Don't Let the Night Divide Us

Album: The Ultra Vivid Lament (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Three backstreet kids from South Wales, Manic Street Preachers have seen posh public school artists dominate the UK music scene over the past few decades. Here, with a nod and a wink, James Dean Bradfield warns the "toffs" they will not have everything their own way.
  • Don't let those boys from Eton
    Suggest that we are beaten – no, no, no


    Bradfield is confident the working classes will produce amazing bands and writers again. "It does seem like the upper echelons of society have tipped the cultural scales too heavily in their favor," he told NME. "That line is not talking about class war, it's just saying that once the balance has been tipped towards an egregious amount of privilege being displayed then inevitably it must swing back the other way at some point. When it does, you'll see something good."
  • Bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire peppers the song's message about the class system with some droll humor. "There's wryness to the lyric 'Don't let those boys from Eton suggest that we are beaten.' Like, we've got your number," Wire told Mojo magazine. "I'd been reading a lot of John le Carre and his quote about Eton being a curse, the sense of entitlement and brutality that it breeds. We pictured ourselves in Brighton Dome with platform heels and star-shaped guitars, almost winking. There is a much undervalued side to Manic Street Preachers; the fabulous disaster of life."
  • Manic Street Preachers recorded the song for The Ultra Vivid Lament, the band's first album initially conceived by Bradfield on piano rather than guitar. The approach helped sugar the pill on such avowedly political tracks as "Don't Let the Night Divide Us."

    "That one really is The Clash playing Abba," Wire told Mojo of the song. "A bit of Waterloo mixed with The Cost of Living EP."

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