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mandela day


composer
Words and music: Simple Minds
Written by: Kerr / Burchill / MacNeil (Post 2014 credit)


publisher
© 1989 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd
© JKMC-Bucks Music Group Ltd / Hornall Music / EMI Music Publishing Ltd. (Post 2013 credit)


background
"We wrote this in an afternoon, it had it's origins in an earlier song, and we were privileged to be able to write and perform it at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Wembley show. We're really proud to have a song about the great man." - Charlie, 24th March 2015

"This was written especially for the Wembley Concert that was calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid in South Africa" - Jim

"Mandela Day, a song we wrote in 88 came together faster than just about any other I can remember. I recall the demo of it being almost finished off less than a half hour after the initial idea had materialised. It could not be simpler musically, but its effect rings out as strongly as it did back then when much of the on looking world was calling out for change in South Africa, and arguably it now has a decent profile as one of the more well known freedom songs."

"The minimalism of the song works a treat. It says all that needs to be said. Above all it is catchy, and emotional at the same time without any bluster. You did not need to know the story of Mandela to appreciate the song, but it made the song what it is." - Jim


To so many of our generation, Nelson Mandela was both an extraordinary and inspirational human being. I am confident that nothing, including the sad news of his passing, will change that. It was an honour for us to have met him in 1990 during the final stages of a worldwide campaign that called out for an end to apartheid. His reputation may have been larger than life, but he seemingly remained humble throughout.

Of all the thousands of concerts Simple Minds have taken part in over a career that to date has endured more than 35 years, the most memorable for me is the The Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute that took place on June 11th, 1988 at Wembley Stadium in London. The event which was broadcast to 67 countries and an audience of 600 million was according to Robin Denselow, music critic and presenter of the BBC broadcast, "the biggest and most spectacular pop-political event of all time, a more political version of Live Aid with the aim of raising consciousness rather than just money."

As for our involvement in the event, and perhaps on a more personal level, my involvement with the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the latter most probably began somewhere around August 1981, when Mandela was awarded the Freedom of the City of Glasgow. That the officials of my hometown would award such prestige to a political prisoner in South Africa somewhat galvanized my interest in a situation steeped in shame, a situation that our own UK government at the time seemed to do nothing more than pussyfoot around while offering words of disapproval, but very little else.

Nelson Mandela therefore became the symbol, a focus for many of us increasingly more intent on doing whatever we could in calling out to those in power to do everything necessary to end the distortion of human rights that was endemic to apartheid. Many cities in the UK followed on from Glasgow and similar awards were made by 50 councils and local authorities over the next decade. Meanwhile, the Anti-Apartheid Movement urged Britons to send postcards to the jailed leader, which they did in their thousands.

In the spring of 1988, fellow musician Jerry Dammers of The Special AKA, approached us. Details of the planned Wembley concert were discussed and in no time Simple Minds had agreed to take part. I believe that we were the first act to commit; I also believe that we were the only act to write a song specifically for that event.

'Mandela Day' was written in five minutes, such a lovely tune. It's more about a sentiment. Political songs have to have memorable tunes. We thought everyone taking part in the concert was going to write something. I don't know what happened to everyone else's songs but we are glad that ours is still out there and is still symbolic of that time.

I'm so glad we did it. I'm so glad we had the balls to get involved because you got criticism then. It can be a rather clumsy thing to do, try and take some huge issue and put it into a three minute song. But I remember when Mandela was eventually released and came to London for the first time in 1990. There was a celebratory concert for him, Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa. He talked to about a dozen artists in the room. He said something that has stuck with me ever since. 'When we were in Robben Island, when there was no voice allowed, we could always feel and hear the voice of the artists, and it gave us great sustenance. I though 'wow!'. If Mandela says it, then that's good enough for me.

That's why we can play 'Mandela Day' now and, as much as it's about Mandela, it's about Tibet, it's about wherever there is prejudice or oppression. In June 2008, we did the 46664 Concert Honouring Nelson Mandela at 90 in London's Hyde Park. The Soweto Gospel Choir joined us for 'Mandela Day' and we met Mandela again. I treasure this photo of him with my bandmate Charlie Burchill and me.

For me, the underlying musical power of 'Mandela Day' will always convey more than words how much of an inspiration Nelson Mandela was to us and so many of our generation.

