When the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center crumbled on September 11, 2001, the world really fell out of tune. But quiet the minstrels? No, they were not. Great historical events have always been treated in ballads. Thus, hundreds of 911 songs and poems have been written since to get over the atrocities, to honour the victims and rescue workers, to raise money, to stir patriotic feelings, to criticize military actions, and to propagate the clash of cultures or mutual understanding. It is presented by means of folk, marching tunes, jazz, pop, rock, hip hop, techno, new age, and weird sound clips. Some are written with the deepest and most honest feelings, but there is also false pathos and the downright silly. If it is true that songs embody the vox populi, display attitudes, opinions, dreams and aspirations of a people, one may uncover much more ambigious facets than the official view and the publicized opinion pretend. But instead of singing ballads in the streets and distributing broadsheets, nowadays folks set up websites and instantly spread the word around the globe. (See also World's Out of Tune Part 1)
"Clear Channel Communications, the Texas-based company that owns about 1,170 radio stations nationwide, has circulated a list of 150 songs and asked its stations to avoid playing them because of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Some listed songs would be insensitive to play right now, such as the Gap Band's `You Dropped a Bomb on Me' and Soundgarden's `Blow Up the Outside World,' but other choices, critics and musicians say, are less explicable because they have little literal connection to the tragedies. These include `Ticket to Ride' by the Beatles ... Others speak of universal optimism, like Louis Armstrong's `What a Wonderful World,' and others are emotional but hopeful songs that could help people grieve, like `Imagine' by John Lennon, `Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon and Garfunkel ... [WAXQ-FM (104.3) in Manhattan] decided not to broadcast some songs even though they did not make the list, such as `When You're Falling,' a collaboration between Peter Gabriel and Afro-Celt Sound System that had fictional lyrics too eerily similar to the truth ... Radio programmers and producers outside of Clear Channel said that they found the list bewildering. `There are obviously songs on there that people could take the wrong way ... But there are just as many that could be used to heal and bring context to the tragedy. It seems from the list that they don't want anything that comes close to making waves' ... Nina Crowley, the executive director of the Massachusetts Music Industry Coalition, a free-speech organization, worried that this was just the beginning of suppression of artistic expression and that politicians and corporations that have been trying to restrict access to popular music may expand and perpetuate this list. `President Bush said to be prepared for a long engagement,' she said, `so this could potentially continue and grow, and these songs could be removed from the public ear for a long time. This list has eliminated songs about flying and falling, but when something else happens, do we remove all the songs about trains and whatever else?'" (The New York Times)
Taliban (© The Sediments) [Full Lyrics & MP3]"I am tired of all these wishy washy celebreties being soft and caring about the enemy ... I dunno about you guys, but I'm angrier than hell over those jerks and this song [Taliban Two-Step] throws a lot of insults at them, like they deserve." (Scott Crazy)
In Afghanistan they got the Taliban
These guys have made Iran seem like it was Disney Land
They're working overtime, making everything a crime
Everything, that is, but prayer, welcome to the holy nightmare
Rabid students and religious scholars hanging on every fatwa
They're just Allahs disembowellers, every god has got some...
"America's famous patriotic songs": "When our red/white and blue is busting through terrorists, it's gonna be pump time! Check out the energy level of the `American Hero's'. This tune is dedicated to the speed, strength and power of our American might ... Got the Red, White and Blue surging through your veins? Share this rousing dose of American patriotism with your friends, family and community activist groups. We are America ... Hear our `Battle Hymn' for the Millenium! ... `When Johnny comes Marching Home' reflects an energized American spirit, a spirit dedicated to be certain that we are forever safe from the insanity and evil of those who would destroy thousands of American citizens. We will hunt them down, as well as all who harbor these American enemies. We'll have a new day... When Johnny marches down Terrorism! ... `Gary Owen Y2K2' is the tune that Custer played into battle [see also www.garryowen.com]. But Patriot X has added some modern twist." (Patriot X)
Infidel (© NukleoN) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
You've done your deed for the last time, keep what's yours, don't take what's mine
Seething anger under our blast sheilds, you can hide-but u cannot run from us the rest of your life
Spare us all your fanatic minds criminal verse you proselytize
We don't need your false regime, don't call us Infidels, we're free
Take position on the other side, hearts bleed but our tears have dried
Damnation of your futile cause, we'll hunt you down, till you die
Inquisition is your final cause, we'll hunt you down until you die
Judgement Day (Message for Bin Laden) (© Aliens Among Us) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
Today we gather upon the sand, there is no other way.
