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Billy Bragg - Mermaid Avenue
The image of the protest singer has always been seductive - but the notion that you can change the world by singing songs can only serve to undermine activism. Sure, we songwriters have a role to play - we can bring people together to express solidarity, we can help to raise funds, we can use our platform to offer different perspectives - but once we step down from the stage, we are individuals with nothing more than the brittle power that celebrity bestows. My experience tells me that real change can only be achieved by organised individuals working together with one another in common cause.

People tell me that they are inspired by my songs, and for that I’m thankful, but I take my inspiration from the only people in this equation who can actually make a difference - the audience. After 25 years of activism, my faith in your ability to change the world is undimmed.
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