EditorialsEssays

Saga, Skinhead Subculture, and Spontaneous Rebellion

Saga in Veroce, Ungarn (Aug. 2011)

by John I. Johnson

THE SWEDISH singer Saga is a pro-white, anti-Jewish racialist who rose out of her nation’s skinhead subculture, which centers around a certain kind of rock music. It is a populist (bottom up, not top down) subculture opposed to the totalitarian, genocidal policies of Jews and governments. (ILLUSTRATION: Saga giving the Roman salute at a concert in Hungary, August 2011)

There is rare online video of Saga singing to this audience. Neither the video nor the audio are top-notch, but the clip’s cinéma vérité-style offers a useful window into the subculture that gave rise to the woman and her music.

As with “Land of Ice,” Saga’s cover of Ian Stuart’s song about Swedish nationalism written after his 1987 trip to that country, YouTube may insult you with a warning compelling you to click “Continue” before you can watch the Finland video. (Unflagged versions of both songs are also posted.) In both cases the censor states: “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.” I just roll my eyes when Jews strike a moralistic pose like this. Weird creeps.

Assuming you’re interested in the topic, simply click “Continue” and watch both videos. This juvenile ploy probably stops many whites from going forward. If you’re “shocked” by what you see, don’t worry. As time goes by such content will be permanently removed from YouTube and you will be left with masses of “safe,” “inoffensive,” “non-graphic,” anti-white material that it is deemed good for you to see, and that won’t jar your delicate sensibilities: propaganda for homosexuality and transgenderism, Howard Stern, Bill Maher, Tim Wise, etc. (Ah, bliss!) Some Politically Incorrect material will remain online as flypaper for surveillance purposes. Badthinkers keep popping up and totalitarians must locate, identify, and monitor them.

Saga: “Hail the New Dawn” (Live in Finland) [3:51]

The video shows Saga singing the Skrewdriver standard “Hail the New Dawn” to a small group of drunken skinheads at a bar in Finland. It was filmed around 2007 (8 years ago). At one point, four skinheads with their arms around each other’s shoulders drift too close to the camera and another man, possibly assigned security duty, casually shoves them away. Saga not only sings in English, but addresses her Finnish audience in that language as well.

“Hail the New Dawn” is better heard on the studio recording, which I’ve linked to below. Also included are the lyrics. In the song, Ian Stuart envisioned the future immediately following victory:

The streets are still, the final battle has ended
Flushed with the fight, we proudly hail the dawn
See over the streets, the White man’s emblem is waving
Triumphant standard of a race reborn

At the words “Hey!” and “Hail!” Saga and her listeners give the Roman salute. You’ll see this briefly as well in a different video clip I’ll post later, where an anti-white TV journalist, a Scotsman, challenges her about it. Unfortunately for him, she’s not given to apologizing for her loathsome self, her beliefs, or the group she associates with. According to Wikipedia, “Use of this salute is currently a criminal offense in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. In Switzerland and Sweden the salute is illegal hate speech if used for propagating Nazi ideology.”Ah “Freedom”! “Democracy”! Bloodthirsty Jews and communists, increasingly incensed as a result of their incessant stoking of their genocidal hatred, certainly have their powerless victims securely lashed down.

Judging from her body language, manner, and smiles, Saga felt energized in this environment.

Watch closely–or jump forward–to the 1:43-1:49-minute mark, where she turns and looks directly into the camera for several seconds as the videographer zooms in for a close-up. At this point you can clearly read the stylized white letters on the front of her blue cap: A.C.A.B. This is a skinhead acronym for “All Cops Are Bastards”–even, it appears, among Swedes and Finns! (The phrase, of course, is English.)

landofice

Saga is a “celebrity” within the skinhead/white power music scene (though she necessarily keeps a very low personal profile), but virtually unknown outside it, including among pro-white readers, writers, podcasters, and meeting-goers.

She has issued ten “underground” albums, the first in 1999 and the most recent in 2014. She speaks exceptionally good English (American-style, with virtually no accent), and the vast majority of her songs are in English. Only one album is in Swedish. Since English is the closest thing that linguistically-balkanized whites with their horrific Babel of dialects and languages have to a shared means of communication, Saga’s willingness and ability to utilize English has contributed greatly to her Europe-wide appeal. She has performed at concerts and private gatherings throughout the Continent.