Shoulder to shoulder we make our stand, proudly we are the USA.
In numbers you could not imagine with one voice we call your name.
Osama, Osama hear us now? This is your judgement day.
Open Invitation (© Jackyl) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
I hate you Bin Laden, I hate you Bin Laden
I'm pissed off and not a patient man, I'd drop a bomb on Afghanistan
I'd snatch that towel from your head, wrap it around your neck
Pull it tight until you are dead
The Bin Laden Boat Song (© Mark Bonder & Kim Kindrew) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
That Bin Laden brought down the towers (give up Osama, we won' drop bomb)
We won't rest until he's ours! (give up Osama, we won' drop bomb)
Hey Mr. Taliban, tally me bin Laden. Hey Mr. Taliban deliver me bin Laden.
Osama Die ... So We Can All Go Home (© James P. Lamb) [Full Lyrics]
Come, Mr. Taliban, tell me where he's hiding (Osama die, so we can all go home)
I've got a fighter jet, a camel he is riding (Osama die, so we can all go home)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot under, I bury you beneath the frozen tundra
Die. Me say die, me say die, me say die, me say die, me say die-O
"The Pittsburgh Anti-War Coalition ... staged one of the largest Pitt rallies of the year to protest the military actions in Afghanistan ... Protestors from Pitt, CMU and other colleges joined local peace activists ... as they marched through Oakland, chanting messages such as `Georgie, Georgie, can't you see? You just bombed a refugee!' and waving signs that proclaimed the number of starving people in Afghanistan to be 7.5 million, or 1,500 for every American killed in the World Trade Center attack ... The emcee for the evening was Mark Egerman ... `We are neither with Bush nor the terrorists ... Dropping bombs to fight terrorism is like burning books to fight illiteracy' ... One of the musical acts in the rally was folk singer Anne Feeney ... who performed with slam poet Chris Chandler ... With Feeney's guitar accompanying him, he referred to the president as `Forrest W. Gump' and spoke of major corporations as having `their hands so far up the tight rectal sphincter of George W. Bush that they operate him as a hand puppet.'" (The Pitt News)
"The protesters broke into a song by local activist Dan Sullivan, satirizing a more popular, pro-war satire on the Banana Boat Song ... Instead of `Day-O' it began with two syllables of `Oil.'" (PG News)
He should have known he couldn't mess with our civilians
Bombing run and we blow up your home
He murdered thousands, but we have murdered millions
Bombing run and we blow up your home
"Students from the Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative continued their anti-war campaign Friday with Hip-Hop Against the War, a musical protest against the military action in Afghanistan. `We're showing that not only is hip-hop a powerful force but that we're all against the bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan,' said Lian Alan ... Local hip-hop artists, surrounded by signs saying `War is the Problem Not the Solution' and `Don't fight terrorism with racism,' rapped lyrics challenging the motivations behind the bombing of Afghanistan. One artist known as Czar Absolute was decked out in army gear that he said was from Vietnam. He said he wanted to show the similar nature behind the action in Vietnam and the action in Afghanistan. In one of the songs, Czar Absolute said, `Truth is the only hidden factor. A good politician? More like a good actor.'" (The Daily Illini)
"When historic events such as Sept .11th, and its aftermath, occur, I watch and feel completely hopeless as the situation escalates, because human beings, especially human leaders, are small-minded, and so easily swayed by the urge to do something revengeful, I tend to go gather all the various reasons for the actions, and usually just sit there alone in my thoughts of how brutal the world has become...And the few pieces of prose, and attempts at poems, to filter all of my emotions into something coherent, to defeat this feeling of mistrust over for humankind, ultimately fail. The song idea started with the idea: where are all of the hippies?--where are those anti-war demonstrators of yesteryear?--how could they have grown old and bald and fat and too tired to see the truth behind what their country is doing? I love America, my land, don't get me wrong. But this 'war' on terrorism is itself an act of terrorism. Wrong-headed foreign policy. I have friends from Afghanistan ... They are all good, sweet, intelligent people. Their friends and relatives who did not have the strength to escape as they had done, are now being killed with cluster bombs, carpet bombing, and robot controlled airplanes... " (wfairbrother)
