I’ve thrown down some annotations on the crowdsourced media knowledge site Genius to celebrate the launch of Integration (Not Segregation), and I figured I’d share some of my insights into the single here too.
The song is basically about how we should all just… get along, regardless of religion, race, or creed. I wrote it with the intention of putting hope back into a world that’s gone dark.
I watched The Age of Stupid, a docu-film about impending nuclear war, rising sea levels, environmental apocalypse, and how us humans, as a race, are like ever-consuming parasites to the Earth.
I was inspired to write a song similar in message to what the film was trying to say. I was also watching RT news and Al Jazeera a lot at the time, and they’re always talking about war, naturally. So all of these apocalyptic messages were filling my head at once and I had some pretty vivid lucid dreams, and I wanted to channel what I was feeling into a song.
That‘s where Integration (Not Segregation) came from. It’s not a pessimistic song, though — it’s a call to action, spurring them on to consider what the future might be like, and how it will be a whole lot brighter if we all ‘love thy neighbour’ regardless of race, religion, or creed.
Now, the lyric “Perhaps you shouldn’t listen to a word Simple Simon had said” — it was sparked by the classic childhood game Simple Simon. We shouldn’t just do things because someone says we should, and that’s true for hating people. Would you jump off a cliff if someone told you to? No, so why blindly nurture disdain for people you don’t know?
Download or stream Integration (Not Segregation)
The third verse contains one of my favourite verses in the song: “Funny how the world we live in is divided by race, but cut anyone in half and you’ll know we all bleed the same.” During the time that news coverage of the refugee crisis was hitting fever pitch, the English Defence League marched through my town to protest people seeking asylum.
But we’re a hardened lot in Portsmouth, and we didn’t stand for that shit, and they soon went quiet and crawled back into their caves.
The outro of the track is an excerpt from the final speech of none other than John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America.
I doctored it slightly to fit the message I was trying to portray, but it remains true to the original, and in no way dilutes what JFK was trying to say.
The talk is known as ‘The President and the Press’, and was delivered on April 27th 1961.
It’s as prominent now as it was back then. If not even more so.