That’s Not My Name – an anti hate crime anthem
A few years ago I was asked if Heavy Load could come up with an anti hate crime song by the hate crime unit at a local council. We tended not to write songs to order, anyone who’s listened to one of our albums will know that our lyrical content was a bizarre out pouring of seemingly unrelated and surreal events. (Although all our songs did actually have some founding in reality, being inspired by experiences we had on the road).
However, we were concerned how words around disability were used in the media and so we thought we’d have a go at writing a song.
We set about talking as a band and with our friends about what ‘hate-crime’ was and it soon became apparent that it was quite a strange concept. The words ‘hate crime’ weren’t holding a meaning for the people with learning disabilities that we were talking to, and that obviously presents a real problem. How can you report a crime if you don’t know it’s being committed?
As we talked about the issue though we talked about how, among other things, it’s about the abusive names people get called, and that’s when we hit on the idea of asking The Ting Tings if we could do a ‘Heavy Load’ on their No.1 hit song. And the lovely Ting Tings said yes!
And here’s the result – our anthem against disability hate crime, and we’re happy for this to be shared far and wide to help spread the message.
(For those of you who didn’t watch Blue Peter in the late 1970s the Joey Deacon reference will make no sense – sorry we’re showing our age).
And to end the story we did write our own hate crime song for the council too – it was called ‘I hate it when you call me names, you’re an arsehole’ – we said we’d understand if it was a bit too edgy for their purposes, and they duly didn’t use it. We didn’t blame them!
We’re continuing the work around challenging hate crime at the ‘It’s Not On’ conference in Brighton this November and will be trying to come up with a new song in our creative workshop.