Friday, August 16, 2013

Lyrics Spotlight: "Murder Inc"

"Now the cops reported you as just another homicide."
"Murder Inc", Greatest Hits

Note:  As always with these posts where personal opinions are stated, please remember that these opinions are mine, and only mine.  They do not necessarily reflect those of the other contributors to this blog, or Legends of Springsteen as a whole.

It seems whenever their is a gun tragedy in our country their are two responses.  And they are as predictable as they are tired.  The liberals seem to think stricter gun control is the answer, while conservatives point out that stricter gun control laws will only keep the hands out of law-abiding citizens.  While both arguments have their merit, they just seem to be oversimplified and overstate the obvious fact:  How does someone ever think that gun violence is the appropriate answer?

Gun violence is nothing new in America.  It's ingrained in our culture by our love for classic films like "Scarface" and "Boyz N The Hood" or classic TV programs like "The Sopranos" (my all-time favorite drama), or "Sons of Anarchy".  And although rap music seems to have the music market cornered when it comes to gun references it's not exclusive, as there are countless country songs about guns, both positive and negative.  And even this song isn't Bruce's only gun song in his catalog as "Nebraska", "Jungleland", and "From Small Things (Big Things One Day One)", are just a few others that seemingly glorify gun violence.  And then there's the always popular scapegoat: violent video games.

Just to be clear I am in no way saying that theses forms of media are responsible for gun violence in America. On the contrary I think it's quite lazy, and irresponsible to just pass off blame to violence in the media.  However one thing I do find disturbing is when there are horrible tragic shootings like the ones at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and the Aurora movie theater there seems to be such a concentration on the shooter and not nearly enough on the victims.  And that's nothing to say about the practical ignoring of inner city gang shootings going on in Chicago, Detroit, Oakland and Newark, among others on a weekly basis.  Bruce's lyrics about the cops reporting these victims as just another homicide seem to be consistently true.

I could turn this entire blog post into one on the merits and dangers of the 2nd Amendment, I just don't have the time or energy to type it all out.  People seem to have their minds made up one way or another on the topic, and there is very little chance of changing their mind no matter what facts you have on this topic.  So instead I'll just close with a few facts about the song "Murder Inc".  It was written in the early 1980's as part of Born In The USA, but didn't make the cut.  It was recorded and released as one of unreleased tracks on Bruce's 1995 Greatest Hits.  It has since gone on to be played with somewhat of consistency on Bruce's tours.  The opening drums and guitar riff is one Top 5 intro's to a Bruce song.