Hatmillió lélek, a ritka légbe vesző,
utazik újra a földön,
életek, nem számok.
Mindezek a kísértetek, anyák fiai,
a történelem kiürült fegyverei,
már csak tárgyak egymás után.
És mi mögéjük állunk, lassan kísérjük a fiainkat.
Egy napon nekem is lesz gyermekem.
Hogyan fogom majd azt mondani neki, ó,
ez a világ, ez a világ egy jó hely?
Hogyan fogom elrejteni a félelmet az arcomról?
Hogy alszotok mindazzal, amit tettetek?
Másvalaki fiát halálba küldeni,
olyan dolgokért, amelyekben senki sem hisz.
Tisztelgés a ti saját abszurd ügyeteknek,
amint felsorakozunk ezen a kegyetlen parádén.
Nerina Pallot - History Boys (live at Woman's Hour, BBC Radio4, 2011.06.13.)
Nerina Pallot - History Boys (acoustic)
"Before I first met Nerina, I wasn't even aware she was pregnant. Then she turned up as big as a house and said, 'I want to make a record.' I said 'Yeah, right, see you in six months – or six years.'
Making this record turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I've had. She trusted me completely from the first day we met. It was just so easy. She's not 14 and silly about it, she just wanted to make a terrific record whatever it took.
With the baby coming, time was of the essence and I realised the only way to record it was to do it live. We booked into Konk Studios, in Crouch End, Ray Davies' place and one of the few remaining great studios left. We recorded eight songs in seven days, then on the eighth day, she had the baby. It really was unbelievable." (Bernard Butler)
* * *
"Did motherhood affect your lyrics?
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.
That song is talking about casualties of war. "All these ghosts / Sons of mothers."
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."
You can feel the emotion in your vocal...
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.
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."
Nerina Pallot - Everybody's Gone to War (official video)