Squeeze on David Cameron protest: ‘We’d hate ourselves if we didn’t say something’

Band changed lyrics to condemn UK PM in front of him live on TV

Squeeze singer Glenn Tilbrook has discussed his band’s on-air protest against David Cameron on the Andrew Marr Show over the weekend, which saw the group change their song lyrics to condemn the British Prime Minister right in front of him.

The band made headlines when they altered the lyrics of their song ‘Cradle To The Grave’ to include the lines: “I grew up in social housing, part of what made Britain great, there are some here who are hell-bent, on the destruction of the welfare state”.

Tilbrook has now explained in a piece for The Guardian that he had planned the protest, but didn’t know what he was going to say until he reached the studio.


“When I first heard, a few days beforehand, that David Cameron would be on the same Andrew Marr Show as my band Squeeze, I thought about changing the lyrics to the song we would perform in protest – in fact, I thought about redoing the whole thing. But then the next day I thought: ‘No, that would be a ridiculous thing to do’,” Tilbrook wrote.

Cradle to the grave

Rock band Squeeze were on the Marr Show with David Cameron, so changed the lyrics of their song to diss the PM to his face about him being “hell-bent on the destruction of the welfare state”. Footage courtesy of the BBC.Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jamieross/not-cool-for-cam

Posted by BuzzFeed UK Politics on Sunday, 10 January 2016


“So I didn’t write any new lyrics in advance. But then, just 10 minutes or so before we went on, I was listening to the interview he gave to Marr and he was talking about his housing policy. And I felt: ‘I have to say something. I couldn’t look myself in the eye if I didn’t take this opportunity.’ I didn’t tell anybody what I was going to do – I didn’t want to make anyone else nervous. But I just knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t say something.”


Tilbrook continued: “When the opportunity came up to make a comment on something I feel so strongly about it was just a perfect storm – and the song ‘Cradle to the Grave’ seemed to lend itself to those alternative lyrics.”

“There wasn’t really any reaction to the performance in the studio. Cameron applauded – he’s very professional. I suspect only the technicians and the rest of the band heard what I was singing – I think perhaps Marr and Cameron didn’t hear the words at all. I didn’t speak to either of them afterwards – I just made my excuses and left.”

The singer said that he was “surprised” by the reaction, most of which has been “very positive”, and added: “You’ve got to do what’s true to your own self. I see it from the point of view of a 58-year-old man. It was just a little ripple in the pool, but I’m proud to have made it”.

Squeeze released their thirteenth album ‘Cradle To The Grave’ in October. It was their first new music since 1998.

Listen to the album version of ‘Cradle To The Grave’ beneath.