Alan Moore Releases a Protest Song for Occupy Wall Street

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 5 2012 10:50 AM

Alan Moore Sings for Occupy Wall Street

Alan Moore in 2011
Alan Moore in 2011.

Photo by Loz Pycock from Wikimedia Commons.

Watchmen and V for Vendetta author Alan Moore is often described, accurately or not, as a bit of a recluse. There are some subjects he would prefer not to speak about, let alone sing about.

But sing is what Moore does—sort of—on this new single released in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a Bill Callahan-like sing-speak over spare acoustic guitars (courtesy British rocker Joe Brown), Moore sketches a few grim English scenes of desperate citizens, each seemingly within an inch of either dying of their circumstances or snapping and turning murderous.


The title presumably comes from George Orwell’s essay “Decline of the English Murder,” in which Orwell mused on several grisly stories of murder popular in the English press. The anarchist Moore, for his part, seems to be more concerned with the “murders” that come in more subtle forms, closing by suggesting that “Your average psychopath at least kills with a hammer or brick / And not with greed or incompetence.” The final line reads like it might be a threat: “After two or three years maybe they'll express remorse.”

And why is Moore taking to the mic today? “Remember, remember, it’s the fifth of November,” as Moore’s masked crusader V would say, in honor of Guy Fawkes Day. As Pitchfork points out, over 5,000 people are also set to reenact the final scene of V for Vendetta in honor of the same occasion. (The activists, organized by the V-mask-wearing group Anonymous, have included a “legal disclaimer” reassuring that they “will NOT blow up Parliament.”)

You can download Moore’s first ever single for a pound at the Occupation Records website. For the lyrics, head over to Bleeding Cool.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

So, Apple Is Not Shuttering Beats, but the Streaming Service Will Probably Be Folded Into iTunes

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 5:45 PM The University of California Corrects “Injustice” by Making Its Rich Chancellors Even Richer
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 11:23 AM Two Impacts, One Landslide … on Mercury
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.