The following was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Songs.

Billy Nomates is the moniker of Tor Maries, a singer-songwriter in the United Kingdom who released her self-titled debut album back in August.

Although the album was recorded pre-pandemic, it is still politically relevant due to its themes of class struggle and social inequality.

“I’ve never really had money, but I was the poorest I’d been a couple of years ago after working a load of minimum wage jobs,” Maries told NME. “I was miserable and poor and unfulfilled: I couldn’t write about fancying someone or anything nice. I thought: ‘If I’m going to write again, I have no optionbut to write about “ah, it’s all crap.’”

This is exemplified by one of the album’s standout tracks “FNP,” which is short for “Forgotten Normal People.” The song highlights the reality that if you are not part of the elite then the powers that be don’t care about you.

In the United States, this reality has become even clearer considering the government’s response to COVID-19 and their failure to pass an adequate stimulus package. Both sides of the political aisle are using “Forgotten Normal People” as a pawn in their power grab.

The lyrics also contain a message of empowerment:

In a corner of society that they hope disappears
That has more soul than their tiny minds could handle

Forgotten Normal People are a force to remember
And what they havenʼt considered
Is how we hold everything together


By banding together and making their voices heard, Nomates believes Forgotten Normal People can force those in power to remember them.

Listen to “FNP” by Billy Nomates:

CJ Baker

CJ Baker

CJ Baker is a lifelong music fan and published writer. He recently started a website chronicling the historical developments of protest music: ongoinghistoryofprotestsongs.com, and can be found on Twitter @tunesofprotest