5 JONA LEWIE – Stop The Cavalry

Jona Lewie looked like he’d been slapped every day of his miserable life. His hangdog face matched his awful flat voice and his awful voice was backed up with a casio your kid sister would turn up her nose at. Of course, the charts being the festering plague hole they are this did not stop him having hits. Well, two hits. His first was an autobiographical ditty, “You Will Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties”. Come now, Jona, that can’t be true! You’re having us on! Who after all would invite you to a party in the first place?

The second pop-bothering number concerns us here, though. “Stop The Cavalry” imagined itself a song with an epic sweep, a Chrismas-tinted “Universal Soldier” style track which would sum up the heartbreaking folly of WAR and the pain of soldiering through the ages. What better phrase to sum up these epic themes than the simple, yet so affecting, “stop the cavalry”.

The problem of course was that Jona had forgotten something – it is quite simple to stop cavalry, as the first person who turned a machine gun on them swiftly learned. Therefore as a metaphor for the impossible futility of resisting war Jona’s plea was frankly rubbish. Had Jona confined himself to singing in character, as a trench soldier, the problem might not have arisen quite as much, but with Paul McCartney and the whole of the Farm down there, the trenches were getting a bit crowded, so Jona expanded his timeline with vague references to centuries of fighting and a “nuclear fallout zone”. There aren’t going to be any horses in a nuclear fallout zone, now are there? It’s no wonder his lyrical imagination failed him for the chorus and he could muster only “dubba-dubba-dum-dum”.

What was Jona’s proposed solution to this eternal cavalry-centric onslaught? A simple one. Should he return from the war, he would “run for all presidencies” and, if elected, “stop the cavalry”. The simplicity! The genius! But can I be alone in detecting a flaw or two in Jona’s scheme? Even were running for all presidencies at once possible, it would be difficult to imagine a single-issue platform with less appeal out on the stump.

“So Mr. Lewie, what do you stand for?”
“Well, if elected I’ll stop the cavalry”
“What cavalry?”
The cavalry.”
“What? What about the tanks? What about stopping them? People don’t use cavalry any more, you fool!”
“Well, um, there’s the Horse Guards.”