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Marianne Faithfull — Broken English
Album: Broken English
Avg rating:
5.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1303









Released: 1979
Length: 4:31
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Could have come through anytime
Cold lonely, puritan
What are you fighting for?
It's not my security

It's just an old war
Not even a cold war
Don't say it in Russian
Don't say it in German
Say it in broken English
Say it in broken English

Lose your father, your husband
Your mother, your children
What are you dying for?
It's not my reality

It's just an old war
Not even a cold war
Don't say it in Russian
Don't say it in German
Say it in broken English
Say it in broken English

What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?

What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?

Could have come through anytime
Cold lonely, puritan
What are you fighting for?
It's not my security

It's just an old war
Not even a cold war
Don't say it in Russian
Don't say it in German
Say it in broken English
Say it in broken English

Say it in broken English
Say it in broken English

What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting for?
What are you fighting ...
Comments (240)add comment
Not a fan at all. I don't have any nostalgia attached to this song though, maybe it reminds people of a different time.
I bought this album at the time and loved it to bits. I think it's time to get it out and fix the turntable...
Made a post on a blog in November 2018, during the fire in Paradise, CA, that linked this song and RP in a way that made sense at the time and still does; but that seems like a lifetime ago now. But it might again ring true this coming November depending on your sense of symbolism and the outcome of the election:

https://tinypriest.com/2018/11/11/not-even-a-cold-war/
Just heard today that she was diagnosed with coronavirus. Hope she gets better soon!
annds wrote:
First heard this on "Nightlines" on CBC Stereo in the
late 80s. As someone said, this song is evocative of a time in our
lives. Pretty cool. Wish there were more archives of CBC's
beyond-amazing 80s late-night radio, "Nightlines" with Ralph Benmergui
and then David Wisdom, and "Brave New Waves" with Brent Bambury. Blew
any US radio out of the water.

I just miss Finkelman's 45s. That was a great show, but I was young when it stopped being aired.
This was ridiculously overplayed back when it was new, and I hated it to bits. Listening to it now with an open mind, it's a pretty cool groove.
How come only 5.8 still? This sounds damn good from the first seconds, and it's a great song. 
I just think the album cover is excellent
Don't know if it's the strained, reedy voice -- which actually works pretty well here -- or the relentless bass, but this has a nice groove.
Nice bass line.  
This song is new to me and I think it's pretty rad. Yay eclectic mix!
First heard this on "Nightlines" on CBC Stereo in the late 80s.  As someone said, this song is evocative of a time in our lives.   Pretty cool.    Wish there were more archives of CBC's beyond-amazing 80s late-night radio, "Nightlines" with Ralph Benmergui and then David Wisdom, and "Brave New Waves" with Brent Bambury.  Blew any US radio out of the water.    
 Steely_D wrote:

I think, as "we" get older, we'll see this more and more. People will judge Strawberry Fields without having an emotional reaction to it, or an understanding of its times and what it represented.

Pick a Muddy Waters of Buddy Holly song (or some other pop/bluesman/country singer from the past) and play a tune. Maybe Mannish Boy or That'll Be The Day. Now imagine you're twenty and judgmental. How do they hold up? What would they mean to you?

We're going to see that over time. Already it's a bit mind-blowing. 
 
True, but that's probably a constant since the advent of recorded music.  How many 20-somethings in the 1960s and '70s had understanding of the times and representations of the songs and artists of the 1930s and '40s?   Probably not many, unless they themselves were musicians.  Giants like Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Louis Armstrong, despite their undeniable talents, were likely insignificant to the majority of young people of thirty years later.
On first listen, this might not be much to the uninitiated. But for those who remember it from a certain time in their lives and loved it then....we still do.
I cannot believe how good this sounds now.  thanks RP! 
 I remember when this album came out and was universally regarded as one of the best albums of the year. Her voice was perfect for creating a disaffected, marginalised soundscape that was influenced by German pop culture and found a home in the music of Bowie, Gabriel, Ian Dury,Tom Robinson and others in the 80's. 
...or sing it with broken vocal cords. Lord, make her stop. {#Eek}
 Steely_D wrote:
I think, as "we" get older, we'll see this more and more. People will judge Strawberry Fields without having an emotional reaction to it, or an understanding of its times and what it represented.

Pick a Muddy Waters of Buddy Holly song (or some other pop/bluesman/country singer from the past) and play a tune. Maybe Mannish Boy or That'll Be The Day. Now imagine you're twenty and judgmental. How do they hold up? What would they mean to you?

