Friday Factory Tune: Shipbuilding

With the House due to immolate on health care legislation this weekend, we escape to distant waters with today’s Friday Factory Tune — the distant, icy waters of the South Atlantic, where the United Kingdom and Argentina are scouting locations for “The Falklands War, the Sequel.”

Looking back on the 1982 Falklands War, we recall “Shipbuilding, ” written by Clive Langer for Robert Wyatt and with lyrics by Elvis Costello, as the most sophisticated expression of the era’s “Anti-Thatcher” school of British rock. It’s about British shipyard workers reaping the economic benefits of the run-up to war.

Robert Wyatt had the first single with the song, and Costello followed up his own version on “Punch the Clock.” Here’s Wyatt performing it live:

A live performance by Costello and the Attractions. And an awful version by Suede.

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