Song of the Day, January 7: Broken English by Marianne Faithfull
January 7, 2016 Leave a comment
Today’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.