As one of our readers noted this morning, Morrissey finally got the answer to the question he posed of Margaret Thatcher in his controversial Viva Hate closer “Margaret on the Guillotine”: “When will you die?” The former British prime minister passed away today at age 87.
As such, it’s worth looking back at some of the great music inspired by the divisive leader. Much like the American punk/hardcore/indie scene’s reaction against Ronald Reagan, the U.K. conservative inspired a host of classic protest songs, from the aforementioned Morrissey track — the title of which originally was considered for The Queen is Dead — to songs by Elvis Costello, The Specials, Billy Bragg and more.
Below, we’ve assembled a few of the obvious standouts, but please feel free to add your own — and your memories of the songs and the era —in the comments below.
Morrissey, “Margaret on the Guillotine” (1988)
The Beat, “Stand Down Margaret” (1980)
Elvis Costello, “Shipbuilding” (1983)
Elvis Costello, “Tramp the Dirt Down” (1989)
The Specials, “Maggie’s Farm” (1980)
The Specials, “Ghost Town” (1981)
Crass, “How Does It Feel to Be the Mother of a Thousand Dead” (1983)
Madness, “Blue Skinned Beast” (1982)
Billy Bragg, “Between the Wars” (1985)
Kitchens of Distinction, “Margaret’s Injection” (1989)
New Model Army, “Spirit of the Falklands” (1984)