The 1975’s ‘Love It If We Made It’ is a dystopian love story that feels appropriate for the last 18 months. Even though it was written before the pandemic, its relevancy has only increased tenfold since its release in 2018.
“It’s the gem of hope amongst all of the rubble,” frontman Matt Healy once said of the song. “I didn’t want to do a protest song. I wanted to be introspective but not so much like my diary.” It’s not a protest song in the traditional sense, ‘Love It If We Made It’ isn’t trying to change the world or be the difference. Instead, it just acknowledges the gravitas of the situation.
The nihilistic track accepts the mess around us, and although Healy reels off a plethora of different reasons why the world has gone to shit — he doesn’t pretend to have the answers.
The line, ‘Modernity has failed’, epitomises the essence of ‘Love It If We Made It’ and how humans selfish obsession has led to our demise. Across the track, Healy addresses cultural events that have played a part in the recent downfall and paints a grim yet, honest reflection on modern life.
Here we examine the cultural moments mentioned in ‘Love It If We Made It’ and the lyrics that allude to them.
Deconstructing The 1975’s ‘Love It If We Made It’
Black Lives Matter
“Selling melanin and then suffocate the black men”
Last summer saw people on both sides of the Atlantic come together to fight racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of Derek Chauvin. However, this vital societal matter has been rumbling on forever.
When Healy sings this lyric in the video for the track, an image of Eric Garner pops up on the screen. He was choked to death by Daniel Pantaleo, a member of the New York City Police Department. Pantaleo was found guilty of the killing, but authorities decided against indicting him, which sparked protests all across America.
“Write it on a piece of stone, a beach of drowning three-year-olds”
This line in ‘Love It If We Made It’ is about the horrifying image of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, who drowned in 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea along with his mother and brother. The family were so desperate for a better existence; they were willing to put their lives on the line to achieve it. The incident is a shocking state of affairs amplified by anti-refugee rhetoric that runs rampant in the media.
“It obviously caused a mass outcry of compassion in the UK, but it’s also a shame it took that picture to do so,” Healy told Genius. “There was some awful things written in the right-leaning media about it,” he added.
Online Fan Culture
“Poison me, daddy, I’ve got the Jones right through my bones”
This lyric is a lighthearted poke at the sort of language that obsessive fan bases make online. It’s only a playful lyric examining the cult-like status that bands like The 1975 have accidentally created and how social media has allowed this other world to exist.
In the video, Healy takes an array of selfies next to a screen that displays the lyric and admits to being just as guilty at social media-fuelled narcissism as the next person.
“Rest in peace, Lil Peep, there’s poetry in the streets”
Rapper Lil Peep sadly passed away in 2017, when he was just 21-years-old and had the world at his feet. He pioneered emo rap, which has come further to the forefront since his passing.
Healy once told Zane Lowe, “regardless of what you think of [Peep’s music] musically—I felt like it was the closest thing that this generation has to a kind of punk.”
“Kneeling on a pitch”
Colin Kaepernick has been ostracized since 2016 from the NFL despite being one of the league’s elite players and in his physical prime. No club dare touch him because Kaepernick took a knee before the match during the national anthem in every game of the past season.
Years later, and Kaepernick has still not returned to the NFL. Yet, football teams in England have adopted the act of taking the knee. It has become a universal symbol that is recognised worldwide thanks to Kaepernick.
It is still a controversial gesture and angers all the people you’d expect it to, but Kaepernick’s career didn’t die in vain.
“I moved on her like a bitch!”
When ‘Love It When I Made It’ was released in 2018, Donald Trump was President, and this line is a direct quote of leaked recordings made by the man who then occupied the Oval Office. Famously in the same recording, Trump goes on to boast how his fame allows him to “grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
“That’s a direct quote from the sitting President of the United States,” Healy commented. “And that’s a weird reality. When the radio plays your songs, they don’t play swear words. I would have to be censored for literally quoting the leader of the free world.”
“Thank you Kanye, very cool!”
Another Trump quote. In 2018, Kanye came out in support of Trump, calling him his “brother” and noted how they shared “dragon energy”. Trump would reply, simply tweeting, “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”. The line is about how even your heroes can let you down and the fall of an icon.
Healy later responded to a fan on Twitter in social media and likened the decline of Kanye as “like watching your dad losing a physical fight. Deeply sad.”