Daily Song Study

Fiction Plane – Hate

In songs on August 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

Is it possible to have a serious song that’s also a joke? The answer is yes, rarely. It takes a certain slyness of approach to pull it off, but if anyone has a shot, it would be the son of the aforementioned Gordon Sumner, aka Sting. His firstborn Joe Sumner has an interesting band called Fiction Plane, and with this song, they appear to be joining me in the fight against hipsterism.

Obviously that’s my own prejudicial focus here, because in fact the song is about willful ignorance in general. But it does make some cutting remarks about the constraints of coolness:

“Take a stand and we will cut you down
Be yourself and we’ll call you a liar
Be somebody else and we’ll set you on fire
Keep yourself to yourself and we don’t care if you die yeah…”

But Sumner is careful to caution against withdrawing too completely from society as well:

“Don’t tell me to look at myself
I know that I don’t exist
I am perfect, I don’t exist
In your stupid human world…”

It takes a certain amount of self-awareness, observation and skill to write a song this accusatory and still make it listenable, but here they’ve pulled it off quite effectively. A good lesson.


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