The Manic Street Preachers – The Love of Richard Nixon ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon

The love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination, The love of Richard Nixon, yeah they all betrayed you

This band took a more sympathetic view than some of the other songs that mention the former President. The Welsh band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The song was written by band members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore. One member of the band  Richey Edwards who suffered from depression disappeared in 1995 never to be seen again.

This song was released in 2004 the song peaked at #2 in the UK. Altogether they had 41 UK top 75 songs, 34 Top 40 songs, 15 Top 10 and 2 number 1’s. Bass player Nicky Wire: “If Radiohead are Kennedy, then Manic Street Preachers are Nixon; the ugly duckling who had to try ten times harder than anyone else. Paranoid megalomaniacs.”

From Songfacts

The Manic’s primary lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards gained early notoriety by cutting the words “4REAL” into his arm with a razor blade. Since that episode and his later disappearance, now presumed dead, the band have been somewhat overshadowed by the events of Richey Edwards’ troubled life. This provocatively titled single, is a sympathetic appraisal of someone else whose achievements were eclipsed by one event. “The main thrust of the song,” bassist Nicky Wire explained to Repeat Fanzine, “is the idea of being tarnished with a certain part of your life forever. With us, people might think of Richey’s disappearance or 4 REAL.

With Nixon, people will always associate him with Watergate and being a crook, not the fact that he was the first president to go to China to build up relations. Or the way he de-escalated the arms race with the Soviet Union – quite admirable things.”

Wire added concerning his sympathy for the devil: “There’s always been a ridiculousness to Manic Street Preachers. Not humour, not funny-ha ha, but a question of ‘Do they really mean it?’ But there’s probably more empathy [with Nixon] than I should admit. Nixon wasn’t a good president, but he wasn’t George W Bush. He was a brilliant man, and not all Republican presidents have been. I do think he’s a fascinating character, particularly in today’s climate. He probably ended the Vietnam War. Whatever you think his reasons were – and conspiracy theories abound – he signed off at the end of it.”

The timing of the single’s release, two weeks before George W. Bush’s victory at the 2004 US presidential elections, was most likely significant. Many suspected it was a statement by the Manics concerning the reputation of the USA’s leadership at the time.

The song finishes with a sample of Nixon himself stating “I have never been a quitter.” Wire explained to NME October 8, 2011: “We thought that applied to us as a band. I just find him really interesting and kind of like myself.”

“The Love Of” peaked at #2 on the UK singles chart helped by a marketing ploy that was deliberately designed to encourage multiple purchases. The single came complete with a special offer whereby fans could purchase all three formats (2 track CD, 3 track CD and DVD) for just £5. You don’t have to be a maths professor to work out what the effect of this was.

The Love of Richard Nixon

The world on your shoulders
The love of your mother
The fear of the future
The best years behind you
The world is getting older
The times they fall behind you
The need it still grows stronger
The best years never found you

The love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination
The love of Richard Nixon, yeah they all betrayed you
The love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination
Yeah they all betrayed you
Yeah and your country too

Love build around the sandy beaches
Love rains down like Vietnam’s leeches
Richard the third in the White House
Cowering behind divided curtains

The world is getting older
The times they fall behind you
The need it still grows stronger
The best years never found you

Ah, the love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination
The love of Richard Nixon, yeah they all betrayed you
The love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination
Yeah they all betrayed you
Yeah and your country too

The love of Richard Nixon, death without assassination
The love of Richard Nixon, yeah they all betrayed you
People forget China and your war on cancer
Yeah they all betrayed you
Yeah and your country too

In all the decisions I have made in my public life,
I have always tried to do what was best for the nation.
I have never been a quitter

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “The Manic Street Preachers – The Love of Richard Nixon ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon”

    1. I’ve liked what I heard by them and have have been meaning to post them…. but I wasn’t aware they were that successful in the UK… If this was in the mid 70s I would like to know what their peers would have thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A group you seldom hear about over here in America. There is a best of out there that is National Treasures- The Complete Singles which is a great introduction! One of my favorite group names also.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I honestly was thinking of another song first.. a song that doesn’t mention him by name but I take as a nod of approval.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I remember the week that this song was released, and it looking like it might go to #1… It would have been one of the strangest chart-toppers in history… Not one of the Manic’s better known songs, but one of my favourites

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard that one – sounds quite good though! I know the MSP are huge huge in Britain and rarely noticed over here – few other bands since T-Rex or Slade have been as much a dichotomy that way. I like what I have heard by them though – I had the song “If you Tolerate This ,Your Children Will Be Next” on a compilation CD years ago and came to love that song. As for their ideas on the tune … well, I was Canadian and young. But I remember when Nixon quit and in my child brain hearing he was a “burglar” and wondering how such an important man could be a crook. I think it set the stage for much of my youthful cynicism! However, as I read about him, he was complicated… I think in some ways he was a very good president and he seemed somewhat capable of working across party lines, a trait we could use these days. But he screwed up royally on Watergate, ironic since he was going to win that election anyhow without “foul play.” A smart but paranoid dude I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He wasn’t all bad at all and to be truthful he just got caught. Many others may have done close to the same thing….It was Nixon’s nature…his paranoid nature and ego that got him into trouble. He didn’t think he did anything wrong…
      He won that election by a landslide….he was so vindictive. Lennon was on Cavett at the time and all of Cavett’s staff was audited by the IRS for years to come.

      On youtube you can hear Nixon say…. “Who is this Cavett and how can we screw him?”… His own tapes helped bury him.

      Like

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