Most of us imagine that the creative process as it relates to songwriting probably goes something like this: take drugs, hallucinate, and then write down what you see. Strangely, that's also how a lot of history's most famous "prophets" came upon the predictions that eventually made them famous. So it should come as no surprise that, from time to time, the two fields meet in a rocktastic explosion of guitars, drums, and telling people about stuff before it happens.
Here are five songs that eerily predicted the future, in mind-boggling detail ...
5Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Was to Be Released on 9/11, Features Songs That Sound Like 9/11
Even though it was ranked among Rolling Stone's 500 greatest albums of all time, Wilco's career-defining album almost didn't see the light of day. And, surprisingly, it had nothing to do with the fact that it predicted one of the biggest national tragedies ever in two different songs. Check out these terrifying lines and try picturing them as something other than a reference to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. First, from the song "Jesus, Etc.":
"Tall buildings shake
Voices escape singing sad sad songs ...
Skyscrapers are scraping together
Your voice is smoking"
And now, from "War on War":
"Moving forward through the flaming doors ...
You have to lose
You have to learn how to die if you want to be alive"
The lyrics in "Jesus, Etc." -- with descriptions of quaking skyscrapers and whining voices -- are obvious allusions to the terrible images we saw on the news for the months following the terrorist attacks. "War on War" then, is about the aftermath and the rebuilding of New York City. Of course, the title is also an apt description of the disenchantment many Americans felt about the wars that followed.
Excited at the prospect of a justifiable platform for their sarcastic political comments.
However, not only was all of it recorded well in advance, but if it were not for some legendary record label dickery, it would have been released on the exact day of the tragedy it accidentally documented.
A couple of other nifty notes about this album: 1) It features another song called "Ashes of American Flags" and 2) The cover art bears a passing resemblance to a couple of tall buildings. So there's that. Reviews of Yankee Foxtrot Hotel call the album "telepathic" and "mysterious," because calling it "sonic witchcraft" is too on the nose.
But the all-seeing Eye of Varglanos still gets digital rights.