Out Of The Woods

Album: This is PiL (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War, which was fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, near the village of Chancellorsville in Virginia. Military historians generally ascribe the Confederate Army's victory to Gen. Robert E. Lee's risky decision to divide his army in the presence of a much larger enemy force. It set the stage for Lee's second invasion of the North and the Battle of Gettysburg.

    Public Image Ltd. frontman John Lydon explained to NME why he was inspired to pen this song about the battle: "It came about because I became very interested in the war and I got very annoyed to discover that the true history of America was being pushed aside for a sense of self-righteousness to take its place. African Americans were definitely negated in that part of American history. I met a fella called Nelson Windbrush, who was a school teacher in Florida, and his great-grandfather was a black confederate soldier - a free man - who volunteered to join the confederate army. That's a black man's history within American history, yet it causes so many problems when you raise it in conversation. This song ties in with all that. It's very interesting."

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