10 amazing songs inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks


Written by:

For those of us who lived through it, it’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. There’s no getting around the fact that it was a traumatic shock, and for many of us, it remains the most terrible day we ever lived through.

Many of us didn’t know how to respond when it happened, but some musicians picked up guitars, got a pad and paper, and tried to help us all process what we had just been through. Here are 10 songs written in response to the attacks on 9/11. No judgment as to whether they were good, bad, or indifferent.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

1. ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)’ by Alan Jackson

Released in November 2001, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” was one of the first songs about the Sept. 11 attacks to appear on the radio. Jackson said that, at first, he had difficulty figuring out how he wanted to approach the song. “I didn’t want to write a patriotic song… I didn’t want it to be vengeful, either. But I didn’t want to forget about how I felt and how I knew other people felt that day.”

Image Credit: Amazon.

2. ‘The Rising’ by Bruce Springsteen

 New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen had not released an album since 1995, but he felt compelled to get back to business after the Sept. 11 attacks, which inspired him to write the 2002 album “The Rising.” The title track was told from the point of view of a firefighter climbing the steps of the World Trade Center to save people, even though it meant certain doom.


Image Credit: Amazon.

3. ‘Have You Forgotten?’ by Darryl Worley

Some of the songs written in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks were not pleas for peace and understanding but assertions that it was time to take vengeance and start killing people. ‘Have You Forgotten?’ by Darryl Worley is such a song, and it asks, “Have you forgotten how it felt that day, To see your homeland under fire and her people blown away, Have you forgotten when those towers fell, We had neighbors still inside going through a living hell.”

Image Credit: Amazon.

4. ‘Let’s Roll’ by Neil Young

“Let’s Roll” was a tribute to the passengers of United 93, who took the fourth hijacked plane back from the terrorists and crashed it in a field. The lyrics are consistent with Young’s usual unflinching style and clearly describe what happened on that plane. “I know I said I love you, I know you know it’s true, I got to put the phone down and do what we got to do, One’s standing in the aisle way, two more at the door, we got to

Image Credit: Amazon.

5. ‘Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)’ by Toby Keith

Like “Have You Forgotten,” Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” is a pretty straightforward ode to the kicking of butts, the butts in question belonging to the terrorists involved in 9/11. It’s not exactly the most poetic song ever written, and it hasn’t aged particularly well, but when it came out, it certainly expressed what many people were thinking.

Image Credit: Amazon.

6. ‘Around My Way’ by Talib Kweli

Brooklyn-born rapper Talib Kweli wrote “Around My Way” to express his grief over the attacks of 9/11. He touches on many subjects while describing the aftermath of the attacks, but the chorus expresses his grief in stark and simple terms. “Around my way, all the corners filled with sorrow, All the streets are filled with pain.”

Image Credit: Amazon.

‘Hole In The Sky’ by Juliana Hatfield

“Hole in the Sky” appeared on Juliana Hatfield’s “Made in China” album, released in 2005. Despite coming out four years after the terrorist attacks, it’s clear from the lyrics that Hatfield’s memories of the event are fresh, just as they were for many people who witnessed it. “There’s a hole in the sky, I stood and stared, I feel it inside, what isn’t there.”


Image Credit: Wikipedia.

8. ‘Politik’ by Coldplay

When you read the lyrics, “Politik” doesn’t seem to have anything to do with 9/11. However, Coldplay singer Chris Martin said that he wrote it on the day of the attacks in response to them and recorded it two days later on Sept. 13.

Image Credit: Amazon.

9. ‘Flag Shopping’ by Heems

Indian-American rapper Heems brought attention to the subject of racism against Arabs in the wake of 9/11, and that racism branched out to victimize other groups of people who were not Arabs but were mistaken for them, such as Sikhs. “They’re staring at our turbans, they’re calling them rags… The kids are throwing stones, we complain but they ain’t stopping.”

Image Credit: Amazon.

10. ‘God Bless This Mess’ by Sheryl Crow

“God Bless This Mess” starts sympathetically enough, with lyrics talking about the effect of 9/11 on a typical American family. It even contains a few charitable lyrics about former president George W. Bush. Eventually, that all gives way to her saying, “Then he led us as a nation. Into a war all based on lies.” The lyrics captured the full spectrum of how people felt about the attacks and how it gave way to cynicism in some quarters about the response by the US.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

Image Credit: Amazon.

More from MediaFeed

The sad stories behind these popular songs might just make you ugly cry

Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.

Image Credit: Amazon.