This brassy southern soul jam finds Gregory Porter taking inspiration from his teenage dating days. On one occasion, he turned up at his white love interest's house, only for her father to send him away because of his black skin. "'Mister Holland' is a song about equality," said the singer. "It's about the desire for mutual respect and the desire for a young man to be treated like an average teenager."
On "Mister Holland," Porter borrows the names of his friend and fellow musician Jools Holland and his daughter Rosie Mae to imagine being warmly welcomed rather than turned away by prejudice. He thanks the white father of his girlfriend for not making any trouble over his black skin.
By the way, Mister Holland I liked the way you treated me like a regular Joe I wanted a soda And you said Rosie could go
Porter told The Sun: "I can see Jools opening the door to me, saying, 'Hey, hey mate!' as opposed to the experience I had when I was a young man of 16. I was just trying to do a typical teenage thing, take this girl out for a Coke, right? I came to the door and her daddy was like, 'Get away from my door' and then he called me the N-word. It was so shocking."
Bruce Springsteen wrote "Blinded By The Light," which was a #1 hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The "Madman Drummers" line is a reference to Springsteen's first E-Street drummer, Vinnie "Mad dog" Lopez.