Short Story in a Song— The Soft Boys’ “I Wanna Destroy You” by S W Lauden

Music, post punk, punk, Punk Noir Magazine, S.W. Lauden, Short Story In A Song, The Soft Boys


There has long been a powerful political undercurrent to punk rock. Starting with The Sex Pistols and The Clash, it spiraled outward across decades with bands like Dead Kennedys, Propagandhi, Pussy Riot and Anti-Flag. When it comes to politically charged punk, “I Wanna Destroy You” by The Soft Boys is an undeniable anti-Fascist anthem (underscored by singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock’s 2017 video). Whatever your political views, this song would make a great short story.

Our narrator is a man at odds with himself. Disgusted by the violent culture surrounding him, he comes unglued. Righteous indignation fuels his fury, pushing his murderous imagination to new extremes. The thinking here is nothing new (“desperate times call for desperate measures,” “fight fire with fire,” etc.), but thoughts are different than actions. Does that make him a hero or villain? That’s for the reader to decide.

Previous Short Stories in a Song:

“Price Tag” by Sleater-Kinney

“The Obituaries” by The Menzingers

“Ever Fallen In Love” by Buzzcocks


s w laudenS.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.