Songs about overcoming adversity: ‘Let ‘Em Go’ by The Wildhearts.

My ongoing series on ‘Songs about overcoming adversity’ is something that often gives me the most pleasure. Today is no different except for the fact that the song featured here is one of the most unlikely songs I ever thought I’d bring to your attention. 

The song in question is Let ‘Em Go by English hard rockers The Wildhearts, who formed way back in 1989. Interestingly, the appearance of my first punk rock or rock hard band in this series is reason enough to celebrate. Let’s hope it doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass! 

The Wildhearts have achieved periodic success with several top 20 singles and a top ten album in the UK in their long history. The constant thread in the band has been band founder, frontman and guitarist David Leslie Walls better known by his stage name Ginger Wildheart. 

With the band taking its clues from Ginger, its long history of songwriting has almost always fallen on the shoulders of Ginger, who is said to be one of the most prolific songwriters in Britain with his ‘sit down and write to order’ approach. No topic is off subject when it comes to songwriting and the fact that Ginger is so open minded about it probably speaks volumes about his character.

In a 2018 interview with Songwriting Magazine, Ginger briefly explained how he writes songs: “Normally I get lyrics first. I get a reason for the song wanting to live, and then it’s a process of just giving birth to it. It needs to be something worth writing about.”

More often than not, Ginger finds inspiration in the real world. A good example of that is found on The Wildhearts last studio album Renaissance Men (2019). Incidentally, it is The Wildhearts first new studio album in some ten years, which harks back to some of what they did best on their previous albums; a mixture of blistering hard rock and melodic power-pop. Moreover, being relatively new to The Wildhearts I’m super impressed by all the elements of punk, folk-rock and hints of industrial sounds on this album. 

Interestingly, and getting back on topic, set against somewhat of an angry tone, the album lyrically addresses issues like online bullying, the cynical nature of love and mental health, which all have everyday relevance to most of us. So it is here once again that I’d like to introduce the fast and furious Let ‘Em Go as an example of how one might see a wonderful social message beneath its aggressive tone.

In a 2018 track by track rundown of the songs on Renaissance Men, Ginger gave us a blunt breakdown of Let ‘Em Go’s inspiration and his motives of how he hoped fans would react. If I can say so myself he certainly captures the punk spirit within his message. Here is what he said: 

Let ‘Em Go is just a simple song about ridding your life of wankers. Not all friendships are going to want to blossom into something meaningful, and a lot of people show their true colours over time.

My advice would be just get rid of them instantly, as soon as one of them turns into a judgmental prick, or a sexist, or a racist, or a homophobe, or any number of other disgusting social traits.

Just ditch them. There’s plenty of other wankers for them to hang around with. But if you pride yourself on on giving good friendship and getting good friendship back, then your friends deserve good friends. So don’t have any wankers poisoning the pool. Ditch them. Just get rid of them.”

Check out the live version of the song here below, especially if you love the sounds of loud guitars and great riffs. Moreover if you are interested in seeing their grotesque aged restricted music video click HERE. Enjoy!

2 comments on “Songs about overcoming adversity: ‘Let ‘Em Go’ by The Wildhearts.

  1. These guys are awesome. Straight-up dirty and gritty rock & roll.

  2. Lovely stuff. Perfect for getting it al out of your system on the drive home! Renaissance Men is a belter of an album

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