Anti-War Song (© wfairbrother) [Full Lyrics]
Where have all the hippies gone, long time passing
Where have all the hippies gone, long time ago
Robot planes steered from Washington, dropping bombs on Afghani children
We-S-A and E-U, dropping cluster bombs with peanut butter too
It's the mother of all stupidities, admit it please
Need this war to feed your ailing economies
Has nothing to do with justice, not with freedom, but with war-lust
But what we truly need is a war on poverty, hopelessness and despair
Can't be waged from the air, dance like Fred Astaire
On the debt-burden to our heirs
Hell, our middleclass is millionaires compared to them
"`I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die' attempts to put blame for the war upon the politicians and leaders of the US military and upon the industry that makes its money from war but not upon those who had to fight the war ... the soldiers ... The song attempts to address the horror of going to war with a dark sarcastic form of humor called `GI humor'. GI humor is a way people have of complaining about their situation so it will not get them in trouble and keep them from going insane in an insane environment: war." (Country Joe McDonald)
"McDonald said Osama bin Laden and George Bush have something in common. `They are both civilian commanders in chief who were raised in millionaire families. They wear civilian dress. And they give orders down the chain of command. They never will die in battle' ... When Dick Cheney was running for the vice presidency, he was asked why he hadn't served in Vietnam. 'I had other priorities,' he said ... `What I have been seeing is white men in suits and ties talking about military things. Almost all of them have never been in the military ... If you want to find out what's going to happen to those people who are fighting for us, if you want to do something that will help you cope besides waving your flag and singing `God Bless America,' find a war veteran who wants to talk right now.'" (San Francisco Chronicle)
(1) Fixin' To Die in Afghanistan (© Nancy Hey) [Full Lyrics]
Well, come on all you macho men, Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He got himself in a terrible jam with those darned soldiers of World Islam
So turn off the tube and grab a gas mask, give Bush his big chance at last
Now it's 1,2,3, what are we fighting for? It's about "United We Stand", next stop Afghanistan
And it's 5,6,7, open up the Pearly Gates. Well, you're not supposed to question why Muslims have to die.
Well, come on generals, don't be slow, show off your weapons and earn lotsa dough
Use DU, and don't hold back like ya did in Kosovo & Iraq
Terrorists will only capitulate if you make their land radiate
Now it's 1,2,3, what are we fighting for? Bush's image don't you understand? Next stop Afghanistan ...
Well, come on mothers, take a stand, send your sons to Afghanistan
Come on fathers, don't be blue, but soon they'll draft your daughters too
Be the first one who can wave your flag over your child's grave
Now it's 1,2,3, what are we fighting for? Well, the New World Order's so grand, let's take it to Afghanistan! ...
(2) Whoopee! We're All Gonna' Die (Anon.) [Full Lyrics]
Did you hear what happened the other day? Terrorists bombed half of New York away!
Says the CIA, this came out of the blue, and our FBI was without a clue!
But our president is embarrassed and sore, so we got to have us a war!
We looked for guidance from president Bush, but he was busy trying to hide his toosh.
So his daddy quickly seized the reins, and right away the CIA developed some brains!
From knowing nothing, they now claim they know it all, and it's bin Laden who's gonna' take the fall.
President George and VP Dick need to pay off their pals, and it must be quick!
Their campaign bills are coming due, and the ones who will pay them are me and you!
Sure ain't the rich frat boys they expect to die, so we can kiss the poor boys' asses goodbye!