We're going to see that over time. Already it's a bit mind-blowing. 
 
Just wanted to bump this over the comments below.
 daniel_rusk wrote:
FUCK! It is awful. No broken English.
 
The song sounds like it has a continuous fart going in the background during the whole song...
 topcat99 wrote:
5.5? Are you kidding me? 
 
I think, as "we" get older, we'll see this more and more. People will judge Strawberry Fields without having an emotional reaction to it, or an understanding of its times and what it represented.

Pick a Muddy Waters of Buddy Holly song (or some other pop/bluesman/country singer from the past) and play a tune. Maybe Mannish Boy or That'll Be The Day. Now imagine you're twenty and judgmental. How do they hold up? What would they mean to you?

We're going to see that over time. Already it's a bit mind-blowing. 
 nancyco wrote:
The rough edges of Faithfull's voice is a deep emotional delivery of a political message that in the early 1980's was prescient of the current decline of the democratic societies of the Western world.  So sad that few acted to resist the forces of decline. This music is much appreciated by those of us who saw this coming back then like a freight train. 

 
EXCELLENT nancyco!!!  ROCK ON! SHOW EM WHO'S GOT THE POWER

 Duc1098 wrote:
You are a complete philistine if you downgrade this song. The whole album holds up. For shame.

 
Considering thatI actually have some Palestinian heritage, and therefore possibly part Philistine (like 1/64) I'll say I have given a 1-sucko barfo rating and PSD'd to Matthew Sweet  (which takes me right back to my freshman year of high school )
 Duc1098 wrote:
You are a complete philistine if you downgrade this song. The whole album holds up. For shame.
 
bump
 randyblew wrote:
I like it more and more. An inside narrative on our current politics also? :-). And her voice sounds more and more like Cyndi Lauper after a weekend of hard drinking. Upgrade to a 7.
 
It was much more than just a weekend of hard drinking that resulted in this voice…
 jhorton wrote:

Average rating 5.6 says you are in the minority.

Voice like nails on a chalkboard. With a side of vomit. 

 
Given that 60.9% of all votes fall in the range 6-10 of the voting histogram, this says your knowledge of statistics is lacking.
I like it more and more. An inside narrative on our current politics also? :-). And her voice sounds more and more like Cyndi Lauper after a weekend of hard drinking. Upgrade to a 7.
 Duc1098 wrote:
You are a complete philistine if you downgrade this song. The whole album holds up. For shame.

 
I'm with you - this is a wonderful track from a truly great album. Fascinating the degree to which this polarises opinion - seemingly you either hate it or love it. Nothing in between!
 Duc1098 wrote:
You are a complete philistine if you downgrade this song. The whole album holds up. For shame.

 
Average rating 5.6 says you are in the minority.

Voice like nails on a chalkboard. With a side of vomit. 
Something that I do with far too much frequency whilst listening to RP is looking up if the artist playing is still alive. So many from my youth are no longer with us it gets depressing.
You are a complete philistine if you downgrade this song. The whole album holds up. For shame.
FUCK! It is awful. No broken English.
It very much sounds broken, but interesting song nevertheless
Holy PSD button! 
When I got to Darwin Australia in 1981 was being played everywhere.And there was a party every night in Darwin back then.Stll one of my favourite albums.
good to hear her again, its beena while .... I dig this song
Blame Mick for this! Yech!
{#Stop} Some people just should not "sing"!!! This is so aweful and it does not get any better with the years! {#Moon}{#Ass}
 Chrisjea wrote:
Beats "As Tears Go By."

 
Hm...




No. {#Naughty} 
Still painful.
Just think, this is the woman who played the middle aged woman in Irina Palm (good movie, by the way).
 
Every time I hear this (which isn't often these days), it instantly takes me back to Jan. of 1980, freezing in a crappy apt. in SE Mpls.!
Beats "As Tears Go By."
  shakitten wrote:
She's not my taste at all. Horrible voice, lame 80's beat. Dated and awful.
meinthecorner wrote:

And what will we say about you when you find the courage to pick yourself off the pavement and launch your own comeback, warts'n all as she did with this album?

I saw her when she was touring this album (@The Diamond, Toronto) and she absolutely KILLED that night. The thing about that night was that many people were uneasy about what kind of performance we"d be in for from a washed-up has-been shopping a new album.
That was definitely NOT the case. She had such a strong presence on stage, we were putty in her imperfect hands.

