What do 2014's top songs tell us? No. 8: Prayer in C - Lilly Wood & The Prick
"Give me the making of the songs of a nation and I care not who makes its laws." That's how Andrew Fletcher, the 18th-century Scottish philosopher, described the significance of popular music. With music forming a soundtrack to our lives today, Fletcher's words are even more significant, so we're going to take a look at some of the most popular songs of 2014.
There's a bit of dispute about which are the year's biggest selling songs as the definitive lists aren't out yet, but, having compared as many unofficial sources as possible, here is my strictly unofficial list of the biggest songs of the year and what they tell us about ourselves.
8. Prayer in C
This song was originally released on Lilly Wood & The Prick's 2010 album 'Invincible Friends'. Then in 2014 the French-Israeli duo's song was remixed by German techno producer Robin Schulz and hit was born. The song was initially a free download, as it was mixed without permission, but was later officially released and went on to become number one across Europe, including the UK.
The song's title raises two questions. First, is it really in C? (Some have argued it's actually in A minor.) And second, is it really a prayer? If it is a prayer, it's a rather strange one. God is not addressed directly and the tone of the language sounds too casual, too conversational to be directed at the Almighty. Initially the song sounds like the complaint of a jilted lover: "Yeah, you never said a word, you didn't send me no letter".
But the song moves on to raise issues of global injustice and suffering: "See our world is slowly dying... Don't think I could believe you." Is this a prayer calling out to the silence of God amid a world of suffering? In a year full of disasters, terrorism and war this song may have expressed in music a question many people have been asking: "Where is God when it hurts?" This summer the song sounded particularly poignant amid the rubble of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
And see the children are starving
And their houses were destroyed
Don't think they could forgive you