"Now, McDonald is fighting a lawsuit filed last month by the daughter of New Orleans jazz great Kid Ory. Babette Ory .... says McDonald stole the tune to her father's `Muskrat Ramble' when he wrote his `Rag' ... Ironically, the suit comes just at the time when the recording may be gaining new popularity because of the military action in Afghanistan ... Kid Ory died in 1973 but Babette says his dying request was that she `nail that bastard, McDonald' because he hated the song's anti-war stance and profane lyrics ... McDonald says recent events are inspiring parody versions of his song and he suspects that's why Ory's daughter filed her suit." (New Orleans Times, see also www.countryjoe.com/lawsuit.htm)
"These events have devastated us, as they have devastated all of the world's citizens. We deeply grieve for the victims and surviving family members of these heinous attacks ... We do not hate America, what we hate are the problems that plague our country: corporate control of our government, homophobia, sexism, mistreatment of veterans, ageism, police brutality, exploitation of lesser economically developed countries, just to name a few ... We do not support killing or oppression of any sort, by anybody ... After much soul searching we have decided that instead of getting pulled into the media fervor that calls for revenge or justice through military retaliation (we do not see that as a solution to the problem), and dehumanization along national and ethnic lines, we feel it is important to express an alternative viewpoint to violence and blind nationalism ... We hope this song will be one of the many calls for a new global peace movement that encourages people to realize the madness that more violence will bring to this already insane situation. We also hope it will encourage people to think about the endless cycle of violence that violence creates ... While the attacks of Sept 11, 2001 were incredibly evil and inflicted a great deal of pain upon us and all citizens of the world, the horrific attacks do not somehow nullify past or present injustices carried out by the U.S. government or any government for that fact!" (Anti-Flag)
911 for Peace (© Justin Sane) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
It's in the paper every day, you see it in the headlines and you feel so sick
As another life leaves this world - this world, so full of hate - but short!
Short on compassion, short on humanity, asking myself in vain, shaken by the shock?
"Do we even have a chance?"
I don't want to die, I don't want to kill. We are all human, it's time to prove it.
Isn't everybody tired of the fighting? Killing? Dying? Hatred? Violence?
"In times of trouble many people turn to music for comfort ... In this dark hour we cannot let hate take over our emotions. Hate is what caused this ... There are very good people and very bad people in all walks of life. Whether it be in our own family, our own towns, our own neighborhoods, our own industry, our own race, our own religion, or our own chosen life's work. Even when someone appears as an easy enemy or as a trusted ally, it is important to use calm judgment, human intuition and a strong grasp of the facts at hand before leaping to easy conclusions. Evil of this magnitude can come from anywhere, and so can heroism and kindness. I have to keep telling myself this and keep putting it all into that perspective or I would let the irrationalities of anger and hurt destroy not my enemies, real or perceived, but my own heart... The easiest way to react to such a monstrous catastrophe would be out of anger, to cry for revenge, to want to see someone else hurt as much as you are hurting right now. I must warn you, friends; such feelings are exactly what caused the terrorist attacks in the first place. Evil begets evil. All we can ask for is that the leaders of our world not make important decisions out of fear or anger..." (Art Ski Halperin)
Have Hope (© Craig Erickson) [Full Lyrics & Real Audio]
Who is ever ready for disaster
In a time when evil has so many names
How can we live in constant danger
When people's dreams and lives go down in flames
This planet's had so many conflicts
Because of all the lust for power and greed
And when the nightmares strike so close to home
At times it's almost too much to believe
We can give up and run away
Or stand up for a better day
Have hope in times of trouble
Hang on through the heavy rain
Have faith in a better world
Where love will rule again
The Lady Cried (© Duke Burton) [Full Lyrics]
She stands at New York's harbor, welcomes all with freedom's light.
A tribute to our heritage, a beacon in the night.
As the buildings crumbled and many of her children died,
I know as we, She felt helpless, I know like us, She cried.
But ... She'll guard us as She always has and take away our fears
I promise you, Lady Liberty, we will wipe away your tears!
Universal Love (© Art Ski Halperin) [Full Lyrics & MP3]
I just want to send you some peace and put an end to all of your grief
`Cause sometimes the world gets cold outside, and love can only can warm it up
So wherever you go, the people will know, it's time for universal ... universal love
P.S.: Unfortunatly, I cannot quote any Taliban (no, they are no rock band as President Bush suggested once), because for some religious reasons they didn't have any music at all. Also, I haven't any clue what the Arab world is singing about "911" and its aftermath. I'm always keen to learn more. Please let me know.
