"TUG OF WAR" AND MARTIAL LAW IN POLAND
Piotr Chrósciel last edited by
General Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland on the 13th of December 1981. Four and a half months later Paul McCartney released his legendary album "Tug of War". I expressed this opinion in my book on McCartney in 1992 and I'm still deeply convinced that it's the best Paul's solo album and the best of all post-Beatles albums including those recorded by John, George and Ringo. Harrison's triple album "All Things Must Pass" has "My Sweet Lord" which is an example of plagiarism. The version of "Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)" from "Band On The Run" - as a sound equivalent of cubist paintings - is somehow incoherent and disintegrates cohesion of the album. I've always preferred an acoustic live and shorter version of "Drink To Me" from "Wings Over America". Unlike "Band On The Run" and "All Things Must Pass" "Tug of War" has no unnecessary fillers. It's exquisite and flawless. During the recording sessions for this album collaboration between Sir Paul McCartney and Sir George Martin reached its creative apogeum. On the 2nd of April 1982 the Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom began. So to me only two places in the world could the McCartney "Tug of War" metaphor really refer to at the moment Paul's album was released. No wonder I had very personal feelings listening to these songs as a 21-year-old boy in Warsaw in 1982. I was sure Paul's wise words about destructive conflicts were addressed more to me than to the people from the Free West even taking into consideration the British- Argentine War. In 1982 some people in Poland were sitting in prison, some were coming to work equipped with pistols. It was the real tug of war dividing Poland into two opposing groups. For me and for my friend Michael McCartney's music was escape from reality. We spent endless hours with "our" songs from "Tug of War" - impressed and amazed. McCartney's reflection from "Tug of War" was original and full of maturity. U2 releasing their famous album "War" (with references to Poland and the "Solidarity" movement) in February 1983 evidently copied Paul's idea. Coincidentally McCartney's optimistic response to "Tug of War" - the album "Pipes of Peace" was released at the end of October 1983 i.e. three months after martial law was lifted in Poland. I and Michael learnt about General Jaruzelski's positive decision on the 22nd of July 1983 sitting by a campfire near the bank of the Masurian lake Ros and entertaining our friends with our own performances of McCartney's songs. I never listened to the U2 album "War" in the eighties and I realized the song "New Year's Day" had been dedicated to Lech Walesa and to Solidarity many years after it was released. To me and to Mike the motto for the time of martial law in Poland were the words: "Well you can dress me up as a soldier But I wouldn't know what for (...) Don't wanna go to another war" On the 26th of April 1985 (exactly the third anniversary of releasing the album "Tug of War"!) I was forced to join the Polish Communist Armed Forces (the Navy). Due to my efforts and with a little help from my friends they set me free on the 10th of May 1985. Simply speaking I was effectively simulating a serious disease of my spinal column. In this way General Jaruzelski and his loyal communist officers did not manage to dress me up as a soldier. A great McCartney fan was saved!
Thread Of The Year.
BOYCIE last edited by
I agree, shows the power of music.
walliebaby last edited by
harleyblues last edited by
nice post~ I wouldn't say it's Paul absolute best tho.. The Pound is Sinking is my fav by far.. followed by Wanderlust than....Ebony & Ivory
John Mackintosh last edited by
Superb post, brought back memories of the headlines of the time--the Falklands War and the Solidarity movement. Thank you to our Macca friend in Poland. Definitely a classic album. At the time, I felt it was his best ever. The title track is superb. Despite the demise of many of the currencies mentioned in The Pound Is Sinking (they merged into the Euro) the song resonates into today's uncertain economic environment, especially as the pound has been sinking lately. Dress Me Up as a Robber has a slippery melody (try humming it) that is seductive, the song improves with age. As for Ebony, always remember my wife to be and I first heard that on the radio on the way to out of town for a wedding shower. We were married shortly after the album came out and, fortunately, our marriage has not been a tug of war, for this we are very thankful 31 years into this life together.
nice post~ The Pound is Sinking is my fav by far..
i love this one as well very very very underated song