Yes, '80's, that's when it was. And this is Eclectic Radio!
 
Thank you meinthecorner!  Marianne Faithful is a Goddess imo  : )
5.5? Are you kidding me? 
soso
Half a Century ago, I saw Marianne skipping across a Zebra crossing, with a bunch of long-haired boys in pursuit.
I was on my to an early football game (soccer to you) and she, no doubt, was on her way home. 

 
Another gem from 1979.   
One of my favorite songs of all time.  Not sure why all the hate for Ms. Faithfull.  Saw her live and what a performer.  She is not your typical singer but still continues to put out great music including the recent "Give My Love to London".  Like Leonard Cohen, it is not all about the vocals but the song choices, writing, interpretation, and emotions involved.  I always feel a bit let down when my favorite artists are criticized so heavily.  I guess everyone's cup of tea is different.  Go Marianne and keep on putting out quality music.
 Sakkerju wrote:

Finally a song from ex- Tuxedomoon member Winston Tong.

Would love to hear more Tuxodomoon songs here though!



 
Again today , nice!

Finally a song from ex- Tuxedomoon member Winston Tong.

Would love to hear mor Tuxodomoon songs here though!


 coloradojohn wrote:
Ahh, reminds me of the time I was with mates from Melbourne in fall of 2000 as we visited and partied hard (is there any other way in Oz?!) with mates of theirs at their incredible place on Wye River down by the beach town of Lorne and this LP was put on and more bottles of exquisite wine were opened and things got wild as the night full of lorikeets, cockatoos, wallabies and 'roos outside...I was about to go through a divorce and they all wanted to cheer me up, and their stories of Marianne Faithful made me think maybe I COULD survive it all...

 
survive Oz?

tough call. 
love her music               cool the way it spans time, moments from decades ago lighten up in my mind
 twcarlin wrote:

Yep. Got this when it came out- it was a huge surprise. Great album.
  
I remember listening to this with friends in college. I don't remember many of the songs beyond this and the ashtray-souled "Why'd Ya Do It" but we all loved it. 


{#Stop}
Is this set The Clash between Mick and Marianne?  
The rough edges of Faithfull's voice is a deep emotional delivery of a political message that in the early 1980's was prescient of the current decline of the democratic societies of the Western world.  So sad that few acted to resist the forces of decline. This music is much appreciated by those of us who saw this coming back then like a freight train. 
If I was in a hotel room, everyone would love this song. Instead it's just me. Great song.
 bam23 wrote:
OK, this is not "pretty" music.
 
The brutal, sharp edges quality of this song is what makes it great IMHO. Sort like a shambling, stumbling Frankenstein shaking a fist triumphantly, it has power and awe (and I mean that in a good way).
Ahh, reminds me of the time I was with mates from Melbourne in fall of 2000 as we visited and partied hard (is there any other way in Oz?!) with mates of theirs at their incredible place on Wye River down by the beach town of Lorne and this LP was put on and more bottles of exquisite wine were opened and things got wild as the night full of lorikeets, cockatoos, wallabies and 'roos outside...I was about to go through a divorce and they all wanted to cheer me up, and their stories of Marianne Faithful made me think maybe I COULD survive it all...
Just think of her in (or out of) the leather outfit from Girl on a Motorcycle. {#Jump}
Oh! Ooooh! Marianne! I played this album (yes, vinyl) over and over and over when it came out. Rough and edgy. The cigarettes...that voice! While I am not that same person anymore (thankfully)...I still LOVE this album and her voice and this song. And the album cover is classic. Wow. Having not heard this in YEARS it immediately made me reach to turn it UP! Oh, RP, you've done it again!
 planet_lizard wrote:
Only ever knew the Sunscream version (early 90s) - had no idea it was a cover! Is this the original? Or is there another beofre this?
 

Nope.  Marianne was co-writer of this song, which came out in late '79 (not sure why it says 1987 here?).  Anyway, I remember it getting a big push at that time, and she sang it on Saturday Night Live in early 1980. 
Only ever knew the Sunscream version (early 90s) - had no idea it was a cover! Is this the original? Or is there another beofre this?
I bought a LP player the other day, just for fun. bought this marianne faithful - LP with it, just for a euro. And have been listening to that record for at least 10 times so far. Just great music....

