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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