Billy Bragg's class credentials | Bleader

Billy Bragg's class credentials

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Expressing the proper attitude toward the royal family is a big etiquette issue with British lefties, I understand. Royalty mostly just amuses Americans; we don't tend to worry about them, although we liked Helen Mirren in that movie. Billy Bragg has to worry about it, though. He received a Classic Songwriter award at the Q's early in October. Apparently the Queen loved his version of two verses of the Fourth Movement of Beethoven's Ninth so much she asked for an autographed copy. (Yes, Bragg filked the "Ode to Joy." Did he not know that anything that fits the tune of "Clementine" also goes with it?) Bragg is certainly politically sensitive, but he would never be rude to a fan, as he makes clear in this interview with the Washington Post's Express.

Bragg promptly cleansed his palate by continuing his Jail Guitar Doors project, which works to provide musical instruments for inmates in the UK. He's also been performing in prisons, or "gaols," if you prefer (what an odd word). The best part? He's adopted the stage name "Johnny Clash."

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