COR/Jitterbug Love/Shrunken Rags

Children of the Revolution/Jitterbug Love/Shrunken Rags

8th September 1972

T. Rex


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Children of the Revolution” again written by Marc. It was a #2 hit single in September 1972. The song broke their sequence of four official single releases all reaching #1 (“Hot Love”, “Get It On”, “Telegram Sam”, “Metal Guru”). It did not receive a regular album release.


The song is about teenage rebellion, and upon its release, some critics blasted the song, as it marked a change in the band’s overall tempo. Some even believed the song was pro-communist propaganda, based on the title alone. It was included in the film Born to Boogie, in the famous Apple Studios jam with Elton John. During the jam, Marc Bolan puts his head through a grand piano while John is playing. It was also included in the film Billy Elliot in the scene after Billy’s father confronts him about learning ballet. In the film Breakfast on Pluto, the song is used during a dance scene, and also it is the theme song of the 1996 satire Children of the Revolution. In Dogtown and Z-Boys, a documentary on the origins of skateboarding in the 1970s, the song plays during a montage of skateboarding. The song is also played in the Norwegian movie Den Siste Revejakta (The Last Joint Venture).Swans bird graphics

Linked Releases

Children of the Revolution”
Single by T. Rex
B-side “Jitterbug Love”/”Sunken Rags”
Released 1972
Genre Glam rock
Length 2:29
Label EMI/Reprise
Writer(s) Marc Bolan

Cover versions

The Violent Femmes covered the song on their album The Blind Leading the Naked (1986). The Dead C covered it on their album Eusa Kills (Flying Nun). Lloyd Cole has recorded a cover of the song, as well as several other Marc Bolan songs. It was released as a b-side in 1991. The Killers (Former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno’s Band, not the American band that goes by the same name) covered the song on the album Murder One (1992). A cover is also found on b-side of the swedish indieband The Wanndies second single (Heaven 1990, MNW). A cover performed by Gavin Friday and singer Bono of U2 appears on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. In the film itself, it is used as part of a flourishing medley at the climax of the show-within-the-movie as sung by the Bohemian characters led by John Leguizamo.

The song also appears on the soundtrack of Channel Four’s adaptation of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. It was also covered by Elton John and Pete Doherty during the Live 8 concerts, but it was poorly received, as Doherty forgot many of the words and apparently was drunk during performance. In 2003 it was also covered by Berry Sakharof during a live performance. In 2007, Patti Smith performed the song live on stage in Istanbul, at the Babylon jazz club. Toni Collette & the Finish on their 2007 “Look Up” tour around Australia covered “Children of the Revolution”. It was well received by the crowd and critics of each night of the tour. Toni is quoted in saying she covers it “because she just can”. They performed the song at Live Earth.

Imperiet covered the song, as did the Danish band Sort Sol.

British dance act Baby Ford also covered the song in 1989.

Minimal Compact’s guitarist & founder, Berry Sakharof, covered the song and released it on his Live double-album in 2003.

German songstress Nena included a version in her 2007 album Cover Me.

Belgian electro-rock band Soulwax performed a version on a Belgian compilation album Glittering 2000.

Neon Indian covered the song in late 2010, offering it as a free download in advance of its inclusion on a 2011 reissue of T. Rex’s Tanx.

British metal band Killers also covered it on their 1992 album, “Murder One”.

American Irish punk band Flogging Molly slated a version on their album Live at the Greek Theatre. It was removed because of publishing concerns.

Japanese rock band SADS published a version on their 2002 EP “Appetizing 4 songs”.

British EBM outfit Inertia published a version on Kloned, an album of cover versions.

It also appeared as the soundtrack to Xbox 360’s Fable III (3) trailer in mid October 2010.