Two songs about the dangerous appeal of authoritarian saviours:
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
someone to fool us, someone like you
we want you, Big Brother ….
You don’t have no self-respect
you feel like an insect ….
he’ll wrap you in his arms
tell you that you’ve been a good boy ….
he’ll reach deep into the hole
heal your shrinking soul ….
but hidden in his coat
is a red right hand ….
Bowie’s song is of course yet another nod to Orwell’s 1984; and Nick Cave’s, while officially a reference to Paradise Lost, would be perfect for the soundtrack of that long-promised remake of Stephen King’s The Stand, if that ever gets around to happening.
56. David Bowie, “Big Brother” (1974):
57. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, “Red Right Hand” (1994):