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Declan Mckenna - The Key to Life on Earth

[Verse 1]
Gold, let it unfold
And imagine you're dressed in gold
Roaring crowds in Manchester would manage to be told
Oh, and your king, the boy you loved in spring
The way she looks at him
The common goal, and waiting for the kids to go

We've been held back for after-school meetings
They've got it in for me
For all it's worth
The key to life on Earth
Jokers, happy go xenophobe locals
Have got it in for me
For all I'm worth
The key to life on Earth


[Verse 2]
Holy smokes
You kids and your jokes
Asking where we got our jeans
And where the hell we found our coats
'Cause dirty streets these days are graced
By Nikes of black and green
And headstrong boys in chinos
Barely grasp what that could mean
And they lie, the men that wrung us dry
The boys who poked your eye
The common fool, the walk to school for you and I

The second single of Declan McKenna’s sophomore album "Zeros" was premiered on Radio 1’s Future Sounds with Annie Mac on April 14, 2020. In “The Key to Life on Earth”, Declan sings about youth in suburban London and the way human beings act toward one another. The track’s music video dropped less than 24 hours after the song, featuring Alex Lawther, a British actor who was compared to Declan (and vice-versa) following his portrayal of James in the television series "The End of the F***ing World". "I came up with this when I was on the train. I was on the way back from Hertfordshire, where I’m from and where my family is, and getting the train into Finsbury Park, London, where I lived at the time. When I was growing up, the juxtapositions between those places weren’t apparent, it was just life and normal, but now the conflict of ideas between working-class people or people living in suburban areas is amplified. Everyone thinks they know what is right, but really they just don’t understand each other. I wrote two of the key melodies on a xylophone. I think that’s the first time that a xylophone has been used as a writing tool. It’s weird playing an instrument that you’re so not comfortable or used to playing—the first thing you play is often the best thing you’ll even play on that instrument." - via Apple Music "This song I recorded for my album in Nashville last year. I grew up in a very suburban world, and I wrote this song sort of based around areas of suburbia and the stuff I saw. In a way, it reflects how I feel about how hostile human relationships can be and how humans can be towards each other despite how similar they often are. It’s thinking about all those things and thinking about hostility when generally it all just comes from a place that’s solvable, or resolvable. […] I really, really like this one." – Declan McKenna, via Radio 1’s Future Sounds