Stand Down Margaret: The Reactions of British Musicians to the Governments of Margaret Thatcher
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Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which lasted from 1979 until 1990, was quite polarizing. Despite being elected thrice, in 1979, 1983, and 1987, Thatcher nonetheless faced a great deal of opposition. This opposition is perhaps most evident in the form of popular music in the 1980s. Two previous musical groups, the Sex Pistols and The Clash, largely laid the groundwork for the forms that opposition to Thatcher assumed. The first form of opposition was to reflect the alienation and dissatisfaction felt in society, or to simply reject Margaret Thatcher as an individual. The second form was to offer more specific critiques or responses to events or policies enacted under the administrations of Margaret Thatcher. The paper is organized into four sections: Section one provides background information, section two documents the songs reflective of alienation and rejection, section three documents the songs that offer criticisms and responses, and section four is a conclusion that briefly examines the effects Thatcherism rendered upon music after her premiership. Song lyrics comprise the bulk of primary sources; a smaller portion of primary sources is comprised of contemporary news accounts, interviews with relevant artists, government documents, and speeches given by politicians. Musical biographies, political biographies, and scholarly accounts of British politics and society in the 1980s compose the bulk of secondary sources.
Thatcher, Margaret--In popular culture
Popular music--Great Britain--Political aspects
Great Britain--Politics and government--1979-1997--In popular culture