Songs and tributes: "Against Terror", "All Fall Down", "All Hearts to Strike", "America At War", "American Heroes (9-11-01)", "American Hero's (Eye of the Storm)", "Americans Loved & Lost", "An American Vigil", "Americas Resolve", "America, We Cry With You", "Anti-War Song", "Attention Taliban!", "Back to Peace", "Bad Man", "Banana Boat Song", "Battle Hymn", "Beat - Osama Bin Laden", "Be Proud", "Be Strong", "The Bin Laden Boat Song", "Can't Cry Hard Enough", "The City", "The Dance", "Dead or Alive", "Desert Man - Taliban Osama Bin Laden", "Dreaming In Color", "Drop Bombs On The Taliban", "Earthquake 911", "The Fireman Song (The Ballad of Mike Moran)", "Fixin' to Die in Afghanistan", "For the Rest of My Life", "Freedom", "Freedom Will Survive", "Gary Owen Y2K2", "Give Him Up Taliban", "God Bless America (9-11-2001 Tragedy)", "God Will Prevail", "Have Hope", "Hear Osama Die, Yelping Like a Coyote", "A Heartbeat Away", "Heaven Knows", "Hero", "Heroes for Liberty", "How Will I Get Home", "Infidel", "In Memorium, September 11th 2001", "In Memory", "In the Telling", "I Will Remember You", "Judgement Day (Message for Bin Laden)", "Knockin On Heaven's Door", "Lead Me Down", "Let's Roll", "Let's Roll America", "Let's Try Again", "Little Did She Know", "Message to Osama", "Miss You", "Ohhhh Taliban", "One More Day", "Only God Knows Why", "Open Invitation", "Osama Die ... So We Can All Go Home", "Our Heroes Are Crying", "Out of Tune", "Prayer for the Children", "Save the World", "September Elegy", "September 11, 2001", "The Severe Beating of Osama bin Laden", "Side by Side", "Snapshots", "Spirit of America", "Stand By You", "Taliban", "The Taliban Can", "Taliban Slam", "Taliban Two-Step", "This is our Place", "Together We Will Stand", "Twin Towers (Song For America)", "The Walls", "Uncle Sam", "United For A Day", "Universal Love", "Wanted - Dead or Alive", "We are one, America", "We're Americans", "We're Still Standing", "What More Can I Give?", "What's Going On", "What the Demons Did", "When Freedom Reigns", "When Johnny comes Marching Home", "When the Sun Comes Around", "World of Hate", World War 3" "WTC", "WTC Attack - Hope Conquers Terror", "WTC Attack - Who Will Rescue the Rescuers?", "WTC Attack - Justice", "WTC Tribute", "WTC 911", "Yesterday", "11 September 2001", "911", "911", "911", "911 for Peace", "1000 Angels".
"The Concert for New York City", "God Bless America", "United Synthpop Artists Tribute to America", "MP3 Artists World Trade Center Relief Fund", More remixes at www.libertyunites.tv.
Poems: "A Fateful Day - Flight 175", "America", "America", "America Cries", "America Let's Roll", "America Lives On", "America's Angels", "Attack", "The Binch", "Clouded Sky", "The Day America Cried", "The Day the Eagle Died", "The Day Lady Liberty Cried", "Down They Came", "The Evolution of Mankind", "Fire in the Sky", "Flight 93", "Freedom's Cost", "Heavy Heart", "Heroes of Flight 93", "A Heroes Tragedy", "I am the Flag", "Innocence Lost", "In the Telling", "Irony", "The Lady", "The Lady Cried", "Lady Liberty", "May the Light Shine", "My Daddy's Flag", "On Monday", "Overcome", "Remember", "September", "September 11, 2001", "A Solitary Candle", "Spirit of a Nation", "Thank You", "Through the Eyes of a Child", "Towers of Angels", "A Tribute to the New York City Firefighters", "Tuesday Eagle", "Twas the Night Before Ramadan" "Untitled", "Vengeance or Justice", "We the People", "We the People", "What If America Were to Stop", "We Will Always Be", "Why".
There is even comedy (if you like it): "Dirty Joke Man"
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