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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

My Favourite Songs of 2018: Be More Kind - Frank Turner (May 2018)




Be More Kind - Frank Turner
From the album 'Be More Kind' 
(Interscope Records/Polydor/Xtra Mile Recordings)
Released 4th May 2018


Be More Kind
written by Frank Turner
History's been leaning on me lately;
I can feel the future breathing down my neck
And all the things I thought were true
When I was young, and you were too
Turned out to be broken
And I don't know what comes next

In a world that has decided
That it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

They've started raising walls around the world now
Like hackles raised upon a cornered cat
On the borders, in our heads
Between the things that can and can't be said
We've stopped talking to each other
And there's something wrong with that

So before you go out searching
Don't decide what you will find
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

You should know you're not alone
And that trouble comes, and trouble goes
How this ends, no one knows
So hold on tight when the wind blows

The wind blew both of us to sand and sea
And where the dry land stands is hard to say
As the current drags us by the shore
We can no longer say for sure
Who's drowning, or if they can be saved

But when you're out there floundering
Like a lighthouse I will shine
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

Like a beacon reaching out
To you and yours from me and mine
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

In a world that has decided
That it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
  


"In a world that has decided
That it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind"


Yesterday was apparently World Kindness Day so in one sense I'm probably a little late posting this but in another sense I'm not. Kindness is not something that is just for one day in the year but should be an attitude of heart on a daily basis.

I first heard Be More Kind by Frank Turner back in 2017 sometime if I remember correctly and I recall thinking that this song could actually be one of the finest he's written to date. I was more than pleased when it was announced that it would be the title track to his seventh studio album. The fact that the subject matter of the song is extremely relevant to the days in which we are living makes it even more of an impressive song. 

This actually almost ended up as My Favourite Song of 2018 but it was just pipped at the post by something else equally as gripping (that I will post within the next couple of weeks or so).

The inspiration for the song if I have this correct was a line from a Clive James Poem that was published in The New Yorker magazine back in 2013 in which he describes his own mortality called "Leçons des Ténèbres". The line which inspired the title reads: "I should have been more kind. It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late."

The last line of the song, "In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind" is such a powerful statement about the world in which we live. 

People's reactions to things which they dislike, whether it be politics, music, sport, fashion, books, film, the media in general, religion/faith, and sexual orientation are sometimes so shocking to read. Many times I've read an overly agressive comment on a Facebook post or even on a You Tube video that has been so full of hatred that I have often wondered what on earth that person had actually been watching or reading to provoke such an OTT response. Even on posts that seem incredibly harmless there are people venting their spleens for one reason or another and that seems to stir others to respond in like manner leading to "raising walls around the world" instead of creating bridges! The message of this song though is to put across the totally opposite reaction (and to quote an old House of Love song, "But I won't fight and I won't hate").

I would count myself among the many who have often said a word that has been harsh toward someone (especially toward folks I don't really know on Social Media) but it's not just words that are the driving force of Frank Turner's song but also our actions. 

The call of the song is to act with kindness rather than putting up barriers and making judgements about situations and people before we have even given a moment to actually consider what on earth is really going on. 
 
This song certainly came as a rebuke to my own hot-headedness and I trust that in more ways than one that I have sought to do exactly what the song says, "Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind".   


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