A blurb on her record company’s website, Midgård Records in Gothenburg (Sweden’s second-largest city), says that “Saga is one of the national musicians who succeeded best at reaching out to a wider audience. Her voice has captured hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of white people’s hearts.”

As a gauge, I checked uploads of one of her songs, the Skrewdriver cover “The Snow Fell” (from My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 3, 2001) about fighting on the Eastern Front during WWII written and sung from a pro-German, anti-Communist perspective. Stylistically it is one of her soft, ballad-type compositions. Because numerous people have uploaded the same song I counted the four I could identify quickly that seemed to have the most hits. The song had been listened to over 1.8 million times. Additional uploads of “Snow Fell” I did not count would have added thousands and low tens of thousands more hits. Obviously, this one song has been heard by a much larger audience of mostly young listeners than most whites who stick to writing ever reach. Moreover, that broader audience is a different one from people who customarily read racialist material. My calculation necessarily omits CDs, live performances, and other modes of distribution.

Popular music is a medium different and distinct from print, reaches a younger audience (which is extremely important demographically), and psychologically engages auditory and emotional channels in ways that print cannot. To the extent that concerts or other gatherings occur, they, too, engage whites on a different psychological-emotional plane than do meetings and lectures. (Tom Metzger refers to the latter as “eat, meet, and retreat” events.) It is an important fact to consider.

Jews and governments, at least, are hyper-aware of pro-white music and have systematically attacked, censored, and suppressed it. In England the Establishment/domestic terrorist combine even created an ersatz movement called Rock Against Racism to defuse the potential appeal of pro-white music and foster anti-white hatred instead. (Jews have a long, multigenerational time horizon that has greatly facilitated the establishment of totalitarianism and the commission of genocide. In terms of innate time horizons, Jews are to whites as whites are to blacks.)

They should know, because via their racist control of popular music they routinely produce and propagate vile, hateful music to millions of people. The fact that the hostility and crudity and enormous social impact of the music is concealed from public view by a protective wall of media endorsement or silence increases rather than mitigates the virulence of its social and racial effects. Such social control is like cancer. What is alien drives out and displaces what is normal, and there is no legally permissible means of counteracting the fatal consequences. Lacking funds, the professionalism and technical quality of pro-white music (and concerts) is often inferior, making the products of Establishment racism look better to customers in that regard as well.

Saga’s roots are deep in the skinhead/white power music scene in Sweden, particularly the Rock Against Communism (RAC) movement that developed among rebellious youth in England and Europe in response to the ruling class’s manipulation of popular music in explicitly anti-white directions.

She was particularly influenced by the music of English skinhead singer-songwriter Ian Stuart (Ian Stuart Donaldson), head of a band called Skrewdriver. Stuart was born in Lancashire in 1957 and killed in an automobile accident in 1993 at age 36. A courageous, dynamic, energetic, highly charismatic man, he remains far and away the most famous and influential figure in the history of white power music.

Four of Saga’s early albums (all released in 2000-2001) are covers (i.e., her own renditions) of popular Skrewdriver favorites. These remain her best-known, and by and large her best, work. Overall, her musical style ranges from metal to rock to softly-sung ballads accompanied, often, by just a piano or single acoustic guitar. The ballad type predominates, a style to which she seems naturally drawn.

Saga has her own YouTube channel, but it is relatively inactive and contains only nine uploads by her, three of which are in Swedish. Many other people have uploaded her songs, however. Photos illustrating the various videos (with few exceptions they are really audio tracks with pictures added) were chosen by the individuals who uploaded them, and must be evaluated accordingly.

I’ve included one of her songs, with lyrics, below. It’s advisable to play her songs in one tab or window of your browser while reading the lyrics here as she sings. The lyrics are often essential to understanding the songs. As with mainstream commercial productions, sometimes you can make them out clearly and other times you can’t.

“Land of Ice” is a Skrewdriver cover about Swedish nationalism reflecting Ian Stuart’s characteristically upbeat, never-say-die attitude.

