If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

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"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
Released 24 August 1998
Format CD, cassette
Recorded January–May 1998 at Rockfield Studios, Wales
Genre Alternative rock, Britpop
Length 4:51
Label Epic
Writer(s) Nick Jones, James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore
Producer(s) Dave Eringa
Certification Gold
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"Australia"
(1996)
"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"
(1998)
"The Everlasting"
(1998)
Contrary to popular belief, there are no live strings on the record. The strings are instead produced by a synthesizer.

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"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" is a single by Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. It was released on 24 August 1998, through Epic Records as the first single from their fifth studio album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. The track sold 156,000 copies in its first week and reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1998.[1]

Background[edit]

The song's theme is taken from the Spanish Civil War, and the idealism of Welsh volunteers who joined the left-wing International Brigades fighting for the Spanish Republic against Francisco Franco's military rebels. The song takes its name from a Republican poster of the time, displaying a photograph of a young child killed by the Nationalists under a sky of bombers with the stark warning "If you tolerate this, your children will be next" written at the bottom.[2]

Various works on the Spanish Civil War were the inspiration for this song, and certain lyrics pertain directly to these works. For example, the line "If I can shoot rabbits/then I can shoot fascists" is attributed to a remark made by a man who signed up with the Republican fighters to his brother in an interview years later. This was originally quoted in the book Miners Against Fascism by Hywel Francis. Another work George Orwell's first-hand account, "Homage to Catalonia". "I've walked Las Ramblas/but not with real intent" brings to mind the account in Orwell's book of fighting on the Ramblas, with the various factions seemingly getting nowhere, with the fighting and often a sense of camaraderie overriding the vaunted principles each side was supposed to be fighting for. Nicky Wire has also acknowledged that he was also inspired by a song by The Clash, "Spanish Bombs", which has a similar subject.[3]

Release[edit]

The single was released in August 1998 and it secured the number 1 spot in the UK Singles Chart, it has sold more than 400.000 copies in the UK and it has been certified Gold.[4] It also became the group's biggest success on the Irish Singles Chart reaching number 3 and is the only Manic Street Preachers track to be released as a single in the United States.[5]

The single was also a success in Sweden where it reached number 21 and stayed in the chart for a total of 10 weeks.[6] In Germany it reached number 79[7] and in Netherlands 62,[8] in both contries it remained in the chart for 9 weeks. In Norway the song only charted for 2 weeks, despite reaching number 19.[9]

The recording was issued as two CD singles: the first included versions of "Prologue to History" and "Montana/Autumn/78", and the second featured a remix by Massive Attack and a mix by David Holmes.[10]

In March 2009, it was discovered that the song was used on the website of the British National Party as the soundtrack of an article describing "the violence, hatred, fragmentation and despair" wrought on London by the "great multicultural experiment".[11] The choice of this song was considered ironic by many, considering the song contains lyrics such as "So if I can shoot rabbits/Then I can shoot fascists". Record company Sony successfully had the song removed from the site on the grounds of unauthorised use.[11] The BNP later released a press statement claiming that "the song had mistakenly been automatically streamed on to its site and had nothing to do with the official party", and that "you can interpret the lyrics any way you want".[11]

"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" was nominated in the category of Best British Single at the 1999 BRIT Awards. However, the award was won by Robbie Williams for Angels.[12]

Video[edit]

Wire praised the single's video, directed by W.I.Z., which has been described as "surreal, mildly disturbing .. which has a clinical, suffocating feel to it despite its brightness." It was the fourth and final video directed by W.I.Z. for the band.[13]

Legacy[edit]

The song is in the Guinness World Records as the number one single with the longest title without brackets.[14]

The song was voted number 20 on Channel 4's "100 Greatest Number One Singles" list.[15]

Covers[edit]

The song was covered by David Usher on his 2003 album Hallucinations. DJ Eric Chase also recorded a cover of the song in December 2009.[16] Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke occasionally sang portions of the song during live performances of "Everything in Its Right Place" during Radiohead's 2001 tour.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All music written by James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore; except where indicated. All lyrics written by Nick Jones; except where indicated.

CD one
No. Title Length
1. "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"   4:51
2. "Prologue to History"   4:44
3. "Montana/Autumn/78"   3:12
CD two
No. Title Length
1. "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"   4:50
2. "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (Massive Attack Remix)"   4:54
3. "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (David Holmes Remix/The Class Reunion of the Sunset Marquis Mix)"   10:02
Cassette
No. Title Length
1. "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next"   4:50
2. "Kevin Carter (Live at Manchester NYNEX, 24 May 1997)" (lyrics: Richey James) 3:22

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Manic Street Preachers - Official Single Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ An original of this poster can be seen at the Imperial War Museum, London—Item IWM PST 8661—as well as at the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection at the University of California, San Diego.
  3. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 624. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  6. ^ "MANIC STREET PREACHERS - IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (SONG)". 
  7. ^ "MANIC STREET PREACHERS - IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (SONG)". 
  8. ^ "MANIC STREET PREACHERS - IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (SONG)". 
  9. ^ "MANIC STREET PREACHERS - IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT (SONG)". 
  10. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  11. ^ a b c Jones, Sam (28 March 2009). "Manics' Tribute to International Brigades Crops Up on BNP Website | Music | The Guardian". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "1999". brits.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  15. ^ "Rocklist.net...Channel 4/HMV Best Music of This Millennium". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  17. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  18. ^ "Manic Street Preachers - Official Single Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results for Manic Street Preachers". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  20. ^ "norwegiancharts.com". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  21. ^ "swedishcharts.com". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  22. ^ "charts.org.nz". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  23. ^ "dutchcharts.nl". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  24. ^ "dutchcharts.nl". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  25. ^ "British single certifications – Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  26. ^ Myers, Justin (6 September 2014). "Manic Street Preachers certified awards". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"No Matter What" by Boyzone
UK Singles Chart number-one single
30 August 1998 – 6 September 1998
Succeeded by
"Bootie Call" by All Saints