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Billy Bragg: the Bard of Barking

Can rock lyrics ever be poetry?

By Danny Kelly   January 2016

Billy Bragg in a South Bank Show documentary broadcast in 1985. © ITV/REX Shutterstock

Reading A Lover Sings, a selection of the lyrics of the songwriter, activist and certified national treasure Billy Bragg, I was reminded of one of the most famous stories in the history of pop music. At a 1965 press conference in San Francisco, Bob Dylan (at that moment spokesman for a generation, laureate for the baby boomers and quite possibly the hippest person…

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