City With No Children

Album: The Suburbs (2010)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds frontman Win Butler singing, "Never trust a millionaire quoting the sermon on the mount." The line is a quote from Butler's favorite author, 1984 novelist George Orwell, and is meant as a statement about conformity and hipster-political posturing in parts of London and New York. He explained to The NME July 31, 2010: "I don't know if you've ever been in Williamsburg or those parts of London where everyone is 30 years old, everyone has the same haircut and there's no kids, no older adults, almost an oppressiveness at not having real human life on display in society. On the one side you have a lot of pressure to be part of a commercial society, and everyone's trying to sell you something all the time. And then on the other side there's this kind of hipness, and trying to find what's cool, which has also a certain amount of emptiness associated with it. I think it's really difficult to try and navigate those two extremes."
    Butler added that while some may think the line is about U2 frontman Bono, it's not in a negative way. He said, "As much as people slag Bono, I will forever give him credit for engaging with George W. Bush when he was president. Even though it was a deeply unpopular move, even in his own band. The HIV medications in Africa, every aspect of the US foreign policy - it was a hell of a lot more than any president before had done."

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