Land Of Ice [2:15] (Rock)

from My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 1 (2000)

Talking ’bout a land that is made of ice
A land of the North that is full of pride
Hearts full of fire, forests full of snow
Always made welcome by the friends we know
As we board the Swedish ferry and journey through the night
Gothenburg is waiting

Hearts of fire, land of ice
Hearts of fire, land of ice

We cross the mighty ocean and arrive next day
Comrades are waiting on the dock of the bay
We toast old friendships as we shake their hands
Swear to keep fighting to release our lands
The next day on to Stockholm, to meet comrades of the fight
Their pride is Sweden’s struggle

Hearts of fire, land of ice
Hearts of fire, land of ice

[Instrumental interlude]

Bevara Sverige Svenskt” [“Keep Sweden Swedish”]* is the slogan there
Nordic pride is the thing they share
To save their Northern country from the Marxist plague
To stop their country dying they fight every day
They’re fighting in Uppsala, in Södertälje they fight
In Borås and in Malmö

Hearts of fire, land of ice
Hearts of fire, land of ice
Hearts of fire, land of ice

*“Bevara Sverige Svenskt” [“Keep Sweden Swedish”] was both a nationalist slogan and a racialist coalition in 1988 when the song was written. Radical at the time—advocating complete cessation of immigration and the repatriation of non-ethnic Swedes—the coalition later evolved into today’s non-racialist, anti-white, Establishment-controlled Sweden Democrats. For a brief account see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevara_Sverige_Svenskt

Skinheads

In contemporary mass society, a “subculture” is an ethnic, regional, economic, or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of belief, behavior, lifestyle, or appearance that differentiate it from others.

Elites associated with the rise of skinhead culture–those who originally commercialized and promoted it to white youth in the UK–emphasized the idealization and imitation of black youth (e.g., Jamaican music and thuggery), a distinctive hairstyle (close-cropped hair or a shaved head with the absence of a beard or mustache), mode of dress (laced boots and “braces” [suspenders], T-shirts, jeans, bomber jackets), tattoos, and genres of pop music including punk and Oi!. In other words, it was anti-white.

Then, in the late 1970s and early ’80s the Establishment lost control of this commercial market as the new subculture underwent a sudden, spontaneous transformation. It rapidly became associated with militant racial identity among white working class youth and spread like wildfire across Europe, North America and Australia.

Writing years after the movement had been brought to heel by Jews, cops, government, and the media (not to mention a heavy dose of violence, criminality, and jailings targeting skinheads), an academic noted that Oi! music provided “for the first time, a musical focus [emphasis added] for skinhead identity that was ‘white’ [yeah, he puts white in quotation marks]—that is, that had nothing to do with the West Indian immigrant presence and little obvious connection with black [not in quotation marks] musical roots—Oi! provided a musical focus for new visions of skinhead identity [and] a point of entry [an interesting term] for a new brand of right-wing rock music.” The author remained puzzled by what had happened. “What accounts,” he asked, “for the seemingly-paradoxical transformation of the skinhead subculture from one organized around appreciation for black cultural forms to one organized around white and frequently racist forms?” (Timothy Scott Brown, “Subcultures, Pop Music and Politics: Skinheads and ‘Nazi Rock’ in England and Germany,” Journal of Social History 38 [Fall 2004]: 157–78.)

The short answer: Ian Stuart and Skrewdriver happened.

One of the most striking features of the subculture was its marked differentiation from mainstream society by the adoption of a distinctive (for the group) external appearance (see three paragraphs up), most notably shaved heads or close-cropped hair. (Previously, “skinhead,” at least in the US, was a slang term denoting a man with a bald or close-shaven head, particularly a Marine boot.) Distinct forms of differentiation in dress and/or hairstyle have also marked the Amish, Orthodox Jews, hippies (formerly), and others.

Since shaven heads and gaudy tattoos have become mainstream they no longer excite the visceral reaction they once did. Also, the skinhead subculture is less vital than it was from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Obviously, Saga’s militant racial commitment is socially subversive. She’s also subversive in ways not as apparent until you stop to think about them.

