the world
There’s a country where minds are closed
with just a few asking questions
Like what do their leaders say
in sessions behind closed doors
and if this is the perfect way
why do we need these goddamn lies

Can’t even imagine what country he’s talking about here…

This doesn’t go down too well
We give you everything and you throw it back
Don’t like it here you can go to hell
You’re either with or against us …

No, you don’t give me everything. You give me beer and movies. I want democracy. I want equal opportunity. I want NO privilege, no wealth other than the common wealth. Like the Roman Republic.

There’s a country that’s great and wide
It’s got the biggest of everything
Try to attack it and you can’t hide
Don’t say that you haven’t been warned
You can’t hide in a gunman’s mask
or kill innocent folks and run
But if you’re good at it they might ask —
come on over to the other side

What? You’re suggesting that the US intentionally generates terrorism? Dude, that’s a years-old observation.

There’s a country that’s tired of war
There’s a country that’s scared inside
But the bank is open and you can draw
for guns to fight in their backyard
I could go on but what’s the use
You can’t fight them with songs
But think of this as just
another tiny blow against the Empire
Another blow against the Evil Empire
Just another blow against the Evil Empire

Okay, include Israel in that empire, and I can buy the evaluation.

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at August 13, 2006 12:01 AM
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Hate to admit it, but who the fuck is Joe Jackson?

Posted by: farang on August 13, 2006 12:54 PM

“Evil Empire” is from Joe Jackson's Blaze of Glory album. Other albums are Jumpin' Jive, Big World, Will Power, and so on. Some of his best known songs are “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”, “It's Different for Girls”, “I'm the Man”, and “Steppin' Out”.

Joe is at the highest level of my personal musical pantheon.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on August 13, 2006 1:21 PM

As long as he keeps his shoes on, he can keep the name. ;^)

Posted by: Buck on August 14, 2006 1:25 PM

I've never seen him barefoot. Or Shoeless, for that matter.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on August 14, 2006 1:31 PM

Gotcha. I still never heard of him, but " Is she really going out with him", was that covered by Elvis Costello, or am I thinking of something else?

Didn't mean to insult your music, friend.

Posted by: farang on August 16, 2006 1:03 AM

Hey farang, no prob, I didn't think you were insulting my music. With so much out there, no one can have heard everything.

Elvis Costello is also in the top rank of my pantheon. I'm not aware of him covering the song, but he's put out a huge number of albums and I might have missed it.

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street
From my window I'm staring while my coffee grows cold
Look over there! (Where?)
There's a lady that I used to know
She's married now, or engaged, or something, so I am told

Is she really going out with him?
Is she really gonna take him home tonight?
Is she really going out with him?
'Cause if my eyes don't deceive me,
There's something going wrong around here

That's Joe. He's done three versions, including an a capella that kicks ass.

Jackson studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has done everything from what amounted to punk in the late 70's through 20's jive and straight rock to 20th-century classical. And it's all, in my opinion, top flight.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) on August 16, 2006 12:29 PM
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