Loyal Like Sid & Nancy

Album: Sacred Hearts Club (2017)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The title of this glitchy, hip-hop influenced song refers to the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious and the tumultuous relationship between him and his American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Vicious was arrested for Spungen's murder, but died of a heroin overdose before he could stand trial.
  • This was the song on Sacred Hearts Club that took the longest to get right. Mark Foster told HMV.com: "We beat our brains over 'Loyal Like Sid and Nancy.' The music went through a lot of iterations before we finally settled on a three act play sort of format. But I went particularly insane writing the lyrics to that one. Also, it was important to me that the vocal delivery was right. I didn't want to ever come across like I was trying to rap. The vocal needed to be sensual to offset the aggression of the lyrical message and the beat."

    "I probably sang that song 500 times until I could wrap my head around how to make the vocal delivery assertive but still feminine," he continued. "The political message posed another challenge. 'How do I write this song without sounding like a preacher on a soap box?', kept running through my head. Especially when it came to touching on issues like the murder of Eric Garner and Black Lives Matter. And the new US policy on accepting refugees. It was a delicate dance to get these points across in the right way."
  • About halfway through the song Mark Foster segues into a spoken-word piece, complete with an ominous bass line, which is a tribute to Gene Wilder's memorable lines in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. "We were totally referencing that [moment in the film]," Foster told The Independent. "Actually there was a different variation of the lyrics... so the beat dropped and we actually did this:"

    (Sings): "A world of pure imagination, take a look, and you'll see/into your imagination."

    Foster continued: "And then the beat came back in, 'duh duh dom', and there was this instrumental string thing. We played with it for a few days then ended up scrapping it."
  • Mark Foster wrote the song with Foster the People multi-instrumentalist Isom Innis. "It was originally this atonal kind of beat that you hear in the verses, like an atonal dance track," Innis explained. "Mark took it in the studio, added a chord progression, arranged a song that was really meant to be in the dance world. And that's when it started to transform."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.