- 30 Sep 20
The new single by Paddy Goodwin, entitled ‘Is This Still America’ – which stars The Statue of Liberty – might be seen as the third in a trilogy, that also includes the still powerfully relevant ‘Break for the Border’ and ‘Jesus Is My Vaccine’.
In the wake of the nastiest US Presidential debate in living memory last night, Irish singer and songwriter Paddy Goodwin (& The Holy Ghosts) has released a powerful and withering track about the state of the nation in the United States – the video for which is premiered today by Hot Press.
Written by Paddy Goodwin from the point of view of the Statue of Liberty, the track opens with the question “Is This Still America?”. The problem, as the song outlines in powerful detail, is that it is indeed: a land in which Donald Trump has promoted racial hatred and attacked the most fundamental norms of democratic government.
"I have been waiting until today to release this in anticipation of the Presidential Debate last night,” Paddy Goodwin tells Hot Press. “I have to admit that I hadn't foreseen that the debate would dredge the depths that it did!”
There is a genuine feeling of history in the making about the video for the track.
“The Statue of Liberty was a gift,” the video begins, "from France to the United States in 1855, as a universal symbol of Freedom and Democracy. This is Her story today.”
“Is this still America,” Paddy Goodwin sings, over an ominous, thumping bass drum, “Is this still the land of the free/ Is this still America/ Or a wasteland of lost opportunity?"
There is a potent blues-inspired flavour to the music, with Goodwin’s slide guitar piercing through: it's fiercely appropriate in a song that focusses in particular on the oppression of black citizens of the US, in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd – which sparked a huge upsurge in support globally for the Black Lives Matter movement and is referred to visually in the video.
Paddy – who has played with leading Irish bands Horslips, The Radiators and The Atrix, as well as the MC5's Wayne Kramer and Paul Brady, among others – is joined for the release by an illustrious crew of Holy Ghosts. The animation for the video is created by Tim Booth of the legendary Irish psychedelic folk outfit Dr. Strangely Strange – Tim is also the man who designed the original flame logo of Hot Press.
The video – which includes startling footage of the Statue of Liberty crying blood – ends with the stark image of the Statue drowning in the water just off Manhattan.
The track is being released as a Limited Edition single and will be available on Spotify.
Paddy Goodwin plays Guitar and Slide Guitar and is the featured vocalist on the track.
Anthony Thistlethwaite of The Waterboys and The Sawdoctors plays Harmonica, Mandolin and Slide Mandolin, and sings backing vocals.
The animation in the Video is by Tim Booth and Video Editing is by Enda Whyte, who was also responsible for the videos for Paddy Goodwin’s earlier releases 'Break for the Border’ and ‘Jesus Is My Vaccine’, the latter of which poured scorn on the pitiful response by Donald Trump to the Covid-19 pandemic...