Album: Dance Fever (2022)
Charted: 54
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "King" is a reflection on family, identity, femininity and the subverting of expectations as a female performing artist. We hear Florence + The Machine lead singer Florence Welch ruminating on the dissonance between womanhood and her career in the music industry.

    I need my golden crown of sorrow, my bloody sword to swing
    My empty halls to echo with grand self-mythology
    I am no mother, I am no bride, I am King


    Penned by Welch in her mid-30s, the song finds the singer aware her fertile years will soon be over. She doesn't regret setting aside the expectation to get married and start a family because her music career has prospered. Welch has found fulfillment as a tortured artist where she reigns as a sovereign.
  • Welch had previously modeled herself almost exclusively on male performers. "As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much. I just got on with it," she said. "I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time."

    This song was triggered by Welch realizing she faces a different set of challenges than her male musical heroes. She sings about finding her inspiration from her artistic endeavors, yet fears missing out on a happy, domestic life. "Now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future, I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires," Welch said. "That to be a performer, but also to want a family, might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts."
  • Florence Welch co-wrote and co-produced the haunting song with Jack Antonoff. The American songwriter is a regular Taylor Swift collaborator and also known for his work with Lorde and Lana Del Rey.
  • American photographer and video director Autumn De Wilde directed the video with choreography by Ryan Heffington. Shot partially in Ukraine, it depicts Welch snapping the neck of a king played by English actor Jack Riddiford. Courtiers, billed as "Lace Monsters," flank her.

    De Wilde previously shot Florence + the Machine's "Big God" visual. Heffingron also worked on their "What Kind Of Man," "Ship To Wreck," "St. Jude," and "Queen of Peace"/"Long & Lost" clips.
  • Florence + the Machine played the song live for the first time during their April 15, 2022 show at Newcastle's O2 City Hall. The group also gave the Dance Fever tracks "Heaven Is Here," "My Love," "Free," and "Girls Against God" their debut outings at what was their first show since October 2019.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Crystal Waters

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Philip Cody

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."