Music Monday: X-Ray Spex “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!”

Music Monday: X-Ray Spex “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” July 2, 2012

Egged on by the criminally overlooked sub-reddit ‘atheist music‘, I’ve decided to do these weekly posts. I’m starting with a short-lived first wave punk, and chaotic feminist voice – the late great Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. She was vehemently opposed to bondage in all forms, and playfully used thematic elements of BDSM to apply to women’s struggle for equality, against government oppression and against religion.

www.youtube.com/embed/b6BHh_0pX_4?

Sadly, later she went on to become intensely religious as a Hare Krishna. It’s difficult to tell, but she seemed to break out of that bondage too. By the end of her life she was using her punk rock notoriety to attack racism and capitalist greed over musician’s royalties. Her breast cancer had metastasized by the time it was discovered.

www.youtube.com/embed/0ux0vCswrDU?

After watching a very early gig by the Sex Pistols in an empty hall on Hastings Pier, playing a set of cover songs, she thought that anyone could do what they were doing and so decided to put an ad in the paper for ‘young punx who want to stick it together’ to form a band. So it was that, as Poly Styrene, the singer with X-Ray Spex, she was described by Billboard as the “archetype for the modern-day feminist punk”; because she wore dental braces, stood against the typical sex object female of 1970s rock star, sported a gaudy Dayglo wardrobe, and was of mixed race, she was “one of the least conventional front-persons in rock history, male or female”.

Oh Cancer, up yours!

Poly Styrene – aka Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (1957 – 2011)

(Lyrics below the fold)

Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard

But i think…

Oh Bondage Up Yours!

One, Two, Three, FOUR!

Bind me tie me

Chain me to the wall I wanna be a slave

For you all

Oh bondage up yours

Oh bondage no more

Oh bondage up yours

Oh bondage no more

Chain-store chain-smoke

I consume you all

Chain-gang chain-mail

I don’t think at all

Oh bondage up yours

Oh bondage no more

Oh bondage up yours

Oh bondage no more

Thrash me crash me

Beat me till I fall

I wanna be a victim

For you all

Oh bondage up yours

Oh bondage no more

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