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Adele declares she wrote Hometown Glory amid UK’s rage at Tony Blair going to war in Iraq

Hit track from Adele’s ‘19’ album was inspired by her attendance at Iraq war protest

Nicole Vassell
Friday 08 December 2023 12:13 GMT
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Adele has revealed her early career hit “Hometown Glory” was inspired by her frustrations at the then-prime minister Tony Blair.

The Tottenham-born singer, 35, burst onto the music scene in 2008 with the release of her debut album, 19.

Along with her first single “Chasing Pavements” and her cover of the Bob Dylan track “Make You Feel My Love”, a standout song from the album was “Hometown Glory”, dedicated to London and its various quirks and eccentricities.

In a new interview, the now-LA-based star spoke out about what the song means to her today, and the feelings it triggers when singing it.

“It makes me very emotional,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I really miss London, but I miss the London from before all of this happened in my life. I remember it like it was yesterday, when I wrote that song. I still feel like it’s my baby.”

Adele and Tony Blair (PA)

She added she wrote the song, which makes reference to “the people and the government” being opposed, after protesting the Iraq war in 2003.

Adele continued: “And I don’t think everyone knows, but I wrote it the day after I went to my first ever protest. In London, the UK, we were annoyed at Tony Blair because he was going to war with Iraq.

“It was like a million-people turnout in London, and we’re marching, and I was 16, and me and my friend Olivia went. We made our placard, and it felt so powerful.”

On the track, Adele sings: “I like it in the city when two worlds collide / You get the people and the government, everybody taking different sides / Shows that we ain’t gonna stand s**t / Shows that we are united / Shows that we ain’t gonna take it.”

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Adele performing in Hyde Park, London in 2022 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

The multi-award-winner has previously spoken out about how attending the Iraq war protests in 2003 led to her penning the heartfelt ballad to UK’s capital city.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on Desert Island Discs last year, Adele said: “We were making our signs and I felt such a sense of power in that. Me and Olivia were like 15, 16, and we went and I was just mesmerised by everyone. I was really soaking it all in.”

She continued: “That night, when we got back and I got home, I wrote it. It was very profound and I was very proud to walk those streets with a million other people.”

Adele famously denied permission for her music to be used as part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, before endorsing democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

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