Stella Donnelly aired angsty new song ‘Political Songstress’ while performing at Glastonbury 2019 today – taking aim at right-wing Australian politicians Pauline Hanson and David Leyonhjelm. Check it out below.
Donnelly was playing as part of Billy Bragg’s ‘Radical Roundup’, when she told the crowd at the Left Field Stage about both the real and tongue-in cheek inspirations behind the new track.
“This song is very Australia-centric, but I’m sure you can play it to some politicians here in the UK,” said Donnelly. “We have this politician called Pauline Hanson in Australia. Oh I see some people have heard of her as I hear some hissing from the crowd, but she used to run a fish and chip shop, just for some context, then she became this prick politician.
“I wrote a song about her, and it’s called ‘Political Songstress’ because I kept getting put into the label of, ‘Oh, you’re just a political songwriter’, so I wrote a song about actual politics just to piss some people off. I’m also going to mention a politician called David Leyonhjelm. Don’t even Google him because he’s just an idiot.”
Taking aim at Hanson, the lyrics include the introduction “Oh Pauline, I thought that you’d be gone. I thought you’d be back frying the chippies. But you’re still here, singing in our ears, plucking all the hairs off our bodies,” before Donnelly warns “Don’t you ever offer me your dinner, I won’t eat it”.
The track continues: “I tried to find something that would rhyme with David Leyonhjelm, but I couldn’t. So I’ll leave it there, and go back to my lair and write some more political statements,” before concluding “You racist, bitter, frightened bigot.”
As for her song ‘Beware Of The Dogs’, Donnelly paid tribute to Australia’s native indigenous people.
“We still see today the way that our first nation’s people are treated. I wrote this song from a very privileged place, as a white Australian I acknowledge that privilege, and I wrote this confused at how I can live next door to somebody and based on the colour of my skin we would have a completely different quality of life. I think that’s bullshit.”
Introducing the track ‘Boys Will Be Boys’, Donnelly said that she was touched by how the track took on a life of its own in the wake of the #MeToo movement following the accusations levelled against Harvey Weinstein.
“My life changed, my song got picked up and I had the very scary honour to stand up and speak up on what this song was about,” she said. “I was immediately ‘a political songwriter’. That was immediately my label, which I took on humbly.
She continued: “I wrote this song for someone who was a very close friend of mine, and quite possibly a close friend of yours. When this thing happened to hear and she opened up to the people around her, they kind of questioned her. I even remember some of my girlfriends asking, ‘What were you wearing that night? Why did you get so drunk? Why did you talk to that guy in the first place?’ That’s just not good enough.
- Read more: Reckoning with Australia’s colonial past and gender politics helped Stella Donnelly craft the year’s boldest debut
“We need to stop questioning women, and everyone on how they dress and how they act – because no one is ever asking for it. I also wrote this song because I’ve got a little brother who’s 10 years younger than me, and I know so many amazing and beautiful gentlemen in my life who don’t deserve to be bundled into that same ‘Boys will be boys, they’re all the same’, because that’s bullshit. The more that they do that, the more responsibility they’re putting on the victims of sexual assault and that’s just fucked. That’s my two pence, here’s a song.”
Donnelly released her acclaimed debut album ‘Beware Of The Dogs‘ back in March.
Glastonbury 2019 will see Stormzy, The Cure and The Killers head up a huge line-up that also includes the likes of Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, George Ezra, Miley Cyrus and Tame Impala, to name but a few. See the full stage-by-stage breakdown here.