Say no to 'Blurred Lines' this New Year: 10 politically correct party jams
10 songs that you can get down to in socially conscious fashion
Tuesday 31 December 2013
One of the main advantages to third-level education is that it forces you to become familiar with various social and political theories and thus able to be mind-blowingly pretentious forever.
But every so often, even the leftie liberal must leave the warmth of her right-on compadres and venture to a “party” - with people who may not be as good at pretending to know what performativity is.
“Parties” are problematic because they necessitate a soundtrack. Any leftie worth her salt knows that nearly all pop music is problematic and so will feel deeply uncomfortable shaking her posterior to the undeniably catchy but deeply and sincerely creepy tunes of our modern minstrels - meaning the likes of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines". Never fear, for no-one could expect you to shake your thang to music that might make Emmeline Pankhurst cry, so here are 10 politically correct party pieces that are sure to maintain both your sweet moves and your political convictions.
"Common People", Pulp
Forget that you were but an infant when it was released and embrace the ironic floppy-fringed jig that is Common People. Top marks to this one because the video has probably the easiest dance routine in the history of dance routines and everyone appears to be wearing clothes that were originally designed for a Barbie doll. Let out your inner class warrior, just like multi-millionaire Jarvis Cocker.
"Single Ladies", Beyonce
No list of politically correct tunes would be complete without a nod to the people’s princess, Beyonce. To be honest, I could have picked almost any of her tracks and people would have nodded sagely in agreement BECAUSE BEYONCE, but there’s always someone at a party that you wish fancied you but they don’t and there’s nothing quite as effective as manically shout-singing “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it” across your mate’s living room at someone to make them love you or regret not loving you when you were in sixth form and they had the chance.
"You Don’t Own Me", Lesley Gore
This is a song made for much swaying and emphatic pointing at the patriarchy. Be defiant. You own 2014.
"Bad Girls", MIA
MIA is genuinely badass, and this is a fantastic track. The video nods to the Saudi Arabian ban on women driving, there’s some cool stunt driving and it’s particularly funny to sing “live fast, die young, bad girls do it well” when you’re doing some death-defying like returning to McDonald’s for the second time in one evening. Feminism man. Word up.
"Maggie’s Farm", Bob Dylan
I’m not 100 per cent sure why Bob Dylan ain’t going to work on Maggie’s farm no more but I think it might be over a pay dispute and that he’s striking. It’s the duty of all good lefties to support strike action, especially if it’s groovy and a bit bluegrass-y. Fight the man. Bob is the 99 per cent. Sway affectedly, maybe make a placard. This is a track for when the evening starts to sink. Nothing quite like political action to rally the party.
"Dancing On My Own", Robyn
Just very gentle fixation from Robyn here as she stands in the corner of a party watching somebody kiss the person she fancies, which isn’t weird for some reason. Probably play this at 12:02am when that’s exactly what you’re doing. Also good for interpretive dancing. Possibly a cry of defiance and selfhood, definitely a bit of a tune.
If there’s one way of making sure a song is politically correct, it’s to make sure there’s no words in it except “bangarang” and then a bit at the end that no one can make out. It might be a statement on corruption and commercialism but everyone’ll be too tired by this stage to make it out.
"C’est La Vie", B*Witched
Nothing in the world is as much fun as pretend Irish dancing to this, particularly if you’re Irish in which case you can just bop up and down a bit and English people will lap it up. Say it’s about respecting the post-colonial right of Ireland to statehood and self-identity. Secretly love it for the denim jackets.
"Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves", Eurythmics
An absolute feminist classic. Well done Annie, well done Aretha. Dance party in the kitchen everyone.
"Lola", The Kinks
Show that you are both aware of and uncomfortable with the way society constructs the gender binary. I first encountered this as a child listening to Radio 2’s breakfast show on my way to school. Who knew that Terry Wogan was such an activist for social equality?
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