Song of the Day, January 7: Broken English by Marianne Faithfull

FaithfullBrokensingleToday’s song launched the unexpected reinvention of a singer. After a short career as a sweet-voiced folk-pop chanteuse and an extended period best known as Mick Jagger’s one-time paramour, Marianne Faithfull burst back onto the scene in 1979 with the powerful Broken English. It’s an amazing set of songs, anchored by Faithfull’s now ravaged voice and world-weary observations.

The title track kicks things off in fine form. Inspired by numerous incidents of international terrorism and failed diplomacy, Faithfull wrote a series of vignettes. Jarring and disjointed, the pieces are connected by an offhand observation about international dialogue:

Don’t say it in Russian,
Don’t say it in German,
Say it in broken English.

Over a startling bed of keyboards and neopunk guitars she intones the lyrics, creating a magnificent aural collage.

Enjoy this amazing song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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