Through tears and hopefulness I write this. As I listen to the songs. Thank you musicians.

If you love someone hug them right now.

Springsteen wrote this after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. This song is dedicated to the 343 firefighters we lost that day.

Cornell explained the song to MTV News: “To me, it’s sort of about the lingering aspect of [9/11] that is used to kind of create support for things that haven’t been very good for our country or the citizens of our country. I’ve felt like, with the Bush administration, whenever they’re in crisis, they’ll suddenly pull out a terror alert – a code orange scenario, which I run into constantly, because I’m in airports so often. They don’t ever have to say why, just that it’s a matter of national security. And with the conservative right, part of the platform right now in the election is ‘Be afraid of terror, be afraid of terrorists. Look at 9/11 – we need an administration and a president who knows how to go out, kick ass, take names and keep us safe.’ That’s what got us into Iraq in the first place. [That tactic] certainly helped, and I think [9/11 was] a key factor in Bush winning a second term. To me, the song is about how awful 9/11 was, but stresses that we’ve got to let go of that to move on peacefully.”

Michael Stipe described this ballad as a love song about one of his favorite cities in new world and how he sees it changing for the better since September 11, 2001

Lead singer Jason Wade: “This is a spiritual song I wrote after September 11th. It’s a love song. It’s about wanting to escape from the condition of the world right now.”

Beautiful. And tragic.

This song was written as a reflection on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City. At the beginning you hear clips from news coverage of the event.

This is written from the perspective of someone who jumped to his death from the World Trade Center when it was attacked on September 11, 2001.

This song deals with Steve Earle’s feelings about the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. Speaking with Harp magazine November 2002, he explained: “‘Ashes to Ashes’ is my 9/11 song, period. It’s about the things that concern me – it’s one of the songs that’s about the things that concern me. For about maybe 45 minutes after everybody realized that the World Trade Center wasn’t an accident, for once I think everybody in this country was on the same wavelength. For maybe 45 minutes.

Hiatt was busy promoting his “The Tiki Bar Is Open” album in New York when 9/11 happened. He penned this autobiographical number about the atrocity after a couple of days in Philadelphia, and performed it at New York’s Town Hall later that month. Hiatt never intended to record the tune but ten years later it ended up closing his Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns set. He told Billboard magazine: “I played it for [producer] Kevin Shirley. He was living in New York at the time with little kids in school and he reacted as someone who lived there, saying I should record it. I had mixed feelings. I felt like there was some distance, and time takes a little bit of the sting out. The music in the song sounds like [the] horror that it was. We just started making that racket and at the end of the song a bit of hope pokes out in the lyric ‘She will rise again.’ It seemed to work out musically.”

Jackson introduced the song at the Country Music Association’s annual awards show on November 7, 2001. Speaking to The Boot in 2013, Jackson said that he perceives this tune to be his biggest-ever accomplishment. “I [recently] did a radio interview, and the guy was talking about being at the [CMA] Awards the night I sang ‘Where Were You,'” he explained. “Even though that was a hard performance for me and an emotional time, I still get so many comments about that. Of all the awards, and all that kind of stuff, the music is still what I like. To be able to create a song that really affects people and makes a mark in the music industry, I would have to say that would be a highlight.”

The Rising album was partially inspired by a stranger who told Springsteen in the wake of 9/11, “We need you now.”

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