rolling stones a bigger bang sweet neo conCan You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Sweet Neo Con
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It’s liberty for all/ ‘Cause democracy’s our style/ Unless you are against us/ Then it’s prison without trial…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Studio France, West Indies, Nov. 2004; Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA, March 7-9 and June 6-28 2005
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From Songfacts:
This song is a political song about George Bush, gasoline, Dick Cheney and conservatism. It speaks out against the Bush administration (a “Neo Con” is a “New Conservative”); there was concern that The Rolling Stones’ sponsors would drop them for taking a political stand against the president, but there were no repercussions.

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“Sweet Neo Con” follows in a direct line from “Dangerous Beauty.” This time, the target is not the US Army, but the Bush administration. You call yourself a Christian/I think that you’re a hypocrite/You say you are a patriot/I think that you’re a crock of shit: these words seem to be addressed to George W. Bush, although Mick Jagger has since denied it. More generally, the Stones singer has the president’s neoconservative advisers in his sights. These include Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz who, following the September 11 attacks, threw themselves into a relentless war on terrorism and transformed the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts into a battle of the civilizations.

The neoconservatives present themselves as the defenders of democracy, but, sings Jagger, if you’re not with them, it’s prison without trial. What motivates them in reality is petroleum, money, and world domination—the notion of a unipolar world. They have no need of foolish friendships (by which we are to understand old Europe and the UN). And the Stones singer grinds his point home: How come you’re so wrong?/My sweet neocon. Keith Richards, who has no great interest in political matters, initially wondered about the appropriateness of this frontal attack on Bush’s politics on the album: “I said to Mick, ‘Are you sure these guys are worth a Rolling Stones song?’ But he felt strongly about it.… I said, ‘If you feel like that about it and you feel it needs to be said, then I’m backing you up, pal.’” The act of a gentleman!

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