I Still Believe

Album: England Keep My Bones (2011)
Charted: 40

Songfacts®:

  • In our interview with Frank Turner, he called this "an unashamed love song to rock and roll as a concept," citing it as an example of his distinctly unironic songwriting, which he says tends to rub some listeners the wrong way.
  • This song finds the atheist Frank Turner singing about how rock and roll, with its legends and apostles, is for many a surrogate for religion. He explained to Drankin' and Smokin': "I don't try to deny that there's a religious impulse in people and I certainly understand that. I'm not even necessarily talking about the desire to kind of come up with a salve for the essential blackness of impending death and non-existence. There's also the need to be joyous and celebrate. And I guess, yeah, rock and roll fills that hole in my life. The other thing too about that song is that, when I was on tour in China actually, and the rock and roll scene over there is very young and new. The kids involved in it were so excited about rock and roll in and of itself; about playing three chords and playing loud and fast and shouting and jumping up and down – all the things that are essential to rock and roll and all the things that we take for granted because we live in a culture that is so saturated with rock and roll. It was so exciting to see people be so stoked about the whole thing, basically. It really made me think that it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves, every now and again, how lucky we are to have this incredible cultural thing in our lives."
  • Turner performed the song during the warm up for the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. Thanks to downloads, it debuted the UK singles chart at #40 in the week after the event, Turner's first ever top 40 entry.
  • The beginning of this song is an old-school address to the audience with a modern twist:

    Hear ye, hear ye, friends and Romans, countrymen
    Hear ye, hear ye, punks and skins and journeymen


    Turner told NME how he came to be the town crier in this song: "I always think that one of the most important things about any song is the first line. It's such a big thing - what are you going to open with? I guess sort of messing around thinking about that, the idea of having like a town crier was kind of a fun idea, so you shout 'Hear ye, Hear ye!' And if you're going to start out bold, you might as well have the other half be bold and quote Shakespeare, 'friends and Romans, countrymen.'"
  • Turner is half kidding with the reverent chorus, he told NME: "It's funny - there have been people who sort of rolled their eyes at the chorus line being overly kind of serious ... it's tongue-in-cheek, to a degree. And I don't really think that rock and roll is saving the world, particularly, but it certainly makes my life a better and more interesting place to be and it's worthy of a three-and-a-half minute celebration."
  • This song contains samples from the 2010 UK music festivals in Reading and Leeds, where Turner debuted the song and taught the crowds the call and response, then recorded it. "It's kind of fun knowing there's like however many thousand people who can claim a backing vocal credit on that song," he said.
  • The B-side of the vinyl release is Turner's cover of Queen's "Somebody To Love."

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