Indie legends The National are flying high right now, having released their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast, in September. Now, while on the promotional trail for the new record, the group dropped by US radio station KCRW where they covered a punk classic by the Ramones, which they ‘explained’ was inspired by US President Donald Trump.

As Consequence Of Sound reports, The National recently stopped by KCRW to perform a set of songs for their Morning Becomes Eclectic program. After playing through five tracks from Sleep Well Beast, including ‘Nobody Else Will Be There’, ‘Walk It Back’, ‘Born To Beg’, ‘Guilty Party’, and ‘Carin At The Liquor Store’, the group turned their attention to the New York punk legends, covering their 1981 track ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’.

Frontman Matt Berninger introduced the band’s cover of the tune by regaling listeners with the supposed “true story” behind the tune. “Joey [Ramone] was in love with this girl in high school and apparently Donald Trump rolled in with daddy’s sports car and took her away,” Berninger explained. “It’s a true story that happened in Queens many years ago.”

Matt Berninger then dedicated their performance to Joey Ramone, before the band jumped into their brilliant version of the tune.

While Matt Berninger was obviously joking, the original’s history is somewhat up for debate. While some claim that the song was about frontman Joey Ramone’s relationship with an African-American girl whose parents disapproved of their relationship, others claim it was about the same girl that Joey met while in a mental institution.

Other fans believe that the song was actually a thinly-veiled attack at guitarist Johnny Ramone, who supposedly sabotaged Joey’s relationship with a girl, and stole her for himself. While the true meaning will forever be up for debate, The National’s new backstory to the tune is a much more contemporary and relevant tale.

In related news, The National are set to hit up Aussie shores next year for their first headline tour in the country since 2014. The band are gearing up to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne in February and March of next year for what is set to be an amazing series of shows.

Check out The National’s full performance on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, below.

The National Australian Tour 2018

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Sydney, NSW

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018
Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Sydney, NSW

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, VIC

Tickets on sale 9am, Friday, September 1st.

Tickets on sale now

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