“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Working Class Hero Is Something To Be

One thing I’ve always liked about John Lennon, who was shot to death on this day 30 years ago, is that there’s a rare quality of savagery to some of his best lyrics. ‘Working Class Hero’ may not be his finest moment in terms of composition, but it’s the first song I start to hum whenever I hear his name, and it’s a salty antidote to all those renditions of the saccharine ‘Imagine’ you’ll be hearing today. It’s also, given the way the Irish government so punitively punished the Irish people yesterday for the sins of a gilded circle of fools, charlatans and white collar thieves, a timely blast of cold, quiet rage. Roll it there, Collette …

5 comments:

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

The Beatles were the first group I can remember being exposed to from my uncles copy of Meet the Beatles that my Gandmother had at her house. I worshipped them for a long time and John was always my favorite. I agree WCH is a tremendous song and the lyrics really are good. Green Day did a worthy cover not to long ago.

C. N. Nevets said...

Not too familiar with most of Lennon's post-Beatles catalog. Thanks for posting this. It is just as you described, and I love it.

John McFetridge said...

Over here a lot of places are playing the announcement made by Howard Cosell during Monday Night Football (which, I admit, is what I was watching at the time).

In some ways John Lennon was one of the first celebrities to really mature and change in full public view. He always had that edge, even with early songs like, Run For Your Life ("I'd rather see you dead little girl, than to be with another man,") mixed with some pretty sappy idealism.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I also was watching Monday Night Football when Howie (RIP) broke the news. Dandy Donjust passed away too. They made a great pair

lil Gluckstern said...

I always thought John's social commentary songs were better than the saccharine stuff. He was truly a unique, highly talented individual, and I remember the turning of my stomach when "I heard the news." These are really terribly times for the ordinary guy, particularly as we watch the perpetrators enjoy themselves. Whenever I read about the Celtic Tiger in the news, I think of you. Here in the states, I think we are still in a desperate kind of denial-strange days.