Union song keeps the faith

29th October 2010 at 01:00

I was astonished to read in the editorial last week that Joseph Lee believed that the smash hit Bon Jovi single Livin' On A Prayer was anti- union (October 22). This is far from the truth. A different explanation of the opening lines is that the union is on strike because many workers, such as Tommy, have been sacked. This may be an appropriate strategy to adopt as a last resort when dealing with employers who are laying off workers without following recognised procedures. We could, of course, question in FE Focus whether it is wise for Tommy and Gina to rely so fervently on the power of love and hand-holding rather than considering the possibility of re-training - although it is difficult to mock a man who has had to pawn his beloved "six-string" in order to make ends meet.

Both Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora (guitarist and co-writer) are well- known Democratic party supporters. Furthermore, Bon Jovi has been quoted as saying that the song was written in response to Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economic policies. As both a trade union member and a Bon Jovi fan, I feel compelled to reclaim the song for the labour movement (even if many in the movement might be happier if I didn't).

Gareth Young, Redditch, Worcestershire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now