Readers recommend: ballads that stick it to the man – outcomes

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Cheney to Bush, Johnson to Blair, workplace bosses to jailers? They all get whats coming to them with a punchy selection by RR regular swawilg from last weeks topic

What does it take to effectively stick it to the man? There are clues and tactics in the music. Some artists sure dont beat about the bush and name “the mens”. Clutch s Mr Shiny Caddilackness is clearly a message to you, Cheney! Stick it to the Man, stick it to the Human! American artist James McMurtry also sang about that particular Dick, but in this one, We Dont Stimulate it Anymore he aims directly at GW Bush: Get out of that limo, look us in the eye, call us on the cell phone and tell us all why. Rickie Lee Jones comes in next and deals him the final blow in Ugly Man .

And what if youre Tony Abbott, Australias previous prime minister? Its morning, youre ready to shave in front of the mirror, you put on the radio and you hear a sung dedicated to you entitled Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Of Your Punchable Face . The Smith Street Band make sure he gets the message loud and clear. Tony Blair could no doubt host a two-hour radio prove, with sungs written in his shame, but maybe Karine Polwart saw the best way to stick it to him: incisive and gritty and wrap in a beautiful tune. Theres something here for the armchair generals too. The Beautiful South attain no secret of what they would do if they stood in the mans shoes: If I was captain of the waves Id turn the gun on you.

If we look for the man and how to tackle him in the lower levels of power and decision-making the most obvious character to pour contempt on “wouldve been” run boss. Belle and Sebastian have waited till their final day at work to tell him he can shove his farewell gift, a carriage clock, where the sunshine doesnt glisten. Excellent proposal. Franz Ferdinand and the good old Sparks brethren blend their forces as FFS in Piss Off , another freshening shout if you are urgently in need of some me hour and fed up with your immediate superiors.

Russ and Ron Mael of Sparks with Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand perform as FFS at Glasgow School of Art School 2015. Photograph: Ross Gilmore/ Redferns via Getty Images

It is never really clear who the man is in Mr Big by Free , it doesnt even matter, because he will surely beat it the moment Paul Rodgers threatens to excavate him a great big hole in the ground. And what if the man was a jailer? How would you stick it to him? Nigerian Asa takes the Mandela path, with great success. Living proof you can lecture person in an irresistible way.

But of course if that doesnt help than desperate cancers need desperate redress. And thats where punk steps in. It is the ideal ship to ventilate grievances without fussing too much about the packaging. Ill take my hat of if there is one human left standing after Conflict have released their devils in Mighty and Superior . And if there is any future in the genre, it surely lies with Sleaford Mods . If your name is Boris Johnson, youve merely had it stuck to you.

I end with perhaps the biggest astound on the list – Miles Daviss Right Off Pt. 1 . A lengthy tribute to Jack Johnson who stuck it to the white man by dashing his hopes time and again in the boxing ring.

The playlist

Press play and stick it to the man

Clutch Mr Shiny Cadillackness
James McMurtry We Cant Make It Here Anymore
Rickie Lee Jones Ugly Man
The Smith Street Band Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face
Karine Polwart Painted it White
The Beautiful South Have You Ever Been Away
Belle and Sebastian Take Your Carriage Clock And Shove It
FFS Piss Off
Free Mr Big
Asa – Jailer
Conflict Mighty and Superior
Sleaford Mods Face To Faces
Miles Davis Right Off, Pt. 1

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