BTW, has anyone seen "Irina Palm"?
 bam23 wrote:
OK, this is not "pretty" music. However, the criticisms seem misdirected. I missed this when it was new, but there is an undeniable power that seems to pass lots of listeners by. Sure, you need not like it, but why assume that your displeasure should be universal? 
 
You are right on, bam23. Even on RP, (many) listeners seem to dump on anything that's not safe and predictable. Sigh.
OK, this is not "pretty" music. However, the criticisms seem misdirected. I missed this when it was new, but there is an undeniable power that seems to pass lots of listeners by. Sure, you need not like it, but why assume that your displeasure should be universal? 
nice transition from Stones / Sister Morphine (written by (i think) and also performed by Marianne Faithfull).

Update 7 Google-wiki seconds later: "Sister Morphine" is a song originally released by British singer Marianne Faithfull as a single in 1969. It was later popularised by the rock and roll band The Rolling Stones, who included it on their 1971 album release Sticky Fingers. It was originally credited to Jagger/Richards, but after a legal battle, Faithfull has been credited as co-writer.
All I can say is Wow.
 bluedot wrote:
Why does this INCREDIBLE, AMAZING album get such a mistakenly low rating on RP?

Sometimes even RP listeners miss pure genius. Go figure.

Marianne is WAY too hip for this room. Or something.
 
Yep. Got this when it came out- it was a huge surprise. Great album.

I can think of a lot of songs from that era I'd rather hear - but hearing this from time-to-time is okay by me. I give it a 5, with a +1 for kitsch. 
Repetitive and extraordinarily boring!
Uuggghhh....this is horrible!
Nice lead in from her earlier signature song, "Sister Morphine".
 shakitten wrote:
She's not my taste at all. Horrible voice, lame 80's beat. Dated and awful.
 
And what will we say about you when you find the courage to pick yourself off the pavement and launch your own comeback, warts'n all as she did with this album?

I saw her when she was touring this album (@The Diamond, Toronto) and she absolutely KILLED that night. The thing about that night was that many people were uneasy about what kind of performance we"d be in for from a washed-up has-been shopping a new album.
That was definitely NOT the case. She had such a strong presence on stage, we were putty in her imperfect hands.

Yes, '80's, that's when it was. And this is Eclectic Radio!

Raw and real...sadly dated, but still glowing.
She's not my taste at all. Horrible voice, lame 80's beat. Dated and awful.
Brutal.
This song is almost 25 years old and she had a weary, worn-down-by-the-world sound then. 
love it
OKAY

enough.

{#Puke}
 bluedot wrote:
Why does this INCREDIBLE, AMAZING album get such a mistakenly low rating on RP?

Sometimes even RP listeners miss pure genius. Go figure.

Marianne is WAY too hip for this room. Or something.
 
If she's too hip for me I'm glad to be unhip.
Whining with backbeat.  No thanks 
 Alpine wrote:


This is the only song of her's I have ever heard, so I don't have much to go by.  And to be brutally honest, it's not that great.  So I dunno.
 

I'm perplexed by all sides - why is it such a surprise when there is disagreement. This is all opinion, not observable, measurable fact. As it happens, I side with those who love this song (I'd rank it an 8.5, if that was possible) but I'm hardly surprised that someone might find it highly unappealing.
Definitely a 9 in my book.

Check out her cover of "Love Is Teasin' " with The Chieftains on 'Long Black Veil'...

Live video

Sincerely, Neil

 bluedot wrote:
Why does this INCREDIBLE, AMAZING album get such a mistakenly low rating on RP?

Sometimes even RP listeners miss pure genius. Go figure.

Marianne is WAY too hip for this room. Or something.
 

This is the only song of her's I have ever heard, so I don't have much to go by.  And to be brutally honest, it's not that great.  So I dunno.
Why does this INCREDIBLE, AMAZING album get such a mistakenly low rating on RP?

Sometimes even RP listeners miss pure genius. Go figure.

Marianne is WAY too hip for this room. Or something.

Marianne Faithful by ~DeeBeeCooper
David Cooper   ©2010 ~DeeBeeCooper

Dranouter Folk Festival 199?

