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Terror redefined: Osama Bin Laden quotes The Housemartins

We know that Osama Bin Laden has been wont to spice up his various broadcasts with references to Western writers, designed it seems to confuse a US public whose historical memory extends back as far as the Cola wars. Previously cited writers have included Chomsky, Robert Fisk and William Blum, whose handy collation of US 20TH century bastardry shot up the Amazon charts on OBL’s recommendation.

But is the bearded one now getting into 80’s pop? Quite aside from the fact that his latest video looks like an Ultravox film clip produced by Borat, there’s a point where he bursts into what is unmistakably the chorus of from annoying Christian pop-band The Housemartins Caravan of Love.

Check it out:

The Housemartins Caravan of Love

Are you ready
Are you ready
Are you ready
Are you ready
Are you ready for the time of life
Its time to stand up and fight
So alright
So alright

……

Every woman every man
Join the caravan of love
(stand up) stand up
Stand up
Every body takes a stand
Join the caravan of love
(stand up) stand up
Stand up

Then this from Osama Bin Laden:

Osama Bin Laden September 11 2007 statement

So I tell every young man among the youth of Islam:
it is your duty to join the caravan [of martyrs]
[of martyrs] [of martyrs]
until the sufficiency is complete
and the march to aid the High and Omnipotent continues.

As can be seen here, OBL joins in at the chorus, but the HM’s verse itself is clearly a call to jihad. The Housemartins were a favourite of shy kids everywhere in the 80s, a sort of proto-emo: I remember sharing a house with a Shepparton dental nursing student who played them continually to assuage homesickness. Twelve months later it was all black leather and razor hair and The Golden Palominos, and she was running the RMIT student union as a sort of central funding body for Project Mayhem Melbourne.

But back to The Housemartins. Are this terminally naff Hull band responsible in part for Al-Qaeda? Was a lonely “Sam” Bin Laden listening to them on a rickety Kabul-blaster in the Afghan hills? Could all this have been avoided if Frente had got a global distribution deal?

It should be added that none of the members of The Housemartins have been accused of any sort of atrocity, unless you count the last two albums of The Beautiful South.

Gerard Henderson helped me write this.

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