Hello everyone, this week’s SMILE is dedicated to Sophie Lancaster. Sophie was murdered in the early hours of August 11, 2007. She was killed by a group of teen boys while walking with her boyfriend in a park in Lancashire, England. The group originally attacked her boyfriend and then turned on Sophie when she attempted to protect him. Police later stated that the injuries were so severe, it was impossible to tell which of them was male and which was female. This was a random, senseless, and extremely brutal murder that the group later bragged about. Why did they do it? Because Sophie and her boyfriend were part of the goth subculture. That’s it.
Five of the group were later given various prison sentences (two got life in prison), and in 2013, Manchester Police officially made such attacks hate crimes, adding cultural (or sub-cultural) identity to the list that includes things like sexuality and race. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in her name and works to stop the prejudice that is directed towards subcultures. World Goth Day (May 22nd) strongly supports this foundation on it’s own day, but it’s also important to remember Sophie as the individual she was, not just the icon she (unfortunately) became. So, here’s to you Sophie.
Bad Pollyanna‘s Invincible Girl (lyrics), in association with Illamasqua, is the official charity single in support of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It sends out a powerful message and is absolutely beautiful. I adore this song and add it to basically every playlist I make.
Delain‘s We are the Others (lyrics) is the second single from the group’s third full-length album of the same name. This song was inspired by Sophie’s case and the group continues to show it’s support, recently asking the organizers of the 2015 Bloodstock Open Air festival to move them from the main stage to the smaller ‘Sophie Lancaster’ second stage.
VNV Nation‘s Illusion (lyrics) was released as part of the group’s Judgement album in April 2007. It was dedicated to Sophie by Ronan Harris just days after Sophie’s family took her off life support. In this context, this song is nearly impossible to listen to without crying.
The last video I will post today isn’t actually a song/music video, but a documentary on the subject. I know this is out of style with this being a music post, but this cause is very dear to me. Sophie’s murder, like that of Brian Deneke, should never be forgotten. No one deserves to die simply for being different.
Are there any songs about outsiders that speak to you? Let me know in a comment below, and be sure to include any suggestions you make have for future SMILEs!