Friday, July 30, 2010

"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" by Manic Street Preachers

Birthday wishes go out today to Sean Moore - drummer, songwriter, and occasional trumpeter for the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers. Although described by his mates as 'the quiet one' he is nevertheless the driving force behind the oft-charted hit-makers; the band's biography goes even further, stating unequivocally that Moore is 'quite possibly the only person in rock who doesn't take the Manics seriously'.

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next first appeared as the first single from Manic Street Preachers' 1998 fifth album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours; in keeping with an unwritten tradition, I'd been intending to post the actual video, but when it wasn't available I was driven to find an acoustic version because I love it so much, and amazingly I found this one, which is awfully good as well.

The song is one of two chart toppers for the Preachers, and like many modern rock songs* drew its inspiration from the Spanish Civil War - in particular by George Orwell's first-hand account of that conflict, Homage to Catalonia; the title of the song, in fact, comes from a Republican poster of the time. The song also holds the Guinness Book's record for the longest Number One song title without brackets; it's been covered by David Usher on his 2003 album, Hallucinations, and is said to be a favourite of Radiohead's laugh-a-decade front man Thom Yorke.

*Pretty much just The Clash's Spanish Bombs, but who can resist the chance at a bit of sarky? Not I!
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