Unwrapped: Gang Of Four / Do As I Say
Andy Gill explains the origins behind the Gang of Four song 'Do As I Say' from the band's cracking new album 'Content'...
“Do As I Say” came about because I was looking at our second album which has that woodcut of Charles I being beheaded and underneath it says “I hope they keep down the price of gas.” It was a rich area, funny, simple and full of references, so I started thinking perhaps we could write a song that used the language of the 17th century and looked at the 17th century habit of killing and torturing people for having the wrong religious ideas, or subscribing to the wrong ideologies.
To make it funnier, I was going to be the executioner and Jon was going to be the executee, and we were going to have a conversation in the song. I would say “You’ve got the devil in you” and he’d respond by saying “we just need some face time” in Californian pseudo-babblespeak.
The point of the song is to look at our own age, when we all delude ourselves we’ve reached some apogee of perfection, that history has stopped and we’ve all got good, long lives, and we dismiss everyone in the past as being weird and uncivilised. But actually we behave in exactly the same way they behaved then. We still torture and execute people in the name of religions and ideologies.