#indyref songs 1 – Should I stay or Should I go

(This is a small blog series using songs to ask questions about the upcoming Scottish independence referendum. Not intended as anything beyond lighthearted.)

Song 1 – Should I stay or should I go, by The Clash.


What’s the song about?
Someone facing a decision, should they stay or should they set off on their own. The song is written in English and Spanish. Perhaps is is about a long distance love thingy, form a school exchange. You know the sort of thing, pale white boy from Essex, travels to Spain: meets exotic, tanned, dark haired Spanish beauty. He thinks of staying in Spain and not taking the bus back home, she just looks at him with big eyes and won’t tell him to stay. The decision is important and fact they are waiting for the other to respond is “bugging” the writer.

What questions are similar around the referendum?
Well the obvious one, is it time to stay or go. The government is asking the people. and while the people are making up their mineds the governements of Westminster and Holyrood are doing things to impress us. The SNP are keen to Go, as are the greens and various others. Are the Scottish public in this case the exotic, tanned, dark haired beauty going to speak decisively, indicating stay or go?

The lines which struck me as most pertinent are

This indecision’s bugging me (esta indecision me molesta)
If you don’t want me, set me free (Si no me quieres, librame)
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be (digame que tengo ser)
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me? (No sabes que ropas me queda)

Speaking as an undecided voter this seems to reflect well my feelings of listening to a debate which is uninspiring, struggling to move beyond the norms of the current political debates soundbites and lack of saying anything which isn’t PR’d to death.

What conclusions can we draw about the independence referendum vote?
That living in this space where nothing is decided but options are on the table can give hope for change, or a firming of commitment, but conversly the result of the vote, could also become a space of bitterness and devision within the country, especially if it as marginal a decision as per the current poles indicate?

Secondly the independence debate be much better if half of it was in Spanish, a bit like eldorado. i would prefer that.