22
Jul 04

PET SHOP BOYS – “Hey Headmaster”

FT + New York London Paris Munich12 comments • 1,044 views

There is a type of critical practise which I have decided to call Carmodism (cf). It involves hearing echoes of political events in contemporary pop records and vice versa – divining invisible connections that can, when the intuition is right, cast entirely new lights on pop (and politics).

I am not very good at Carmodic readings of pop. But this song was an instance where I was sure I’d got it right. “Hey Headmaster”, released in the Autumn of 1993 as a B-Side, was clearly – clearly – a cutting sketch of the Major government’s disintegration into impotence and squabbling after Black Wednesday. The well-meaning but ineffectual head of a tradition-choked English public school, “being patient with the boys who fool [him]”, struggling to cope with rebel factions and staff apathy – this seemed the perfect metaphor for the uselessly ‘decent’ John Major. The song (a melancholy jewel, incidentally) ended with a repeated plea – “Hey Headmaster, aren’t you gonna go?”

And then I get the re-issued and well annotated Very and lo and behold, not a mention of John Major from Neil and Chris – it’s about a school, and was written ages before the group even formed, before anyone had heard of the ‘grey man’. But the great thing about Carmodic criticism is that intentionality can be discarded completely – if the divined political reading is strong enough then it can override such fripperies. In other words, I was right and still am. Damn it.

Comments

  1. 1
    LucaZM on 11 Nov 2016 #

    Funny how this was just ressurected by a bot, somehow it just feels kind of timely…

  2. 2
    Team Extreme on 30 May 2019 #

    I truly appreciated the way you inscribe this info message thank you for sharing this PET SHOP BOYS – “Hey Headmaster” story. Team X-Treme is a family owned and operated dealership with two locations to serve you.

  3. 3

    Pet Shop Boys have sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, and are recorded as the best team in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Three-time Brit Award champs and six-time Grammy candidates, since 1985 they have accomplished 42 Top 30 singles,of them Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones:

  4. 4
    Deep Sea on 17 Jun 2019 #

    Deepsea offers a wide range of wild-caught seafood with 4 plants in Suriname, Trinidad, Nicaragua, and Mexico, we have an ongoing supply of ALL of your “Wild Caught” seafood needs.

  5. 5
    fha203kreno on 19 Jun 2019 #

    FHA offers home improvement loans with no equity. PURCHASE YOUR HOME AND COVER HOME RENOVATIONS UNDER ONE MORTGAGE

  6. 6
    samantha722 on 23 Oct 2019 #

    brain games
    Start brain training with our online brain games and improve your memory, math, concentration and thinking speed. It’s fun and challenging. Play for free!
    https://www.braingymmer.com/en/

  7. 7
    AMZ1981 on 23 Oct 2019 #

    Interesting indeed that a bot has resurrected this. Can You Forgive Her was among the first singles I ever bought and this was a rare example of a `proper` B side that was worth listening to in its own right.

  8. 8
    samantha722 on 26 Oct 2019 #

    Detectives Sevilla
    Grupo Arga Detectives, somos una agencia de detectives privados en Madrid con amplia experiencia en investigación de infidelidades. Solicite presupuesto de detectives en España gratuito. Conozca nuestros investigadores privados en Madrid con amplia experienca.
    https://argadetectives.com

  9. 9
    samantha722 on 2 Nov 2019 #

    moving company

    When you choose Just Move DFW as your moving company, you are supporting a local small business. Our owner lives right here in DFW metroplex and understands the importance of providing a trustworthy, professional moving service. We ensure all our movers are fully trained in packing and moving procedures. All our employees are required to pass a background check, so you can rest assured that the crew that you welcome into your home on moving day is respectful, dependable and honest.
    http://www.justmovedfw.com/

  10. 10
    samantha722 on 9 Nov 2019 #

    Marketing Agency Chicago
    We deliver the ideas and designs that transform the perception of your brand.
    http://peritum.me

  11. 11
    samantha722 on 11 Nov 2019 #

    Budgeting

    Personal blog on the journey to financial and location freedom
    https://chachinglab.com

  12. 12
    samantha722 on 11 Nov 2019 #

    Blogging and WordPress
    Best tips for web developers, bloggers, graphics designers, online marketers and web entrepreneurs
    https://www.webtopic.com

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page