The now annual fight between the X-Factor winner and people with taste for the Christmas No.1 spot in the UK charts was something of a damp squib last year. Following the first failed mobilisation in 2008 (the battle of the Hallelujahs) and the glorious RATM victory in 2009, the uncoordinated multiple attempts last year failed badly.
So, I’d like to suggest something different for Christmas 2011 – how about some solidarity? The end of this year will either mark a period of victory for the trade union movement in the UK, or will be a period for reflection and rebuilding as we enter further battles in 2012. More than that, 2012 will mark the centenary of the high-point of the Great Unrest, a period of radical trade union action in the UK that lasted from 1910 to 1914.
If there’s one song that best mobilises and celebrates the potential power of the trade union movement, it’s got to be the Wobbly anthem “Solidarity Forever”:
Imagine a new version of “Solidarity Forever”, bringing together a range of musicians and singers who want change and support solidarity amongst all working people. Imagine a version of this great song recorded like the BBC reworked “Perfect Day” a few years ago:
Like the idea? Well, I’m just a mere writer – I don’t own a label, or a recording studio or anything else that would be necessary to put this together. I’m just putting the idea out there, if you’re interested in getting involved, let’s see if we can pull people together and make it happen.
If you think this isn’t ambitious enough, how about following it with an album of radical trade union songs performed by contemporary artists? Selections from the IWW Little Red Songbook along with other songs from around the world, including the tribute to the executed writer of many of the Wobbly songs, “Joe Hill“, the CNT’s “A Las Barricadas“, Patrick Galvin’s “James Connolly” and many, many more.
Again, this is just an idea, but hopefully one that inspires people enough to make it happen.