Music has always been a way for people to express their emotions and experiences, and sometimes those experiences include real-life tragedies. Here are 8 songs that deal with real-life tragedies:
P.O.D. – ‘Youth of the Nation’
In 2001, P.O.D. released “Youth of the Nation,” a rap-rock song inspired by the Columbine and Santana High School shootings. The band found themselves stuck in traffic on their way to the recording studio due to the chaos surrounding the Santana shootings, which resulted in the death of two students. The song highlights the impact of such tragedies on young people.
Eric Clapton – ‘Tears in Heaven’
Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” featured in the 1991 film Rush, is a poignant tribute to his four-year-old son Conor, who tragically fell to his death from a window. Clapton’s emotional ballad is a cathartic expression of grief, resonating with many who have experienced loss and tragedy.
Linkin Park – ‘Looking for an Answer’
After the devastating death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, fellow band member Mike Shinoda penned the touching tribute “Looking for an Answer.” The ballad reflects on the loss of Bennington, expressing disbelief and searching for closure, and was performed at his tribute show in 2017.
Billie Holiday – ‘Strange Fruit’
“Strange Fruit,” a song performed by Billie Holiday in 1939, is a haunting protest against the lynchings of Black Americans in the United States. The song compares the victims to “strange fruit” hanging from trees, and is considered an important part of the Civil Rights Movement, inspiring others to speak out against racial injustice.
Testament – ‘The Evil Has Landed’
Testament’s “The Evil Has Landed,” from their 2008 album The Formation of Damnation, is a powerful response to the tragic events of 9/11. The song tackles sensitive subject matter with its thrash metal sound, and reflects on the impact of the attacks on the world.
Asphyx – ‘Three Years of Famine’
Asphyx’s song “Three Years of Famine,” from their 2021 album Necroceros, delves into the Great Chinese Famine that occurred during Chairman Mao’s reign, exploring themes of “murdering to eat” and the delusion of Maoist ideology. The modern metal epic serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of famine and poor governance.
Iron Maiden – ‘Empire of the Clouds’
Iron Maiden’s epic 18-minute track “Empire of the Clouds” is inspired by the British R101 airship that crashed during its inaugural voyage in 1930. The song showcases the band’s musical virtuosity, with frontman Bruce Dickinson debuting on the piano. The ambitious track is a testament to the power of storytelling through music.
Machine Head – ‘Stop the Bleeding’ (feat. Jesse Leach)
“Stop the Bleeding,” a collaboration between Machine Head and Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage, is a furious response to the killing of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. The song is a rallying cry against injustice, with Machine Head’s frontman Rob Flynn using the song to express his anger and frustration at