Where Have All the Rebels Gone?

I’ve recently stopped listening to a lot of the music I’ve previously enjoyed. I don’t feel it’s currently the right time for Bruce Springsteen to sing about the travails of the working class or for metal bands to innocently explain some historic battle to me. Instead, I’ve been listening a lot to Merle Haggard, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. What do all of these artists have in common? They are almost incessantly pissed off. Which I feel fits the situation we’ve been in for the last year quite well.

Van Morrison has become a particular favourite. The man’s always been weird and abrasive – as anyone who’s ever been to one of his concerts knows. Hell, he once wrote a complete album of unreleasable music because his record company fucked him over. And Van Morrison, of all people, is the only established musician I can find, who’s actually speaking out against the things going wrong right now. Van Morrison, of all people, the small, quiet blues man, is suddenly the most punk of the group.

On his latest album with the quirky meta name “Latest Record Project – Volume 1”, there’s as song called “Where Have All the Rebels Gone?”. And in that song, Van puts to music exactly what I have been asking myself for over a year now:

Where have all the rebels gone?
Hiding behind computer screens
Where’s the spirit, where’s the soul?
Where have all the rebels gone?

Why don’t they come out of the woodwork now?
One for the money, two for the show
It’s not very rock and roll
Where have all the rebels gone?

Where have all the rebels gone?
Waiting for someone else to make a move
Why are they sitting on the fence?
Well, it’s some kind of pretence
They’re not saying much at all
Where have all the rebels gone?

Where they really all that tough?
Or was it just a PR stunt?

Van Morrison: Latest Record Project – Volume 1

This entry was originally published in ⇒ my gemlog in the Gemini space.