Bragg announced last week that he intended to cover a Swift song as part of the ‘Covers For Others’ fundraising series, which is raising money for the Royal College of Nursing Foundation’s COVID-19 Support Fund.
Uploading his take on the Miss Americana-accompanying track online yesterday (May 31), Bragg revealed that he chose to cover Swift after a closely contested fan vote saw ‘Only The Young’ narrowly seeing off competition from Jackson Browne‘s ‘Before the Deluge’.
My cover of @taylorswift13 'Only the Young' for @coversforothers ended up being a mash-up of her song + 'Levi Stubbs' Tears' + her statement condemning Trump for stoking the fires of white supremacy. If you missed it live on Facebook last night here it is https://t.co/KjyrJEEEIs
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) May 31, 2020
“When I sat down to learn how to play the song, it came out as a mash-up between ‘Only the Young’ and ‘Levi Stubbs’ Tears’,” Bragg explained in a description that accompanied the YouTube upload of his cover, referencing his own 1986 single.
“The same day, Taylor posted a powerful statement on Twitter calling out the white supremacy and racism inherent in Donald Trump’s condemnation of rioters protesting the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, so I tagged that onto the end of the song too.”
Bragg confirmed that the fan vote for his ‘Covers For Others’ contribution raised £1707 for the RCN Foundation’s COVID-19 Support Fund, which is providing wellbeing support to healthcare workers during the coronavirus outbreak.