66. Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum) (1981)

There is one good thing I can say about Margaret Thatcher: her draconian economic and social policies caused the left in the UK to galvanize into something much more coherent and more focused. (Anger will do that — don’t let Yoda tell you otherwise.) British music became politically charged in the 1980s, and so on the BBC, it wasn’t just the talk shows where people duked it out on the issues of the day — it was on the music charts as well. And this opened politics up to young people, especially disenfranchised young people who had not previously imagined themselves as playing a role in the political process.

Here’s something fun. In 1981, three members of The Specials broke away to form their own group, Fun Boy Three, and their first single was clearly a comment on the new Thatcher regime. (The “cowboy” in the song, of course, is Ronald Reagan.)

I found myself humming this one quite a lot back in the Dubya presidency as well.

Fun Boy Three


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