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Billy Bragg - A New England - Lyrics Meaning

Billy Bragg was 21 when he recorded `A New England' and was torn between two worlds. At his young age he was already looking for change in the world of politics but also looking for the natural feelings of belonging that come with a partner.

Not wanting to settle for any girl the song is part plea and part catalogue of his forays into the world of dating. The brutally honest line `I don't feel sad about letting you go, I just feel sad about letting you know' show that his real motive is finding someone who satisfies and stimulates him. Not just another girl pushing a pram.

It is well known that politics is not a conversation most young women are interested in when viewing a potential husband, Bragg knows this too. This leads us to the chorus where Bragg voices his choice,

`I'm not looking for a new England,

Just looking for another girl'

This is simply not true but the sacrifice Bragg is willing to make for a relationship and not friendship.

`I can't survive on what you send,

Every time you need a friend'

`A New England' was also famously covered by Kirsty MacColl who saw the same situation from the perspective of a woman.