When an event is big enough and traumatic enough, it sends ripples across time -- into the future and the past and whatever other directions might exist that we don't know about. We've mentioned before that some musicians apparently accidentally predicted 9/11 months or even years before it happened. Now we've rounded up five more bands that referenced 9/11 well before they could have known about it. And what did they do with this important information? Instead of going with the obvious and humane choice (writing a nice inspirational pop tune like Paul McCartney's "Freedom"), they decided to slip the most tasteless 9/11 allusions they could think of into their work, as if "But it hadn't happened yet!" was a valid excuse for being grossly insensitive.
Please join me in my quest to get the following songs banned for violating the basic laws of decency and of cause and effect.
#5. Dave Matthews Band -- "When the World Ends"
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"When the World Ends" is a Dave Matthews Band single that was supposed to be released in September 2001, but the record company pulled it at the last minute. Why? Well, listen to the lyrics:
Even though it was recorded in late 2000 and included in a February 2001 album, it's pretty clear that the song is about how 9/11 would be a great opportunity to do some fucking. There is no other possible interpretation.
The day the world is over
Ah, we'll be lying in bed
And I'm gonna rock you like a baby when the cities fall
We will rise as the buildings crumble
Float there and watch it all
Jesus, dude. Keep it in your pants until the nation has finished mourning (or started mourning, then finished). If there was a promotional video for this song, it would consist of Mr. Matthews Band going up to a stranger in the subway and whispering in her ear:
Amidst the burning, we'll be churning
Our love will be our wings
Passion rising up from the ashes
When the world ends
Michael Kovac/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"The world's not the only thing ending sooner than expected, babe."
This is obscene in every possible sense. Future America is under attack, and Dave Matthews Band (should that be hyphenated?) suddenly turns into Barry White. He wants to watch "as the buildings crumble," the implication being that seeing tall towers disappear makes him feel better about his manhood. How does he come up with this stuff? Utterly nauseating.
According to Matthews-Band himself, the song is about "being so lost in [the] passion of a love affair that the world sort of freezes," which is a valid sentiment. I bet there are plenty of good, hard-working folks who just happened to be fucking their butts off on that September morning. But, if he was just trying to write a love song that used 9/11 as the backdrop, why risk upsetting people by making it so loud and crass? Why couldn't it be a gentle rock ballad like "No More Lonely Nights," from the 1984 Paul McCartney motion picture Give My Regards to Broad Street? Because Dave Matthewsband is a monster, that's why. Fuck you, and fuck your confusing name.
#4. Dream Theater -- "Conflict at Ground Zero"
"Conflict at Ground Zero" sounds like a History Channel documentary about 9/11 narrated by Morgan Freeman, but it's actually a Dream Theater song from their album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, recorded in the spring and summer of 2001. The band ended up changing the title of the song to "The Great Debate" before the album came out, which would be commendable if it wasn't still full of blatant 9/11-related provocations.
As the song starts you hear sound clips from various newscasters, and the very first one mentions George W. Bush. And who was president of the United States when 9/11 happened? I don't know, let's check Yahoo Answers:
Via Yahoo Answers
The plot thickens. Who has the truth? Not my place to say.
According to Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, the song has nothing to do with 9/11, since it's actually about stem cell research. However, I don't see anything about cells and shit here:
Human kind has reached a turning point
Poised for conflict at ground zero
Ready for a war
(Uh, don't go looking for the lyrics that go after that, though.)
You know how Internet trolls will sometimes throw 9/11 into a nice conversation (probably about Sonic) just to derail it and watch the resulting flame war? Those rascals at Dream Theater invented that technique. They were doing that before 9/11 even happened, through this song. Some artists try to bring joy into your life, like Wings with their 1979 disco-inspired hit "Goodnight Tonight." Others just want to watch the world burn. Short of putting the Twin Towers on fire on the cover of an album released exactly on Sept. 11, 2001, they couldn't possibly be more obvious about their troublemaking intentions.
But just to be on the safe side, they did that too:
Yes, that's the cover for a Dream Theater concert album that was put on sale on that exact date (before it got recalled). Eat all of the dicks, Dream Theater.
#3. The Strokes -- "New York City Cops"
In 2001, The Strokes were like a breath of fresh air for the tired music industry, with their raw lo-fi sound and '60s variety show aesthetic. It's like they came from the past! And also from the future, judging by this poorly timed song that references New York's Finest in a ... not very positive way:
Holy shit, what were they thinking? A little disrespect for authority never hurt anyone, but did they have to record a song insulting the NYPD right before such an important date for the institution? It's almost as if The Strokes hadn't heard that probably the biggest world event of this century was going to happen. If you were too disgusted to listen to the whole thing, the chorus goes:
New York City cops
New York City cops
New York City cops
They ain't too smart
Again: what the fuck, Strokes? You could have written an upbeat song about keeping hope alive during moments of darkness, like the 1993 adult contemporary hit "Hope of Deliverance" by Paul McCartney. But no, you decided to mock instead of inspire. Too soon, guys. Literally too soon. Like six months too soon, since this was recorded in March.
Of course, the band said it was all a "coincidence" and removed the track from the U.S. version of their debut album when it came out in October -- but if that's true, why didn't they also preemptively remove it from the international editions that were released the previous July? What stopped them? It doesn't make sense.
Two chairs? Like the two buildings? You've got to be fucking with me.
They also recorded a song called "When It Started," which was supposed to be a non-offensive replacement for the album, but it included lyrics like:
So you think things move pretty fast down here
Well just wait my dear 'til you look up there
Oh maybe someday you'll know
Had his second kid, was an early night
Got to be well dressed 'cause he hates to fly
Admittedly, the references to planes crashing into buildings are a little obscure, but this part is much clearer:
Anything they Wanted
They Could have it, have it
WTC. World Trade Center. Some goddamn people have no shame.