Nostalgia and Simulacra: Blackpool in Song

Gillon, Leslie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2428-1866 (2020) Nostalgia and Simulacra: Blackpool in Song. In: Blackpool in Film and Popular Music. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 83-99. ISBN 978-3-030-49934-1

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Blackpool has been referenced within British popular music for the best part of a century. Its place in popular culture derives from the town’s position as the premier English holiday resort of the prewar and immediate postwar years. Over the past 60 years Blackpool has been referenced in a number of songs that implicitly or explicitly allude to the glory days of the town. If some songs sometimes seem to recall the role of carnival, as described by Mikhail Bahktin, with its sense of freedom from the restrictions of daily life, others point to the conformity implied by industrialised leisure. The artificiality of Blackpool’s glittering facades is a recurring theme as is the existence of a harsher reality that exists beneath the shiny surface. These themes reflect the historical and social significance of the town as a place English working-classes entertainment and recreation and also the more recent decline in the town’s fortunes. As such they inevitably raise questions of social class and national identity.

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