JFK Playlist: 10 Songs Remembering John F. Kennedy
The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 was a tragic moment that deeply touched and forever changed a generation. President Kennedy's life, political achievements and untimely death significantly affected artists alive at that time, and his legacy continues to inspire musicians some 50 years since his passing. In remembrance of that sad day, here's a look at 10 songs from across the musical spectrum that invoke JFK’s lasting memory.
"The Day John Kennedy Died" - Lou Reed (1982)
Key Lyric: "Oh, the day John Kennedy died / I remember where I was that day, I was upstate in a bar / The team from the university was playing football on tv / Then the screen want dead and the announcer said, 'there's been a tragedy / There are unconfirmed reports the president's been shot / And he may be dead or dying.'"
"Sleeping In" - The Postal Service (2003)
Key Lyric: "Last week I had the strangest dream / Where everything was exactly how it seemed / Where there was never any mystery of who shot John F. Kennedy / It was just a man with something to prove / Slightly bored and severely confused / He steadied his rifle with his target in the center / And became famous on that day in November"
"Brain of J" - Pearl Jam (1998)
Key Lyric: "Who's got the brain of JFK? / What's it mean to us now?"
"Life in a Northern Town" - Dream Academy (1985)
Key Lyric: "In winter 1963 / It felt like the world would freeze / With John F. Kennedy and The Beatles"
"Born in the 50's" - The Police (1978)
Key Lyric: "My mother cried / When President Kennedy died / She said 'It was the communists' / But I knew better"
"Public Enemy #1" - Eminem (2006)
Key Lyric: "Like that day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in broad day / by the greatest lunatic with a gun / Who just happened to work on the same block in the library book depository / Where the President would go for a little Friday stroll / Shots fired from the grassy knoll"
"Civil War" - Guns N' Roses (1990)
Key Lyric: "And in my first memories / they shot Kennedy / I went numb when I learned to see"
"Sympathy for the Devil" - The Rolling Stones (1968)
Key Lyric: "I shouted out, 'Who killed the Kennedys?' / When after all / it was you and me"
"He Was a Friend of Mine" - The Byrds (1965)
Key Lyric: "He was in Dallas town / From a sixth floor window a gunner shot him down / He died in Dallas town / He never knew my name, he never knew my name / Though I never met him I knew him just the same / Oh, he was a friend of mine / Leader of a nation for such a precious time"
"Conspiracy Theory" - Steve Earle (2002)
Key Lyric: "What if you could've been there on that day in Dallas? / What if you could wrestle back the hands of time?"