This song was written in the July/August timeframe, 2013. As always, it was the harmonic structure, the chord sequence and riff, that came about first…from doodling away on the acoustic guitar one weekend or evening. The music came relatively quickly.
The words took longer. It is always the case with my songs that the riff comes first. Then I start to try and pick out a melody line, usually from humming nonsense words against the riff. It is usually during this process that a phrase pops out that suggests itself as the motif of the song.
After 9/11 I lived in New York City for a number of years and used to work in the Free World Financial Centre, right beside Ground Zero. I used to peer into that hole from the 33rd floor every day. And scan the horizon for evidence of deviant aviators, who thankfully never reappeared. It was a daily reminder of the so-called “War on Terror”
I feel quite ambivalent about this war. On the one hand, after 9/11, I supported the invasion of Afghanistan against the Taliban. But I was always resolutely opposed to the invasion of Iraq.
Anyway, that notwithstanding, the song juxstaposes two opposing sides in the so-called “war on terror” (the terrorist vs. the young western soldier) and finds their youth and testosterone in common. It beseeches both sides not “to go the war, over things that you cannot know for sure”. Neither about faith or about political conviction.
(I am a big believer in doubt. As a counter-weight and sanitiser to extremes)
I have family in the armed services. In the US Marines and elsewhere. I would really like them all to stay alive.