Spring Clean For The May Queen

The Queen of England is popping over to Ireland for a few days and her visit has been greeted with fascination, hatred and indifference. Personally, I fall into the latter camp. I’ve always regarded the British royal family as something of a sitcom and have never been too bothered by them. I’m sure I’d have a lot in common with working class English males who cannot relate to royalty’s sense of unearned privilege. To this end, I’ve always been a big fan of two songs written by Englishmen with Irish roots

God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols caused a bit of a storm on its release during the Jubilee year of 1977. John Lydon’s angry vocals highlight royalty’s value to tourism and point out the lack of a “future in England’s dreaming.” France’s Nouvelle Vague remove the anger on their mellow version that appears on their third album of lounge covers from 2009. Morrissey made his opposition to the Queen’s visit known recently and this would have come as no surprise to fans of the 1986 album from The Smiths. The title track of The Queen is Dead utilises Morrissey’s particular brand of humour as he makes fun of the royal family. The song was one of a number of Smiths tunes covered in their own language by a band called the Ukrainians

I don’t think that Freddie Mercury had any Irish roots and I doubt if he chose the name of his band as a tribute to her highness. Metallica, Neko Case and Travis put out three fine versions of songs that all appeared on Queen’s 1974 album, Sheer Heart Attack. Luka Bloom‘s slower interpretation of the ABBA classic replaces the original’s instrumentation with acoustic guitar and fiddle and is one of my favourites from his Keeper of the Flame album from 2000. The closing ditty by The Low Anthem goes out to her majesty with the hope that the Queen will have a safe and pleasant trip to her neighbouring isle

God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols cover) – Nouvelle Vague

Koroleva Ne Pomerla (The Queen is Dead) (Smiths cover) – Ukrainians

Stone Cold Crazy (Queen cover) – Metallica

Misfire (Queen cover) – Neko Case

Killer Queen (Queen cover) – Travis

Dancing Queen (ABBA cover) – Luka Bloom

Her Majesty (Beatles cover) – The Low Anthem


One thought on “Spring Clean For The May Queen

  1. There’s a meh for me here too.
    As they say, good for the tourism and all that. But not too bothered.

    Was hoping though that you’d do a live commentary on her visit:

    “There’s the Queen, taking in luncheon with Mary McAleese…”

    “She’s taking a bite now… there seems to be a look of straining on her face.. is she trying to squeeze one out…? Lift your right cheek your Majesty… there you go…”

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