Distinctive dress and hairstyles are central components of this subculture. Girls don’t shave their heads, but their hair is usually cut in a distinct fashion that Saga’s is not. Saga does have some tattoos, but they are located where they are easily concealed. They aren’t extreme and, anyway, tattoos are now pervasive in both mainstream and celebrity society. Saga’s overall appearance is pretty normal. Moreover, this was a conscious decision on her part. As she explained (in English) to the TV journalist I mentioned:

What makes me different is, I think, that I’m a lot more mainstream looking, and that I’m very much toned down compared to the other ones. It’s not in your clothes, it’s not in the way you dress, it’s not in your appearance, it’s what’s in your heart. It’s a lot easier for the mainstream public to see themselves in me than it is to see themselves in a skingirl.

The other major way she’s subversive (within the subculture) is her music. It doesn’t sound like skinhead music. Not only her Skrewdriver covers, but others as well (e.g., her cover of RaHoWa’s “Ode to a Dying People”), are typically better than the originals. Also, she always pulls strongly in the direction of a decidedly un-skinhead, soft, non-rock “ballad” (for want of a better term) style. Some of these songs are very beautiful, but for complex reasons they don’t always work as well as the rock versions, or rock songs, would have.

I’ve never seen any indication that anyone has noticed that she’s “subversive” (in quotation marks) within the skinhead subculture itself (though without ever criticizing or rejecting it). While gaining a wider audience, she has retained her core audience as well. Her militant pro-white views are all anyone ever sees.

And she is pretty militant.

STUDIO RECORDING & LYRICS:

Hail the New Dawn [3:51] (Rock)

from My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 2 (2000)(male voices)

Hey!
Hey!

Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!

Comrades, the voices of the dead battalions
Of those who fell that Europe might be great
Join their song, for they still march in spirit with us
And urge us on that we gain the national state

The streets are still, the final battle has ended
Flushed with the fight, we proudly hail the dawn
See over the streets, the White man’s emblem is waving
Triumphant standard of a race reborn

Blood of our blood, spirit of our spirit
Sprung from that soil for whose sake they bled
Against the vested powers, Red front, and massed reaction
We led the fight for the freedom and for bread

The streets are still, the final battle has ended
Flushed with the fight, we proudly hail the dawn
See over the streets, the White man’s emblem is waving
Triumphant standard of a race reborn

(male voices)
Hail the new dawn!
Hail the new dawn!

Hail the new dawn!
Hail the new dawn!

People who we trusted again have let us down
Jailing men of this nation for fighting for their land
We will fight forever, until the end releases us
Never gonna submit to the six-point master plan

The streets are still, the final battle has ended

Flushed with the fight, we proudly hail the dawn

See over the streets, the White man’s emblem is waving

Triumphant standard of a race reborn

(male voices)
Hail the new dawn!
Hail the new dawn!
Hail the new dawn!
Hail the new dawn!
Hail!

Appendix: Saga Discography

All albums except number six, Pro Patria III (2003), are in English, although English is a second language for Saga.

1. Paradise Lost (Symphony of Sorrow, 1999) (metal)

2. Saga–Live & Kicking (2000) (live album)

3. My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 1 (2000)

4. My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 2 (2000)

5. My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 3 (2001)

6. MidgårdPro Patria III (2003) (Swedish language only)

7. Symphony of Hatred (Symphony of Sorrow, 2005) (metal)

8. On My Own (2007)

9. Comrades Night Live (2009) (live album)

10. Weapons of Choice (2014)

Midgård Records

All ten of Saga’s albums were produced by Gothenburg-based Midgård Records, which was founded by Per-Anders “Pajen” Johannson as a retail record store in 1994. His object was to provide young Swedes with an alternative to the anti-white music produced by the Establishment.

According to the company’s website, the store was smashed a few nights after it opened, with no arrests or, apparently, serious investigation by the police. In many European countries Left-wing domestic terrorists are funded directly by the state. In the US it is probably the same, just indirect. Everywhere, violent Left-wing extremists are above the law, coddled by police, prosecutors, judges, politicians, and the media because they suppress native opposition and advance the ruling class agenda. This has been so for well over half a century, a sad but hard truth.

