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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

Five of the Best - War & Peace

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Today marks the release of Tony Blair's memoirs. Yesterday, the US hand-over in Iraq got going. There's a lot on the news about war at the moment and so I've taken some inspiration. Here's Five of the Best songs ever made to do with war and peace...

Eminem - Square Dance: A weird country/hip-hop beat sits behind lyrics such as "to join that army and what you do for that navy/you just a baby/getting recruited at 18/you on that plane now eatin' that food, yeah them baked beans/I'm 28 they gonna take you 'fore they take me". Stunning.

John Lennon - Give Peace a Chance: "Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations/All we are saying, is give peace a chance". Call it wishy-washy, call it what you want, you can't deny that Lennon is right in highlighting we've never given peace a chance. Imagine, hey...

Elvis Costello - What's so Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding?: The title says it all.

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA: Probably The Boss' most famous hit (though there is a fair few to choose from), this is also probably his most misunderstood. A complete protest over US foreign policy (or just policy in general) which Reagan missed the point of, but he wasn't and unfortunately isn't alone.

The Jam - Little Boy Soldiers: Weller's most amazing lyric? Possibly. "I'm up by the hills playing little boy soldiers/reconnaissance duty, up at 5:30/shoot, shoot, shoot and kill the natives/you're one of us and we love you for it". Wonderful, character led sarcasm and scathe on the British Army.