Late 90's, Frontstage pass, Minolta X500, 135mm, lford FP4 @ 125ASA, f2.8 @ 60,  Neg Scan,

I normally used higher rated HP5 or Ilford Delta


Can't believe such a low score. This song is a monument and a life chunk of that dark period. No false notes, just a weird voice. Her most recent albums are also great. RP listeners, please stop disappointing me. This radio is too good for narrow minded spirits.
Speaking as a Brit who knows the history its a miracle MF can produce anything at all. She is the classic muse but unlike Nico she survives!
All that smoking sure changed her voice from her 60's stuff. I saw her do this live and enjoyed it.
Knowing how quick some listeners are to dismiss music they don't appreciate here at RP........I logged in -curious to see all the reactions to this song.  I came across this song and album in the 90s and it was powerful then as it is now for me- there are other songs on this album I like even more.  There's a lot to be said for hearing  more in a voice and a piece of art than the components of it's production and the technical abilities of a singer.  How many amazing artists/performers do you know that can't sing ?   I would love to see her perform (and I don't really care who she's boned LOL !)  The fact that this kind of gem lands on the play list on is why I love RP.

That's my RP: Broken English after the polemical Roots.... is that "What are you fighting for" I hear her singing?
I pressed 'pause' because of this.
I think if she ever got close to a right note, it would run away in fear.
Wow, this is pretty awful. More like spoken word than singing.

In the late '80s, my wife and I (two children at the time) were expecting the sh*t storm to happen any time. We talked about what we would do when it came down. This song captures the feeling of that time. Guess you had to be there.
You go Bill ! I'm with you on this one :POWERFUL ! {#Yes}
crank it up,,all you faithless...

As a piece of art, it works. It definitely stirs emotion.
As a piece of shit, it still works.
 j7 wrote:
Isn't the only reason she ended up near a mic, was because she boned all the Stones present and former, including crew?
Yuck.
Minus 3 if possible.
 
I bet there are a lot of ladies who went through the band but never made it near a mic ... So must be more to her than that. I like this album when it came out and glad to hear it on RP. Aside from singing she does have songwriting credits too. Not the first or last raspy singer to heard here.
Excellent song.  Her voice is well-matched for the dark theme of the song.  One of the best of the 80s, surely.  A fave.  10+
Her voice wasn't all raspy like that in her earlier 60's stuff when she was still hangin' with the Stones..
Isn't the only reason she ended up near a mic, was because she boned all the Stones present and former, including crew?
Yuck.
Minus 3 if possible.

{#Bananajam}{#Bananajam}{#Drummer}

 colleen wrote:
. . . we sat in rhaspshody throughout the set. She was brilliant, raw, honest, tortuous. I can't describe the quality of her voice and spirit. She was in tune with her audience who felt every nuance of that grating voice.
As a former music critic, I have seen hundreds of shows.
And I'll never forget Marianne Faithful's.
 
Well put. I don't get all these whiners complaining that her voice isn't pretty enough. That's kind of the point isn't it? It's that raw, tortured voice that gives the music its power and emotion.

Raw, honest music. Nothing polished and pretty.
All those decades of smoking sure didn't help her voice any....
 lmic wrote:

Lucky for us, RP is not a democracy!

 

So bad it is hard to believe someone recorded this.
 michaelgmitchell wrote:
So, this has an average of '5' with a healthy number of voters. I'm wondering when a '5' finally gets taken out of the rotation ... also, if it's possible to see the history of play of songs in general. It only shows the last time a song was played. Just my 2 cents.
 
Lucky for us, RP is not a democracy!

So, this has an average of '5' with a healthy number of voters. I'm wondering when a '5' finally gets taken out of the rotation ... also, if it's possible to see the history of play of songs in general. It only shows the last time a song was played. Just my 2 cents.
guess you had to be there, that's right. But for those who weren't there: I'm sorry but this is one of the most boring and repetitive songs ever..Some people have to struggle everyday to make a living. Some people can wake up late, smoke a few cigarettes and then just sing uninspired songs....
Very, well produced.

this is not enjoyable.
This is horrible.  Is there actually any talent, ingenuity, or interesting bits to this?  Bleah. 
It's sooo bad, yet it's sooo good!
 clarkRM wrote:
you had to be there.
 

Zactly.

meh

The Ulrike Meinhof reference raises this one from 8 to 9 for me, suddenly I have a tangible background to what I though was a pretty strange allegory.

Besides, people who don't like some of what Bill is playing should go get themselevs a free account on Spotify and make their own playlist. Its perfectly Ok to go there even if Bill's playlist is fine. =)

If I feel a track needs rating a "1" I normally switch stations :-)

We have, 71 "1" voters here. It would be interesting to know what they would like...


Really like this piece - strength and power of voice