FEATURED SONG: David Wilcox – “September 12”

David Wilcox

David Wilcox

You can keep your Alan Jackson countryfied jingoism. I’m loathe to write anything big commemorating a 10th anniversary I don’t plan to be actively participating in … I find the media conflagration to be crassly commercializing a devastating piece of modern American history. But I want to make sure this song is not forgotten. David Wilcox wrote it shortly after 9/11 and dubbed it “September 12.” It used to be on mp3.com back when that site was huge, and since then it has become hard to find. But it’s one of the most heartfelt, honest reflections on that moment that I can still listen to today in good conscience.

The lyrics are below. (The track is no longer downloadable, though it can be purchased through Wilcox’s official website)

– – – – –

Long ago they built this fort of stone above the Hudson
To guard against intruders, there were cannons in these walls
But now it’s just a park where we can come and bring the children
On a clear sunny morning in the fall

The reason for this fortress was the threat of foreign warships
And though these walls were ready, no gunboats reached our shores
But you kids can climb the tower and look out across the harbor
And imagine being lookouts for the enemy at war

But you never see it coming anymore

Now we’re on the frontlines like stepping over landmines
Not beneath our footsteps but never far away
And now the possibility, the presence of the enemy
It could be any city, maybe any peaceful day

It’s a clear sunny morning, but it’s nothing like before
Cause you never see it coming anymore
It’s a different kind of peace, cause it’s a different kind of war
And you never see it coming anymore
These kids have learned some history and they know what warfare used to be
Tanks and guns and soldiers that moved across the land
With strategies and battlelines converging at a place in time
And lives were lost for reasons that the world could understand

On the History Channel war can look exactly like before
When you were certain it was over by the ticker tape parade
They could come back home to safety, they could celebrate the victory
And the landmines were all buried ‘cross the ocean far away

But a different kind of war has reached our shore
And you never see it coming anymore

Now we’re on the frontlines like stepping over landmines
Not beneath this pavement but never far away
And now the possibility, the presence of the enemy
It could be any city, maybe any peaceful day

It’s a clear sunny morning, but it’s nothing like before
Cause you never see it coming anymore
It’s a different kind of peace, cause it’s a different kind of war
And you never see it coming anymore

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