Jim
5th December 2013




lyrics
It was twenty five years they take that man away.
Now the freedom moves in closer every day.
Wipe the tears down from your saddened eyes.
They say Mandela's free so step outside.

Oh oh oh oh Mandela day.
Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free.

It was twenty five years ago this very day.
Held behind four walls all through night and day.
Still the children know the story of that man.
And I know what's going on right through your land.

Twenty five years years ago.

Na na na na Mandela day.
Oh oh oh Mandela's free.

If the tears are flowing wipe them from your face.
I can feel his heartbeat moving deep inside.
It was twenty five years they took that man away.
And now the world come down say Nelson Mandela's free.

Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free.

The rising suns sets Mandela on his way.
It's been twenty five years around this very day.
From the one outside to the ones inside we say.
Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free.
Oh oh oh set Mandela free.

Na na na na Mandela day.
Na na na na Mandela's free.

Twenty five years ago.
What's going on?
And we know what's going on.
Cos we know what's going on.



discography
Edit (4:08)
Produced by: Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn
Engineers: Heff Moraes, Robin Hancock
Assistant Engineers: Danton Supple, Martin Plant

Mandela Day US Promo CD

Album Version (5:41)
Produced by: Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn
Engineers: Heff Moraes, Robin Hancock
Assistant Engineers: Danton Supple, Martin Plant

Ballad Of The Streets EP 12" Promo Ballad Of The Streets EP 7" Promo Ballad Of The Streets EP 7" Ballad Of The Streets EP MC Ballad Of The Streets EP 12" Ballad Of The Streets EP CD Ballad Of The Streets EP Limited Edition Box Ballad Of The Streets German CD Promo</A>
<A HREF=Ballad Of The Streets EP German 12" Ballad Of The Streets EP German CD Ballad Of The Streets EP Jukebox 7" Ballad Of The Streets EP Italian Jukebox 7" Street Fighting Years Promo 7" Box Set Street Fighting Years Promo MC Box Set Street Fighting Years Promo CD Box Set Street Fighting Years LP Street Fighting Years MC Street Fighting Years CD Street Fighting Years US Promo MC Mandela Day US Promo CD Street Fighting Years Limited Edition MC Box Set Street Fighting Years Limited Edition CD Box Set Street Fighting Years Picture CD Themes Volume Four Theme Sixteen: The Ballad Of The Streets CD Theme Sixteen: The Ballad Of The Streets MC Glittering Prize 81/92 Instore CD Glittering Prize 81/92 MC Glittering Prize 81/92 CD Glittering Prize 81/92 DCC Glittering Prize 81/92 French CD Glittering Prize 81/92 French CD Glittering Prize 81/92 Australian MC Street Fighting Years MiniDisc 81-95 DJ Copy Great Leap Forward French Promo CD The Promised CD Street Fighting Years Reissue CD Simple Minds Box Set The Best Of Simple Minds CD2 Promo The Best Of US Promo The Best Of The Best Of SACD The Best Of Night Of The Proms Special Remastered Edition The Platinum Collection CD Gift Pack Limited Edition Themes 15-17 Promo CDR Themes Volume One - Five Greatest Hits + CD The Best Of Donna Moderna cover CD Five Album Set Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + Promo CD Celebrate: The Greatest Hits + 3CD Classic Album Selection The Music Of Simple Minds

Live Version (15th Sep 89) (8:13)
Recorded: Verona, Italy
Producer: Stephen Lipson

Themes Volume Four The Very Best CD Themes 18-20 Promo CDR Themes Volume One - Five

Live Version Edit (15th Sep 89) (3:32)
Recorded: Verona, Italy
Producer: Stephen Lipson

Live And Rare CD

Live Version (11th Jun 88) (5:10)
Recorded: Wembley, London, UK
Mastered by: Simon Heyworth
Silver Box Promo CDR #3 Silver Box Promo CDR Sampler Silver Box Mexican Promo CDR Sampler Silver Box

Live Version (6:52)
Recorded: Black And White Tour 2006
Mixed By Jez Coad

Simple Minds Live Volume One

Live Version (5th November 2009) (6:42)
Recorded: Saschall, Florence, Italy
Mixed By Concert Online

