Skunk Anansie’s Track By Track Guide To ‘Paranoid And Sunburnt’

Skunk Anansie’s Track By Track Guide To ‘Paranoid And Sunburnt’

A track by track guide to Skunk Anansie’s debut album ‘Paranoid and Sunburnt’


Selling Jesus

Ace: “Our first single. This is about the religious people in America. There was a state giving grants to parents to educate their children – two thousand dollars or something like that. What happened, was that all these religious sects sprang up, and said they were schools, and taking the money. But they weren’t educating them at all – the kids couldn’t read or write – it was just greed. So it’s generally about how some people use religion to make money for their own means.”

Intellectualise My Blackness

Ace: “This is more Skin’s song than mine, but the story I know about it is from Skin saying about  how people sometimes use ‘black issues’ to look more trendy, but they don’t believe in it, they just say it to be ‘right on’ people, and be more credible. Hence, if they intellectualise someone’s blackness, it makes it easier on their whiteness.”

I Can Dream

Ace: “A dirty kind of shagging song really! It’s about people fantasizing about sex and things to make it more exciting and bizarre. It’s an ambiguous song, but it’s a dirty shagging song at the end of the day!”

Skin: “The first two lines were inspired by Quentin Crisp, the film where John Hurt plays Quentin Crisp and his final fantasies set on a boat surrounded by all these sailor boys, ‘I’ll be your sailor boy and I’ll tip my cap to your parade’. And that’s the song, all kind of flirtatious, almost camp.”

Little Baby Swastikkka

Skin: “This is the first one of ours that Radio 1 ever played. It wasn’t actually released, it was just something that Radio 1 did as a giveaway. They first intended giving away 30 copies and ended giving 1,500 copies away! It’s had so many requests, that we put the last track on the ‘I Can Dream’ single CD only version, so that people could have that. Sounds crap to the album version but nobody knows that…yet.”

Ace: “Skin saw some little swastikas on a wall, which were really small and really low. She thought ‘who put these there? It doesn’t look like it was done by an adult, but done by a little kid’. So generally it’s about young kids being taught racism, when they’re too young to even know themselves – that they’re being taught these bad things.”


Ace: “It’s about a relationship that Skin was involved in, that was bad. It’s about going into a relationship, and being treated really shit, but then you come out and you’re a lot stronger.”



Ace: “About a relationship, but being used, being hurt, but then saying “Just f**k off and leave me alone. I don’t want to be friends, don’t want your charity, being nice to me and patronising me – I’ve been hurt”. That’s that one.”

 It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I’m still just a cliché

Ace: “One of the longest and maddest titles of the year! It’s about rock stars and things like that. You really kill yourself for your art, then at the end of the day, you’re just a cliché! It could apply to anyone – a pop star, actor. It’s about striving for your success, but at the end of the day, you’re just another market image, a product, a cliché.”


Ace: “Another heart-felt song about feelings for people – more about forgiving people than anything else.”

And Here I Stand

Ace: “About the racism and the wars going on in the East End of London at the moment. All the fighting, the National Front, race riots, and how we’re always fighting the racism going on.”

100 Ways to be a Good Girl

Ace: “Skin’s song, and she doesn’t really let on about it! Everyone will probably get a different meaning out of it. It’s a very personal song to Skin.”

Rise Up

Ace: “The strength of women in society. Stand up for what you mean, you know? Don’t let anyone push you down, be strong. Another one of my favourites, a very uplifting song, and definitely my favourite live song.”

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Skunk Anansie’s Track By Track Guide To ‘Paranoid And Sunburnt’