Nerina Pallot - History Boys


History Boys

Six million souls lost to thin air.
Wandering the earth again, lives not numbers.
All these ghosts, sons of mothers,
History’s empty arms,
it’s just one thing after another.
And slowly we follow behind, our boys.
One day I’ll have a child of my own,
How will I tell him, oh?
This world, this world it is a good place
How will I hide the fear, from my face?
How do you sleep with all that you’ve done?
Sending somebody else’s son to die,
for things no one believes in.
Saluting your own charade,
as we line up in this heartless parade.
Submitted by Patreides on Mon, 17/10/2011 - 23:02
Submitter's comments:


Translations of "History Boys"
Patreides    Tue, 18/10/2011 - 10:07

Nerina Pallot on how pregnancy influenced her new album

"Mark Savage: Did motherhood affect your lyrics?

Nerina Pallot: There's a song called History Boys that I would never have written if I hadn't become a mother, because it changed my perception of the world.

MS: That song is talking about casualties of war. "All these ghosts / Sons of mothers."

NP: I was four months pregnant, and watching footage of fallen soldiers coming home at Wootton Bassett and it just… [pauses] I suddenly related to those boys as people's kids. And I couldn't stop weeping, because I thought, "gosh, I'm having a little boy and maybe one day he'll want to become a soldier, and I might have to deal with something as horrid as that."

MS: You can feel the emotion in your vocal...

NP: I was trying to be political without being political. On a human level, regardless of whether a particular war is wrong or right, there's a human sadness and tragedy at the heart of it. And that's what I was trying to describe in the song - loss. The senseless loss of young lives.

MS: There's a thematic link between that song and your first big single Everybody's Gone To War. Has your viewpoint changed at all?

I haven't thought about that - but I suppose, on a personal level, I feel less angry, more sad.
It's quite easy to be angry in music, because you just turn everything up. But real sadness - sadness that isn't cloying or sentimental - is the hardest thing to convey.

I really wanted people to be moved and thoughtful at the same time."

/Mark Savage/