1961

Album: Scars & Stories (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • The song's title refers to the year the Berlin Wall was built. A barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic, it completely cut off the American, British, and French occupied West Berlin from the communist occupied East Berlin.
  • This song came out of a songwriting trip that singer Isaac Slade and guitarist Joe King took to New Orleans after the break-up of the latter's marriage. King explained to interviewer Mike Ragogna: "We wrote that song about The Berlin Wall and the division it represented in regards to one unified city becoming two cities still under the covering of a country. They're both German, but in a sense, they were as far from each other as they could possibly be. I think that's how our relationships can be sometimes. Not to sound cliché, but we all as people build these walls that don't really come down until someone comes into our lives, tears them down, and says, 'Enough!'" (Source The Huffington Post).
  • King told the Denver Westword how the pair collaborated on this song. He explained: "I had this verse and pre-chorus idea. It was almost more of melodies. I had the bridge to that pre-chorus - the "I want to feel your love right now" - and that was kind of all I had of the song when I showed it to him. We didn't know the direction quite yet or where we wanted to take it.

    But I was coming from a place of newness in my life and meeting new people and feeling new things and discovering who I am again as a single person. So that was the first line that I had. I had this verse with this melody, and I kind handed that over. I was like, 'You know what? Why don't you see what you can do with some lyrics on this.'

    And Isaac kind of ran with it a bit. We were in New Orleans, and he'd go off to the coffee shop and start writing about whatever and he'd come back, we'd hash through it, and I'd hear him out. Once he started playing it, I knew he was on to something pretty great, the first line, I could tell. You can usually tell immediately if something's working or not. And it was, and it stuck."
  • King explained to Denver Westword why this is one of his favorite tracks on Scars & Stories production-wise: "I love the arrangement. I played this little sounder organ, this old-school, push-button organ that's super grainy. You can hear it in the background. There's elements to the song that we've never done as a band. There's sounds that I'm so proud of, sonically. It just feels like that's one of my best songs. I don't know if it's the best song I've ever written, but I'm proud of a lot of elements of that song."

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