Ted Leo Misses the Second Wave

Drew Bell, fellow Creve Core Six member and champion of all things cool, sent me this 2003 Ted Leo track, informing me that the chorus was “referentialicious.”

In the song, Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone? by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Leo laments the days when popular bands sang about the injustices of the world. That’s right, those nearly-forgotten days Leo sings about are the days of the Two Tone movement.

The Lookout Records artist presents his love for 2 Tone in a decidedly un-Ska way. Which is cool because it wasn’t just about Ska, 2 Tone was about the current affairs of the time as well as dancing and fashion.

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Lyrics:

it’s times like these when a neck looks for a knife,

it’s times like these when a neck looks for a knife,
a wrist for a razor, a heart is longing for bullets.
tension is high under sea and over sky.
pressure drop, people are acting foolish.

ooh – but it’s easy to see!
ooh – we could dance and be free.
ooh – to that 2-tone beat!
but it looks like it’s gone…
gangsters and clowns with a stereotyped sound
it’s coming like a ghosst town – someone always knew it.
hatred and shame, a racialist game
cycles of blame – someone sang me through it.
who? well it’s easy to see.
ooh – we could dance to be free.
ooh – to that 2-tone beat!
but it looks like it’s gone…
i asked jerry, he told terry, terry sang a song just for me,
lynvall gave a message to me,
rhoda screamed and then she asked me,
“where have all the rude boys gone?”

Links:
Ted Leo’s website
Get the track from Amazon
Listen to Sound of Young America’s Interview with Leo

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