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Manic Street Preachers

Red Sleeping Beauty (3:13)

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  • Love it. Quality
  • Communist, socialist, left-leaning capitalist or just anyone who feels an affinity with the idea that people can have a say in their lives rather than being dictated to by an over-powerful state or big business – that's who the song speaks to. It's also a great song, which isn't something that can be said about a lot of political music.
  • I'd say that yes, anyone who suffered through the Thatcher era might easily identify with the song on at least the one level, but communists or Marxist sympathisers can also relate to it based on the far left references. As any communist would be entirely anti-Thatcher anyway, the song is surely more likely to appeal to a communist than to the average person. In this sense, it doesn't really matter who Eden was hoping to appeal to with the song, but I find it likely that he at least had an affinity with and/or an intense interest in Marxism, given that the band's name was 'McCarthy'.
  • I never denied that the lyric has a strong left-wing sentiment, but communism is about as extreme of such an ideology as you're likely to get, and it's therefore unlikely that even though there was such a reference in the song, Eden was celebrating it as his preferred form of retaliation towards Thatchers policies. As you said yourself, the Red reference was merely a passionate example of dissent.
  • Communists pissed off after living under Thatcherite Britain, maybe. But those who'd identify with the song most strongly wouldn't be communists alone or even specifically, it would be anyone living under said era who was dissatisfied/felt wronged by her regime (a lot of people). The everyday communist though? Forget it. It's not their song.
  • It's even more reasonable to expect Communists to take the song as an 'anthem' for their cause.
  • Has Malcolm Eden said that about this song in particular though? Perhaps the references to Communism were included merely as an extreme example of anti-Thatcherism, but ultimately, we don't know exactly what was in Malcolm's head when he wrote the lyrics. Given the evidence that we have, I think it is not unreasonable to assume that the song dispalys at least an affinity with the extreme left.
  • So? I never denied that there were references to Communism in the lyric, but as a great musician once said, just because something is mentioned in a song, doesn't mean the song is necessarily about that. You said it was a Communist anthem. It isn't. Malcolm Eden has often said in interviews that his words are usually told through specific characters, who he may not always agree with literally.
  • It's anti-Thatcher, yes. But 'red' is a colour associated with the extreme left, and the line While there's still a world to win directly refers to the closing words of the Communist Manifesto. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!.
  • Red Sleeping Beauty (orig. by McCarthy) is not a communist anthem. It was written in the 80s as a response to the anti-working class/apathetic Thatcher regime and its repressiveness (indeed, the 'she' in the song refers to her). That does not give it the credentials of said extreme left political ideology. On a more basic level, it's a human reaction against destructive aristocratic policies.

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