Album cover video:
“Something About England” is one of my favorite tunes on Sandinista! While there’s more to it than this, it is basically a song that is critical of post-war England, suggesting that for all the horrors of World War One and Two, the class divide never closed. Indeed, the song suggests that the complaints contemporary Englishmen have about immigrants are nothing compared to that “gap.”
Musically, the song goes through several changes, more or less matching the changes in character or changes in time period that the characters are talking about. In the end, we hear some distant voices singing “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary,” perhaps suggesting that England is still years from solving its essential class struggle issues.
I have always suspected that the old man that we meet in the song is meant to literally be England, but I may be reading too much into it.