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Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding (1982)

And thus The Iron Lady passes away at the age of 87, leaving behind a contentious and bitter historical legacy, one which all of the whitewashing, audience pandering Meryl Streep films and opportunistically sentimental news coverage and tabloid tributes can never gloss over. In simplistic terms, the 1980’s could be called a decade in which materialism and the free market flourished and socialism or the idea of socialism as an ethical, moral force for the common good of communities and society at large waned, tarnished by association with the staid, repressive Communist regimes of the former Eastern Bloc and systematically crushed by Thatchers government through privatisation and brutal quelling of working class and trade union revolt.

Shipbuilding was written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer for Robert Wyatt during the Falklands War in 1982 in which Britain was at war with Argentina over sovereignity of the islands. The song focuses on the contradiction of sending young men off to war to possibly die as Britains shipyards experience  a new period of prosperity during a dark economic period under Thatcher’s rule.