Currently up to the Afterglow "era" of the reissues and Anthem has grown on me quite considerably. Following a few more listens, I can't help it feel that maybe this was yet another song about Paul. The reference to singing a tune to escape the turmoil (not sure of the exact wording) and doing it to his own beat. I think there's also a reference to smiling to cover up the darkness.
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Agree - it's a real grower!
To my ears, Neil has written it about himself along with all of us and our lives...
PS - with 3 young kids, i personally love the line "here for my children"!
I dont know if it is about Paul, if I have to choose, I would rather say no, but who knows. But, I am glad you did post about this brilliant song, I absolutely adore it from first moment I heard it. It is great song, it could easily be in any of my best ofs. Speccialy love Neils voice and singing in this song, its absolutely beautifull. Which is good thing, since voices are recorded in 2015. cause he wasnt satisfiyed with original version. And, I am also not fan of his newest live singing and interpretations of many songs on last tour (like some stated also). But, this studio recordings shows that he stiill has it, that in what I fell in love when I heard Kare Kare for the first time
I believe the song is about Neil being on the road away from his wife and children...”humming to myself, something joyous, my own anthem, cover the weakness in my soul”....he may seem happy but something is eating at his soul. ”when she’s in danger who’ll be her witness? I’ll risk everything for her happiness.” I feel like this is Neil suggesting he’d leave fame and fortune behind so that he can be with his wife (the song was written in the 90’s - music recorded in 1995 and Crowded House disbanded in 1996). He then goes onto to sing “and I won’t be kept apart from the ones that I adore.” The line “I come to my senses just before you close the door” - the door closing could be a metaphor for his relationship with Sharon/his marriage. He comes to his senses realizing what he stands to lose.