Billy Bragg: “Waiting for the Great Leap Forward”

Posted: February 2, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Waiting for the Great Leap Forward” – Billy Bragg
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Barnyard Fury vs. Discount vs. The GO Set
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!


The Original


Billy Bragg:

Nice acoustic version (Austin 3/14/2013):


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Barnyard Fury vs. Discount vs. The GO Set


Barnyard Fury:


The GO Set:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.


  1. Cuspid says:

    Wow, Dubbsie. 3 for 3 this time. I enjoyed ’em all. Since I gotta vote for somebody I’ll go with The GO Set because of the bagpipes, or what at least sounded like bagpipes. I think they were a nice touch. BTW – Do you remember when we saw the Braggster himself play this song at the MLK Day celebration in Atlanta, 1989? That one guy broke out of the crowd from behind the barriers and started dancing. And when the security rushed to stop wild, mad punk rocker, BB urged them right in the middle of the song to let him keep dancing. Great moment.

  2. RDubbs says:

    Yes, Cuspid, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that show. It was Bragg in his prime, I was there with some of my best friends and the weather was beautiful. Damn near perfect day! I remember Bragg even worked the punk dancer into the lyrics. It was something to this effect:

    Here Comes Security and You Can’t Run From It
    If You’ve Got Some Space I Want to Dance In It …

  3. RDubbs says:

    I felt this post would be well-received and judging from Cuspid’s early comments hopefully I’m right. Hell, if you’re not happy with this post then this probably is not the blog for you to follow anyway! This is one of my favorite Bragg songs, although truth be told, that bucket probably includes at least 20 tunes.

    All three covers are fantastic! Differing styles but all high on reverence, emotion and angst. I’m echoing Cuspid here but I too am giving it to The GO Set for originality. The bagpipes work perfectly and the singer sounds ready to pummel the likes of Dick Cheney at any moment. What’s not to love?

  4. Kerry Black says:

    Nice live version from Billy in 2013 with updated lyrics.

    Sympathy points are due to the young female vocalist of Discount for having to try to pronounce the name of a foreign person she apparently never heard of. Thus “Che Guevara” is rendered as “Chuh Guvera”.

    I liked all versions and voted for The GO Set.

  5. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I hadn’t heard the original before, which was great. The covers are all good, but it didn’t feel right hearing it sung by a girl, and the GO Set was a bit too rocking (for this song, anyway). So I gave it to Barnyard Fury. It’s all good, though.

  6. Pete Black says:

    All good versions of one of my favorite Bragg songs. Barnyard Fury sure seemed sincere for a band with that moniker. I was even more seduced by Discount’s That Dog/Metric/Magnapop version. I never heard of them so it was easy for me to picture the vocalist as a very sexy, intelligent, virtuous woman whom only loved dirty sex more than saving the world. The GO set was also good but I had already blurted.

  7. Pete Black says:

    After reading the other comments…I was also there for MLK-dancing Billy show. Great memories of Billy in his best period. Did anyone else think of Mott The Hoople when Billy sings “it’s a mighty long way down rock and roll”, then mentions the dole? Lifted, I’m sure with loving homage to the chorus of All The Way To Memphis.

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