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My October Symphony

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Release DateEdit

  • October 22, 1990

SummaryEdit

'My October Symphony' was released on the 'Behaviour' album.

BackgroundEdit

Neil says this song is about Russia. When writing the lyrics, he was reading a book about Russia's history, and the rise and fall of communism. During the reign of communism in Russia, it was commonplace for artisans to create official works of art commemorating the October Revolution -- the Bolshevik uprising -- and this is about a composer's October Symphony. He writes from the point of view of such a composer who, following the fall of communism, tries to determine whether his musical work is still valid, given its obviously outdated political motivation.

The music was written in Glasgow, Scotland. Although Neil originally played guitar on this, the final cut featured Johnny Marr playing that part. Jay Henry also sings on this record, his parts intermingling with Neil's own vocals in two part harmony. The string parts were performed by the Balanescu Quartet, who also were the warm-up act for their recent tour.

Trivia Edit

  • The choral chant at the beginning of the track is from Shostakovitch's second symphony, it is 'October' in Russian. The words refer to the October Revolution
  • 'Shall we worry about February?' refers to Russia's February Revolution of 1917, when the middle class parliamentary democracy was overturned by the Bolsheviks. November is also mentioned, and that was the end month of the First World War. Likewise, the reference to December points to the famous Decembrist Conspiracy.


Official VersionsEdit

  • 5:18 My October Symphony

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