|We're Still Free performed by Skeleton Crew |
The best political song ever written, "We're Still Free" concerns the famous tragedy of a Korean passenger jet shot down by fighter planes when it strayed into Soviet airspace. Yet in recounting this act of barbarism on the part of the Soviets, it also implicates the righteousness of the American side of the Cold War ("We're still free here in America"). The song sets up a chilling contrast in the singing of the two performers, with Frith crying out almost desperately against believing what the media tell us, while Tom Cora gently croons the part of the Soviet air controllers as they decide to destroy the plane.
Skeleton Crew was a two-man band with both performers playing drums with their feet along with electronics and strings. Here they set a contrast between the grand, arcing lines of the cello and a homey picking of the violin that's almost shockingly sweet and funny.
Critical of anti-democratic trends in the West, Skeleton Crew was criticized by fans in Eastern Europe for taking freedom for granted.