“The Cross” is the latest track from Red Eye, who cover raw social, emotional and political issues, based on the foundation that every song should carry a message. Red Eye is centred on the music and lyrics of Trevor Perfect and features guest vocalists. Trevor plays all the instruments, slowly building up tracks and adding each instrument, layer by layer, until the song is complete. Red Eye aim to address the lack of protest songs that exists today, compared with the rich tapestry of protest songs and singers of the past. To quote Patti Smith, "it is important ... to communicate, to wake people up ... We all have a voice. We have a responsibility to exercise it, to use it." He is making some progress, as the legend that is Billy Bragg said that the track Little England was "Spot on" and a "powerful response to the 'Is Protest Music Dead?' question".
“The Cross”, is about the cross that people lay when they make a vote on a ballot paper. The lyrics are based on Charles Dicken’s book, “The Christmas Carol”, where spirits from the past, present and future visit Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser. The spirits reveal the damage he had done to others and what damage he might do in the future. As a result of the visits by the spirits, Scrooge pledges to change his ways and treats everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas.
Red Eye use the same method of spirits revealing to someone the damage they had done and what they could do in the future, but with reference to how they had voted in elections, and how they might improve things if they “Vote for the people, not just for you”. It is aimed at those who only think of themselves when they vote, and do not think of how their vote for a party, a person, or in a ballot, might impact on other people and society in general. The message of the song is to encourage people to think of others when they vote and the effect that their “cross” on the ballot paper will have. Hence the lyrics in the song: "A spirit ..showed you, the damage done. The starving children, the homeless mum”.
The song is released at the same time as people are laying their (Christmas) cross in an election in the U.K. But voting for yourself and your own welfare and interest, and not thinking of others, is a worldwide problem; so Red Eye made the lyrics universal. Everyone in the world should think “before they lay the cross”.
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