Marshal Dear

Album: Silence Yourself (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This haunting, jazzy number includes a clarinet solo from English multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood.
  • The goth-cabaret number is about Field Marshal Rommel, a Nazi who was part of a failed German command unit attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Vocalist Jehnny Beth explained to NME: "He was very famous and it was difficult for Hitler to execute him outright, so he sent officers to his house saying that if he didn't get into their car and take these cyanide pills, they'd kill his family. He had 15 minutes to do it."
  • The dark video was directed by Gergely Wootsch. It was the first music clip by the Hungarian animator, whose short The Hungry Corpse, played at the 2013 London Animation Festival. Producer Steve Smith told Promo News: "Gergely went to a Savages gig before production and realised the raw energy the band communicated was essential to communicate in the clip too. He tried to keep this in mind all the way through the production."

    Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson came up with the video concept based on Kurt Vonnegut's time-travelling anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five about the terrible impact of the bombing of Dresden at the end of World War 2, The clip focuses on a woman in a munitions factory and the destruction wreaked by the bomb she made. She explained to NME: "Two or three years ago I read Slaughterhouse Five, and there's one scene in particular that replayed in my head. The main character, Billy Pilgrim, becomes unstuck in time and loses his grip on reality. There's a war film playing backwards on his TV, so the bombs are being sucked out from the city, back into the bombers."
  • So how does the video link with the song? Thompson explained to NME: "It's about Field Marshall Rommel, who was part of a group that tried to assassinate Hitler. He was caught, and was quietly given 15 minutes to take his own life. So it's a very dark song about these 15 minutes."

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