Boxed USB Stick Boxed MP3 Player Limited Edition Boxed Gold USB Stick

Live Version (10th June 2011) (4:30)
Recorded: Bedgebury Pinetum And Forest, Gouldhurst, Kent, UK
Mixed By Concert Live

Simple Minds Live Triple CD Simple Minds Live Double CD

Live Version (16th June 2011) (4:32)
Recorded: Hampton Court Palace Festival, London, UK
Mixed By Concert Live

Simple Minds Live Triple CD Simple Minds Live Triple CD Simple Minds Live Limited Edition Double CD

Live Version (25th June 2011) (4:52)
Recorded: Cannock Chase Forest, Near Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK
Mixed By Concert Live

Simple Minds Live Triple CD

Live Version (16th July 2011) (5:01)
Recorded: City Rocks, Inverness, UK
Mixed By Concert Live

Simple Minds Live Triple CD

Live Version (28th November 2013) (6:22)
Recorded: Arena, Manchester, UK
Mixed By Concert Live

Simple Minds Live Generic CD

Live Version (27th November 2013) (6:53)
Recorded: SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK
Mixed By Olivier Gerard
Sound Engineer: Rudy Coclet
Mastered By Alan Ward

Live EP Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Deluxe CD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro CD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Limited Edition 2XLP Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Limited Edition 2XLP

Live Version (26th July 2014) (6:21)
Recorded: Banchina San Domenico, Molfetta, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (27th July 2014) (6:50)
Recorded: The Cavea, Rome, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (28th July 2014) (6:25)
Recorded: Piazza Castello, Ferrara, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (29th July 2014) (6:53)
Recorded: Arena Alpe Adria, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (30th July 2014) (6:25)
Recorded: Gru Village, Turin, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB




videography
Edit (3:39)
Produced by: Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn
Engineers: Heff Moraes, Robin Hancock
Assistant Engineers: Danton Supple, Martin Plant


Mandela Day promo video Glittering Prize 81/92 Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD

Live Guitar Solo (15th September 1989) (0:57)
Recorded: Verona, Italy
Producer: Stephen Lipson

Verona Promo Video Verona Video Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona Promo DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona DVD Gift Pack - Limited Edition 2xCD 1xDVD Gift Pack - 2xCD 1xDVD

Live Version Edit (15th September 1989) (4:11)
Recorded: Verona, Italy
Producer: Stephen Lipson

Verona Promo Video Verona Video Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona Promo DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona DVD Gift Pack - Limited Edition 2xCD 1xDVD Gift Pack - 2xCD 1xDVD

Live Version (27th November 2013) (6:55)
Recorded: Hydro, Glasgow, UK
Mixing: Olivier Gerard (GG) at Jet Studios, Brussels
Sound Engineer: Rudy Coclet

Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Deluxe DVD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro DVD Celebrate - Live At The SSE Hydro Blu-Ray




downloads
Live Version (5th November 2009) (6:42)
Recorded: Saschall, Florence, Italy
Mixed By Concert Online

Concert Online Download

Live Version (26th July 2014) (6:21)
Recorded: Banchina San Domenico, Molfetta, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (27th July 2014) (6:50)
Recorded: The Cavea, Rome, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (28th July 2014) (?:??)
Recorded: Piazza Castello, Ferrara, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (29th July 2014) (6:53)
Recorded: Arena Alpe Adria, Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB

Live Version (30th July 2014) (?:??)
Recorded: Gru Village, Turin, Italy
Mixed By Bleecker Street

Simple Minds Live Generic USB




live history
Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute: 1988
Street Fighting Years Tour: 1989
Nelson Mandela Freedom Concert: 1990
Germany: 1990
Good News From The Next World Tour: 1995
Alive And Kicking Tour: 2003
Intimate Tour: 2005
Black And White Tour: 2006
46664 Concert Honouring Nelson Mandela At 90
Celebrate 30 Years Live Tour: 2008
30 Years Live European Tour: 2009
Graffiti Soul Tour: 2009
Festival Show Tour: 2010
Greatest Hits Forest Tour: 2011
Americas Tour: 2013
South Africa / Europe: 2013
Greatest Hits + European Tour: 2014
Greatest Hits + Summer Tour: 2014
Big Music European Tour: 2015
Big Music Summer Tour: 2015
Big Music Winter Tour: 2015
Travelling Light: 2016
Acoustic Live: 2017