Charlemagne

Album: Blossoms (2015)
Charted: 98

Songfacts®:

  • The opening track from Blossoms' self-titled debut album, this was written by the band's frontman Tom Ogden in May 2015. He told NME the story of the song in a video interview:

    "It started off with the hook of the song, that's the riff. I wrote that on an old Casio keyboard that I've had for years at my house. I got that as like the main hook and I did this thing where I wanted - which I hadn't done before but I've heard other songs do before - where when it gets to... so you've got the verse and that and you get up to the chorus, because you already have that hook at the start, I wanted to make the melody and the chorus that hook that I already wrote.

    I just fitted words to that [sings], so then after that uber-catchiness, that kind of familiarity that you get from hearing that opening line and then when it gets to the chorus you hear it again and it's constantly ramming it down people's throats but in the best way possible."
  • The song was originally titled "Made Of Lead," but Ogden re-named it after the great medieval king of the Franks, Charlemagne. The Blossoms singer explained:

    "It's got a line in it where it says: 'I know, I know it's made of lead.' And it said, even in all the choruses: 'it's made of lead.' But there's a line in it that said something about: 'Science came, my kingdom reigned.' My brother studies history and he lives in the house with me and he overheard me saying it. He was like: 'What are you saying there?' And I said: "It's just this tune I'm writing. 'Kingdom reigned'" and he was like: 'Have you ever heard of Charlemagne?' And he studied history and he'd just been doing it.

    Immediately, I was like: "Oh, it's better than 'Made Of Lead'" so I just used it like a metaphor for putting someone…after he explained who he was and stuff, a king and all that, you're referring to someone as your Charlemagne sort of thing. So, it took it to another level, do you know what I mean, as opposed to being called 'Made Of Lead.' It was like 'Charlemagne' has got that kind of x-factor about it, I suppose."
  • Charlemagne (742 – 814), also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, bought peace and Christianity to the war like pagan tribes of Saxons in Europe. He extended his kingdom from South Italy and Pyrenees to Bohemia. On Christmas Day in 800 he was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor, an Empire which lasted 1000 years until Napoleon terminated it in 1806.

    Charlemagne's court at Aachen was a center of culture and learning, and he was responsible for many judicial and ecclesiastical reforms.
  • Did you know the English actor Christopher Lee released a couple of heavy metal concept albums about the great Frankish king? The second LP Charlemagne: The Omens of Death was released on December 27, 2013, Lee's 91st birthday, making him the oldest performer in the history of the genre.

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