Midgård moved to a more secure location in a privately-owned house, and remained open 5 days a week for 6 years despite constant disruptions caused by nighttime vandalism, Red demonstrations, and media attacks. The shop was also made the target of government investigations and harassment.

Johannson closed the shop in 2000 because the owner of the house refused to renew the lease. However, two years earlier Midgård had launched a mail order service to reach people around the world, plus its own label to produce pro-white records in innovative styles to professional standards.

In addition to Saga, Midgård sells music by Bound for Glory, Brutal Attack, Fortress, Landser, No Remorse, Pluton Svea, Skrewdriver, Stahlgewitter, Storm, and Sturmwehr, together with stylized clothing, posters, flags, and similar items. Books offered for sale include David Irving’s Göring, Codreneau’s For My Legionaries, and William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries.

The Albums

Saga’s two metal albums, Paradise Lost (1999) (the very first of all her albums) and Symphony of Hatred (2005) seem to sit off by themselves, apart from the others. They are attributed to the group Symphony of Sorrow, of which Saga was lead singer. In 1999 Midgård had asked her to do Paradise Lost to see if the untested recording artist might be suitable as lead singer for a Skrewdriver tribute series the label was planning.

The My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volumes 1-3 albums, released in 2000-2001, were phenomenally successful and put Saga on the map. They consisted of her own renditions, assisted by RAC (Rock Against Communism) musicians, of Skrewdriver favorites originally recorded by the famous English rebel singer Ian Stuart (Ian Stuart Donaldson), who died in a car crash in 1993 at age 36. Skrewdriver had been closely associated with England’s National Front before Ian Stuart and NF official Nick Griffin, later head of the British National Party (BNP), had a falling out. These albums remain Saga’s best-known, and by and large her best, work.

Apart from her metal albums, Saga’s musical style oscillates between rock and softly-sung ballads accompanied, often, by just a piano or single acoustic guitar (sometimes there are a few more instruments involved). The ballad-type predominates, a style to which she seems naturally drawn. Indeed, it is surprising how many even of the songs on the Skrewdriver tribute albums are of that nature.

One sees the distinction clearly in her two live albums. The first, Live & Kicking (2000), consists of Skrewdriver songs, so it is rock-oriented. The live performance captured on Comrades Night Live (2009) on the other hand is totally the opposite, with only a piano for accompaniment.

Saga’s lone Swedish-language album, Pro-Patria III (2003) is likewise primarily ballad-oriented, as are her later albums On My Own (2007) and Weapons of Choice (2014). There is very little, if any, rock on them.

Saga’s “Heavy Metal Albums”

Rousing fighting spirit characterizes many Ian Stuart songs, such as “Patriot,” below. Note the confident, highly inspirational tone that is also very characteristic of his music.

It’s advisable to play songs in one tab or window of your browser while reading the lyrics below as Saga sings. The words are often essential to understanding the songs. As with mainstream commercial productions, sometimes you can make them out clearly and other times you can’t.

Photos illustrating the various YouTube videos (with few exceptions they are all audio tracks from Saga’s albums with pictures added by the individual uploaders) were not selected by Saga or Midgård Records.

The images accompanying “Patriot” suggest that the fan in question is an American patriot in the anti-government rather than the mainstream conservative/”Support Our Troops” sense. Indeed, the song is perfectly suited to such an interpretation.

(The correct title of the song is “Patriot,” not “Patriot’s Call” as indicated on the YouTube video.)

Patriot [3:09] (Rock)

from My Tribute to Skrewdriver Volume 1 (2000)

As enemies prepare to take over our nations
Their only ambition’s to see Europe fall
There’ll be no surrender to the Reds or the moneylenders

Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!

They can stop all their bluffing, they’re entitled to nothing
They don’t belong here with their alien ideas
For we’ll not be beaten, a true European

Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!

[Instrumental interlude]

We’ll stand and we’ll fight till the last man or woman
We won’t give an inch of our national pride
We’ll fight and we’ll beat them, till we finally defeat them

Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call!

We’ll fight in the cities, we’ll fight in the forests
We’ll fight in the mountains, for Europe we die
For we’ll not be mastered by no Marxist bastard

Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call . . .
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call . . .
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call . . .
Come on all you lads hear the patriot’s call . . .

* * *

For Further Reading