Iron Sky

Album: Caustic Love (2014)
Charted: 42

Songfacts®:

  • This six-minute song finds Nutini urging politicians to turn modern fears "into freedom." He explained to The Sun: "The more I watch politicians in action, it just makes me angry. I watch certain politicians get asked questions that need answers and may just prance around with a big laugh and smile on my face. Politicians have an arrogance. I just do not understand. I've seen more constructive debate since high school."

    "People get disillusioned and voting has little value to some people," he added. "That's sad."
  • The song features a sample from Charlie Chaplin's speech in his Hitler–lampooning 1940s film, The Great Dictator ("You are not machines! You are not cattle!").
  • A live performance of this song at London's Abbey Road studios saw an enthusiastic Adele tweet: "This is one of the best things I've ever seen in my life, hands down."
  • Paolo Nutini (from The Independent): "The world throws up new meanings for that one every day, but it's mainly that man-versus-machine thing. You know: you go into WH Smith these days and they steer you to the electronic checkout. I always think: 'Why so calm?' Don't you realize that thing that doesn't have a family to feed is going to have your job?"
  • A short film was released to accompany the song. Directed by Daniel Wolfe (Plan B), the nine-minute video offers a dystopian vision of the future, where people are suffering but are occasionally able to dance. According to the director he was sent the track by Nutini without any explanation, and the bleak future he created was inspired by Charlie Chaplin's speech that is sampled on the track.
  • This won for Best Track at the 2014 Q Awards.
  • Nutini told Q magazine he had to get permission from Charlie Chaplin's family to use the sample. He said: "To have them come back excited by the prospect only galvanized me more. To have Charlie Chaplin on your side certainly helps!"
  • Best remembered today as a comedian, Charlie Chaplin was also a talented composer. He penned "Smile" for the 1936 movie Modern Times, which became something standard with versions by Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Petula Clark, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. Thirty years later, another Charlie Chaplin tune, "This Is My Song," was a big hit for Petula Clark.

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