Love Ire & Song (song)

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Love Ire & Song is a folk punk song by Frank Turner first released on 2008-03-31 as track 6 on the album Love Ire & Song. The song is written and composed by Frank Turner. On the album recording, Turner plays guitar and sings, Nigel Powell plays drums and piano, and Rachael Birkin plays violin. The song was produced by Turner and Ben Lloyd. In the song, Frank Turner looks back on his life of protest and anarchy and is disenfranchised by the fact that he was unable to cause any significant changes in the world, but is also nostalgic for the days when he really cared, and encourages everyone to continue to protest, despite knowing that it won't do any good. The song has a pretty basic structure and is, for the most part, a solo with guitar and vocals, until it picks up in the last third of the song with drums and violin.


Once I began enjoying Frank Turner because of England Keep My Bones, I sought out his other albums and found this one. After listening to the album a couple times, this song quickly stood out to me and has become my favorite on the record and one of my favorite Frank Turner songs entirely. In particular, I love the message of fighting for what's right, even if you know you'll fail. The lyric "Let's be 1905, but not 1917," is a great example of this, as it refers to two Russian revolts. The 1905 revolution was peaceful and ideological, but it failed to topple the corrupt monarchy. However, the 1917 revolution, succeeded in abolishing the monarchy, but also started a bloody civil war causing the deaths of millions.


Well a teacher of mine once told me,
"Life was just a list of disappoints and defeats,
And you could only do your best,"
And I said "Well, that's a fucking cop-out, you're just washed up and your tired,
and when I get to your age, well, I won't be such a coward."
But these day I sit at home, known to shout at my TV,
And punk rock didn't live up to what I hoped that it could be.
And all the things that I believed with all my heart when I was young,
Are just coasters for beers and clean surfaces for drugs,
And I packed all my pamphlets with my bibles at the back of the shelf.

Well it was bad enough the feeling, and the first time it hit,
When you realized your parents had let the world all go to shit.
And that the values and ideals for which many had fought and died,
Had been killed off in the committees and left to die by the wayside.
But it was worse when we turned to the kids on the left,
And got let down again by some poor excuse for protest.
Yeah by idiot fucking hippies in 50 different factions,
Who are locked inside some kind of 60's battle re-enactment.
And I hung-up my banner in disgust, and I head for the door.

Oh, but once we were young and we were crass enough to care.
But, I guess you live and learn. We won't make that mistake again, no.
Oh, but surely just for one day, yeah, we could fight and we could win.
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible.

Well we've been a good few hours drinking,
So I'm going to say what everyone's thinking,
If we're stuck on this ship and it's sinking,
Then we might as well have a parade.
Cuz if it's still going to hurt in the morning,
And a better plan's yet to get forming,
Then where's the harm spending an evening,
In manning the old barricades?
So come on old friends to the streets,
Let's be 1905, but not 1917.
Let's be heroes, let's be martyrs, let's be radical thinkers,
Who never have to test drive the least of their dreams.
Let's divide up the world into the damned and safe,
And then ride to the valleys like the old life brigade.
And straighten our backs and we won't be afraid,
And they'll celebrate our deaths with a national parade.

So, come on, let's be young, let's be crass enough to care,
Let's refuse to live and learn, let's make all our mistakes again, yes.
And then darling, just for one day, yeah, we can fight and we can win,
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible.

Leave the mourning to the morning,
Yeah, pain can be killed,
With aspirin tablets, and vitamin pills,
But memories of hope, and of glorious defeat,
Are a little bit harder to beat.


Album version.
Live at Wembley.