March 5, 2024

NWBroadcasters

Radio and TV news

Song of the day for the final day of 2023

2 min read
The Manic Street Preachers performed their song "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" to a record-breaking 57,000 fans at Millennium Stadium in 1999. The track, inspired by the Spanish Civil War, reached number one in the UK and had international success. The lyrics drew from real-life events and literature related to the war.

Todays song is If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next by the Manic Street Preachers

On Dec 31 1999 The Manic Street Preachers performed to 57,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the concert set a new record as the biggest indoor show ever staged in Europe, tickets £30.

The song was released on 24 August 1998, through Epic Records as the first single from their fifth studio album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (1998). The track sold 156,000 copies in its first week and reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in August 1998. Outside the United Kingdom, the song reached number one in Iceland and the top 20 in Norway and Sweden. It became the band’s only song to chart in North America, peaking at number 19 on the Canadian RPM Alternative 30 chart.

The song’s theme is inspired by the Spanish Civil War, and the idealism of Welsh volunteers who joined the left-wing International Brigades fighting for the Spanish Republic against Francisco Franco’s military rebels. The song takes its name from a Republican propaganda poster of the time written in English and displaying a photograph of a child killed by the Nationalists, under a sky filled with bomber aircraft, with the song’s titular warning written at the bottom.

Various real-life events from the Spanish Civil War provided inspiration for the lyrics. For example, the line “If I can shoot rabbits/then I can shoot fascists” is attributed to a remark made by a man to his brother who signed up with the Republican fighters. This was originally quoted in the book Miners Against Fascism by Hywel Francis. Another line, “I’ve walked Las Ramblas/but not with real intent”, recalls the account in George Orwell’s first-hand account of the war, Homage to Catalonia of fighting on the Ramblas. According to Orwell the various factions were seemingly getting nowhere with the fighting and often a sense of camaraderie overriding the vaunted principles each side was supposed to be fighting for. Nicky Wire has also acknowledged that he was also inspired by a song by the Clash, “Spanish Bombs”, which features a similar subject.

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