Monday, July 7, 2008

Reflections on an Era Through Banned Songs

The Ad Libs ~ Boy From New York City
Live In Liberty State Park

In the afterglow of a mellow 4th of July I have been enjoying a satisfying love of country conditioned by the knowledge that the Bush era is just about over. It feels like a time for national reflection, a time to review and perhaps reassess.

I look back at the beginning of the Bush era, September 11 2001 and the ensuing rationalizations as one big miserable American tragedy, a double-sucker-knock-out punch. And I’m not even talking about the war. Enough time has passed now that I think we can re-examine, possibly question some of the actions made in the name of September 11 2001, such as Clear Channel Communications sending out that list of songs NOT TO PLAY after the September 11 attacks, songs like…Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles, Neil Diamond’s America, and the Ad Lib's Boy From New York City.

The Bangles ~ Walk Like An Egyptian

I’m pretty sure these songs are codes integral to a September 11 conspiracy theory but I can’t quite pin it down. The Bangles Walk Like An Egyptian and Disco Inferno by the Trammps were off limits (apparently Disco Inferno by Tina Turner was OK). Santan’s You've Got To Change Your Evil Ways, Elvis Presley’s You’re the Devil In Disguise, and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels Devil in a Blue Dress... OK, I see a pattern developing. But Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York? and the Youngbloods Get Together? Also nixed: anything by Rage Against The Machine. Wow, somebody really does not like that band.

Some of the most beautiful and inspiring of these banned songs include Imagine by John Lennon, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel and What A Wonderful World by either Louis Armstrong or Sam Cooke. Not to mention a personal favorite of mine, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky. All together the Clear Channel list includes 166 songs. They are listed on Wikipedia via the link below.

Link to: List of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks

Norman Greenbaum ~ Spirit in the Sky

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