Petula Clark has responded to news that her 1964 song “Downtown” was played over a loudspeaker by the man who died after setting off an explosion from an RV in Nashville, Tennessee, leaving several people injured on Christmas (Dec. 25).
“I feel the need to express my shock and disbelief at the Christmas Day explosion in our beloved Music City,” the singer shared in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Dec. 29). “I love Nashville and its people. Why this violent act – leaving behind it such devastation?”
“A few hours later – I was told that the music in the background of that strange announcement – was me – singing ‘Downtown’! Of all the thousands of songs – why this one?” she pondered, before adding, “Of course, the opening lyric is ‘When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go Downtown’. But millions of people all over the world have been uplifted by this joyful song. Perhaps you can read something else into these words – depending on your state of mind. It’s possible.”
The upbeat song’s lyrics gush over how the fast-paced lifestyle of a city can cure a lonely heart’s troubles. Clark’s recording of “Downtown” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in January 1965. Clark won a Grammy for the single (best rock & roll recording) and was nominated for three more, including record of the year.
“I would like to wrap my arms around Nashville – give you all a hug – and wish you Love, a Happy and Healthy New Year – and, as we sometimes say in the U.K., steady the Buffs! (Look it up!)” Clark concluded in her post. See it here.
63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner was identified as the bomber, and he reportedly warned nearby residents over a loudspeaker that a bomb would blow up, directing people to evacuate the area around an AT&T transmission facility. A number of surrounding buildings were damaged in the attack. Authorities have yet to figure out the motive behind the incident.