The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Monday Music "Its a Mistake" by Men At Work

I'm gonna change my Monday Music a bit, Instead of playing songs I like, I will play a few songs that I don't like and to the point that I will change the channel on my Sirius/XM rather than listen to it.   I like most of the music of that decade but there are a few songs that are like fingers on chalkboard to me.  I like most of the music of the group "Men At Work", but they had one song that I despised.  This song every time I hear it, I think "They should have gotten the "Order of Lenin" for that piece of propaganda."

"The Order of Lenin"
For that piece of music that supported the goals of the Supreme Soviet and
the peace loving people of the world against the warmongering decadent imperial West"

Cargo is the second studio album by Australian pop rock band Men at Work, which was released in April 1983. It peaked at No. 1 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 on the United States Billboard 200, and No. 8 on the United Kingdom Albums Chart. Four singles were released from the album, with "Overkill" being an international top 10 hit in Canada, Ireland, Norway, and US Billboard Hot 100.

"It's a Mistake" is a song by the Australian band Men at Work. The song was written by the lead singer and guitarist Colin Hay and the recording was produced by Peter McIan. It was released in June 1983, as the third single from their album Cargo and peaked at #34 in Australia. In the US, it entered the charts at #42 on July 2, 1983, and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1983. It was performed live on Saturday Night Live on October 22, 1983.

The song's lyrics deal with the mindset of military men across the world in the 1980s, wondering if and when the democratic countries of NATO and the communist states of the Warsaw Pact will end the Cold War standoff with conventional battle or a nuclear exchange. Hay sings in the persona of a mid-level officer wishing to learn from his superiors if his men are going to war or not. 

The video, which had moderate rotation on MTV (as opposed to the band's singles from their Business as Usual album), told a satirical story of the outbreak of a war between the Eastern and Western blocs. The beginning of the video shows the five band members dressed as children playing "soldiers" and being invited into an officer's tent by an American officer, inside of which are many allied officers of various services drinking and partying. The video then shows four adult men whom are working each as a businessman, a road worker, an anti war protester and a doctor. The video then shows each of them fading into a military uniform vaguely corresponding to each of their peacetime professions with a surprised look on their faces, as to imply they were drafted. We then see them walking through a burnt out forest and come across an elderly man, who beats one of the soldiers with an umbrella, one of the soldiers takes aim but upon realizing what is happening lowers his weapon. The latter half of the video is mostly set in an underground bunker or "War Room" similar to the NORAD facility of Cheyenne Mountain, and the band seemed to engage in a semi-retelling of the 1964 black comedy film Dr. Strangelove. At the end of the video, the officer is nervously tapping his fingers and inadvertently knocks open the protective cover from the nuclear button, which is right next to his ashtray. Then, when he goes to stub out his cigar in the ashtray, he accidentally hits the button instead.


  1. Love it. I think looking back at the video today gives it different meaning than it did back then. Is that legal? I mean, things meant what they did at the time they were made. We can't use them to relate to today, right?

    1. Hey Momma Fargo;

      To a lot of people today, they couldn't relate to the subject matter, only the people that were around back then could understand it. I didn't care for it because it portrayed the United States as the antagonist and the Soviets as innocent and that really bothered me because the Soviets are the expansionist ones.

  2. Nena sang my all time most hated song, 99 luftballons. This one wasn't nearly as bad.

    1. Hey Gromit;

      The Song by Nena wasn't as bad, I guess the optics. Nena just wanted a world free from atomics, whereas "Men At Work" song picked sides. That is my perception.

  3. It wasn't that well received in the military back in the day either...

    1. Hey Old NFO;

      I can understand why, it portrayed the U.S. Military poorly and seemed to expand every bad stereotype.


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