Music I Want my Children to Listen to: The Jam

Specifically 'A Town Called Malice'.

It is without a doubt one of my all-time favourite songs. I can not help myself when I hear those opening bars; the feet start tapping, the head starts nodding in time, I whistle and then I have to sing it. Either in my head or out loud. To be honest, by the time it gets to the chorus it's always out loud. I do not care where I am, it is a must.

It was one of my favourites as a child (can you tell I have two older brothers who were into punk?), but yes it is the film 'Billy Elliott' that sparked the enthusiasm back up again. And now when I hear the music I can picture the exact section of the film and what Billy is doing at each point.

How this song manages to be so happy when the lyrics are actually so God-damn despressing, I will never know. Said to be written about Paul Weller's hometown Woking as a result of his teenage experiences there, I now know I never want to go to Woking.

"A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef
Gets dashed against the Co-Op
To either cut down on beer or the kids new gear
It's a big decision in a town called malice."

So yes, a song about social inequality amongst the working classes and the drudgery of his mundane life is up there as one of my favourites. It's not the lyrics, it's the melody and, to be perfectly frank, Paul Weller's voice. I've seen him in concert and he was fantastic. Literally fan-tastic; he knows what the people turn up to hear and obliges.

It's not just this song though, it's the others like; 'Down in a tube-station at midnight' (again, graphic lyrics), 'Eton Rifles (my brothers' favourite) and 'Going Underground'.

Mr. Weller is a genius, The Jam are a must.

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Comments

  1. Hannah says

    Excellent choice.

    I went through high school loving this song and still love it now. Along with Going Underground. xx

  2. Him Up North says

    Brilliant. Town Called Malice contains one of my favourite lines ever: "hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry…"

    Such songs about social malaise are a product of what I thought was a bygone era. The way things are going we may see a lot more songs like it.

    I'd add That's Entertainment to that list too. :)

  3. says

    Mr Weller IS a genius, I saw him at Hammersmith a good few years ago adn at v festival too (I think?) memory is not my forte. If only I could get MY music on the stereo these days and not nursery rhymes :D

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