This the ti­tle track from Bro­ken English, an al­bum by Mar­i­anne Faith­full, on which ev­ery song is good and some are ter­ri­fy­ing (not this one).

I was suf­fi­cient­ly im­pressed by the al­bum that I wrote a whole blog piece on it a few years back. Like I said there, Ms Faith­full has a lot of his­to­ry and a lot of bag­gage; all worth read­ing about, and there are lots of places to do that that aren’t this blog.

Marianne Faithfull

In 2009. No longer a god­dess nor a burnout, just a grown-up.

What’s in­ter­est­ing about Bro­ken English is that it’s from well in­to her ca­reer, with a lot of glo­ry and wreck­age in the rear-view. The songs are in­formed by a life lived hard, and are way more than just pleas­ing dit­ties.

I picked the ti­tle tune be­cause it’s pret­ty and well-sung, and be­cause there’s a good live cap­ture on the In­ter­net. I think Witches’ Song is ac­tu­al­ly the album’s most beau­ti­ful; its most mem­o­rable is ob­vi­ous­ly Why D’Ya Do It, which is prob­a­bly the most ob­scene song ev­er record­ed in English, and a great rock­er be­sides. But some­one might absent-mindedly put on my playlist some­time and I wouldn’t want it peel­ing the paint off their of­fice walls and get­ting a com­plaint lodged with HR.

Bro­ken English is a sad song, about war. There will al­ways be sad songs about war, be­cause some of them are good enough to last forever, even if (let’s hope) us hav­ing wars doesn’t.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Spo­ti­fy, iTunes; live video from 2007.



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From: John A Arkansawyer (Feb 09 2018, at 13:27)

I might have picked The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, if I were picking from this record (skipping Why’d You Do It for the same reasons as you). And if I were just picking, I might pick Times Square from A Child’s Adventure.

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From: Doug K (Feb 09 2018, at 15:49)

as a young man I loved that LP, wore mine out. Now I'm no longer strong enough for many of the songs..

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