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Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’ and the Falklands War.

Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’ and the Falklands War.

Above Photo: Modern Naval Warfare – a torpedo takes out a warship.

The Falklands War features in my in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, because it was an important – if barely believable – international conflict in the early 1980s.

Argentine warship the General Belgrano sinks during the Falklands War, with the loss of 323 men.

Argentine warship the General Belgrano sinks during the Falklands War, with the loss of 323 men.

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, claiming sovereignty. Disputing this, the UK, then run by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, sent a naval task force to reclaim the islands, which led to the Falklands War.

 The sinking of HMS Antelope during the Falklands War.

The sinking of HMS Antelope during the Falklands War.

There were over 900 casualties in total, the majority of them being Argentine soldiers, although there were also 255 British servicemen killed.

During the war, Elvis Costello wrote the lyrics for Shipbuilding, a great song pointing out the irony that working-class communities in deprived former shipbuilding areas across the UK were sending their sons to be killed in the army and navy during the conflict, but would soon be receiving orders to build ships lost during the war.

The sinking of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War

The sinking of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War

Clive Langer, formerly of Liverpool bands Deaf School and Big in Japan wrote the music to Shipbuilding, and Elvis Costello (also a former member of Eric’s Club) wrote the lyrics, which meant that two Eric’s alumni had combined to produce one of the most poignant anti-war songs ever written.

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

 The sinking of HMS Antelope in one of the iconic images of the whole conflict.

The sinking of HMS Antelope in one of the iconic images of the whole conflict.

See also: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/history/elvis-costello-and-the-falklands-war-sung-from-an-argentine-perspective-cinco-minutos-con-vos/

This is a You Tube link to the song:

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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