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The Rangoon Show

Stuart Bailie | 11:32 UK time, Monday, 15 November 2010

Sad person that I am, I tend to find a musical analogue for things that happen in the real world. So when those Burmese citizens were getting ecstatic about the release of Aung San Suu Kyi's release for prison, I was thinking of a soundtrack.

The obvious tune would be 'Walk On' by U2, which was inspired by the leader's ordeal. It return, the Burmese government banned their album, 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'. It the context of international diplomacy and sanctions, a song may not have rocked the dictatorship, but like some of the best pop music, it helped to crystallize a notion.

Bono had been inspired by a John Boorman film from 1995, Beyond Rangoon. And while the singer can sometimes drown out the subtleties of a story with the tumult of his trade, I'd say he got the tone right with this one. When the band got the freedom of Dublin in 2000, they were jointly recognised with Aung San Suu Kyi. Her son was there to pick up the honour.

I've just checked the band's website and the news headline made me smile.

'1 Down, 2,202 To Go'.

The story has legs and the Rangoon prisons have more liberties to arrange.


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