By Dominic Ponsford
Telegraph pop critic Neil McCormick looked set to enter the charts
himself this week with a song written in response to the 7 July
bombings in London.
McCormick admits that at 44 he is “too old
to be a rock star”. But he said he was persuaded to release Somebody I
don’t know is trying to kill me after playing it down the phone to his
old school friend, Bono, who told him: “This song needs to be heard
The recording was released as a download single on Monday and all profits will go to a fund for victims of the bombings.
came to London from Ireland 22 years ago and describes himself as “that
stereotypical character, the failed rock star turned embittered music
journalist”. But he has continued to keep music as a sideline,
recording under the name The Ghost Who Walks.
McCormick used his
music industry contacts book to get the ball rolling two weeks ago and
said: “I got the sense that in the terrible void left by the bombing,
people were eager in some way to respond.”
The song was recorded
with a group of musicians including Paul McCartney’s musical director
Wix Wickens and former Culture Club drummer Jon Moss.
decided to sing himself after failing to find a famous face who could
commit immediately. It was released as a download single in nearrecord
time just a week later.
McCormick said Bono wants U2 to record
Somebody I don’t know is trying to kill me and the London Mayor’s
office has expressed interest in adopting it as part of its London
It has also already been broadcast on BBC One’s Breakfast to accompany a montage of footage from the attacks.
said: “There’s too many songs that just stay in your bedroom or perhaps
get played in front of 20 or 30 enthusiasts. Songs have to be heard.
It’s like the difference between writing for a fanzine or a national newspaper.
it be great if a teenager who was contemplating some radical thought in
the wake of this atrocity was hearing this song on the radio and
thinking about the fact that we are all human beings and have to live
in this place together?”
● Somebody I don’t know is trying to kill me is available from www.itunes.com and www.napster.co.uk.
I live in a world Where people I don’t know Are trying to kill me.
If we came face to face, might that erase Your hatred for me?
If I showed you pictures of my child, if we spoke for a little while Could you let me be?
Or is that bomb strapped to your chest blessed and primed for death Or victory?
live in a world Where people I don’t know Are trying to kill me Where
the colour of my skin Or the faith I was raised in Condemns me Why
should a man Want to raise his hand Against a stranger From a strange
I’ll never understand Why people I don’t know Are trying to kill me