Isombard

Album: What Do You Think About the Car? (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, McKenna writes from the perspective of a politician who is stumbling over his words, trying to rally up the people and get them on his side. He wrote it after seeing right-wing media coverage on TV, which he felt was very negative and divisive.
  • McKenna wrote much of this song in school. He explained: "I came up with the little piano-y part when I was just in lessons, so I went to one of the piano rooms at break, and just started working on it. And then with the chorus, around the school there was these TV things where they would have messages that came up and quotes and stuff, and one of them was a Martin Luther King quote, which is: "If we can't run then we will walk, if we can't walk then we will crawl."
  • An inspiration on this song was the E. E. Cummings poem next to of course god America i," which McKenna was studying in school. The poem explores how the public can be manipulated in the name of patriotism:

    in every language even deafanddumb
    thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
  • McKenna tweeted that the title should really be spelled "Isambard," indicating a reference to the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, famous for his work on massive industrial projects, including railways, bridges and tunnels.

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