William Manwaring (our Engineer and frequent session musician) is very literate in music theory. He studied piano to grade 6 and plays a multitude of instruments.
After the first album, he started encouraging me to learn more music theory, which I subsequently started doing. There’s great websites out there for that! (I love the interwebs!)
This song is the result of experimentation. First of all, it’s in 6/8 time signature (rather than the more common (4/4) and it is also written in a minor key (A minor) which is unusual for pop songs, which are mostly written in major keys.
Narratively, it ids also somewhat experimental. I wanted to try and write from the vantage point of another person – a character.
One of my pet hates is political apathy, so I wrote this from the point-of-view of a bigot. But a bigot with a tiny twist. He is JUST ABOUT self-aware enough to realise he is a bigot…but too apathetic to do anything about it.
(The kind of person who says “I’m not racist, but…”)
I think there have been two or three events in my life where I have felt really manipulated by the media.
The first was when the Iron Curtain finally fell in 1989. Having been told the former Soviet bloc was a homogenous blob of evil, suddenly this patchwork of all these interesting and diverse countries (re)-emerged: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia etc. All these countries which had also been there before the First World War. So…not a homogenous blob at all. And certainly not evil!
The second time I felt really manipulated by the media was on the subject of Islam. Having been privy to broadcasts about the Iran/Iraq war of 1980-88 and subsequently the First Gulf War (1991), my admittedly badly formed view of Islam was pretty negative. But then I moved to Indonesia for four years (1991-95) where I learned a LOT about Islam…and most of it very positive. I learned that there were denominations as many as in my own Christian faith and that many followers were very caring, pious and good people. So that massively debunked another myth!
The third verse references the way the media was manipulated during the ridiculous Clause 28 legislation towards the end of the Thatcher regime, which discriminated against gays. From the vantage point of Britain in 2015, it seems almost incredible that this ruse wasn’t seen for what it was: a crude distraction mechanism pandering to the lowest common denominator.