Billy Bragg explores here some of his own influences, so this is quite a serious record, and really quite different from the earlier Bragg work, although a touch of Bragg's traditional whimsy can be seen in "Phil Ochs".
The title track is an arrangement of the famous socialist hymn, backed by a brass band - a rip roaring singalong. Equally singable is "Jerusalem", which before getting this album I hadn't sung along to since schooldays (some 20 years). At the other end of the scale are the tender "Nicaragua Nicaraguita" (a song of the revolution in Nicaragua) and "My Youngest Son Came Home Today" - the latter coming from the same pen as "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", but this time a lament from a more recent war - the troubles in Ireland. Billy Bragg's "Red Flag" is the traditional anthem, but set to a lively folk tune rather than the more familiar dirge used in Labour party conferences of the past.
The only downside to this album is that it's too short! No Billy Bragg fan should be without a copy of "The Internationale".