Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Count It Up’ By Field Music
Field Music’s David Brewis of England was incensed by Brexit. It was a “proper Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes moment.”
On Field Music’s new album, “Open Here,” the indie rock band reflect on a post-Brexit world, as well as the rise of United States President Donald Trump. Much of the album bears sonic similarities to David Bowie’s 1980 album, “Scary Monsters.”
The band’s most potent song on the album is called “Count It Up.” A litany of privileges, which predominantly white upper and middle class males enjoy, are rattled off.
“If your mother had a job, your dad had a job when you’re growing up, then count that up,” Brewis sings.
Or, “if you can go through day to day without the fear of violence,” “if people don’t stare at you on the street because of the color of your skin,” or “if your body makes some kind of sense to you.”
Count all that up.
In an interview for MOJO Magazine, Brewis said, “Count It Up’s partly about a mistake we all make all the time, where you give yourself more credit than you deserve for what’s essentially just an array of circumstances.”
“After I’d written lots of things for it, I did think most of these could apply to me. But if you’re going to write finger-pointing songs, it’s best if you can point the finger at yourself as well.”
In the age of Brexit and Trump, where prejudice and the scapegoating immigrants or people of color is more prevalent, Field Music’s song is a direct confrontation of the very privilege that gives bigots the ability to marginalize entire demographics.
The lyrics even mention if ones uses the breath they have left “to say something that matters,” count that up. Because the hatemongers who use their voice and influence power are able to do so because they have privilege.
Reflecting on the circumstances that give a person a leg up in daily life is a first step in recognizing the way in which one contributes to widespread oppression. It will help one see where others struggle to do the very things that come easy.
Convincing people to do this simple reflection seems like a first step to reversing the tide in a post-Brexit post-Trump world, and it makes for a pretty good rock tune.
Listen to “Count It Up”: