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2013 song choices

  1. Unraveling American History Exploring Song Choices
  2. The West Memphis Three Case—this truly is an intriguing and super cool topic. Three kids (who dressed in black and did not fit in with others in the town) were accused and convicted of killing young boys. For years, Hollywood celebs like Johnny Depp and Eddie Vedder fought for the release of the West Memphis Three. Who really killed the young boys if these 3 did not? Pick this and you will be investigating a modern-day witch hunt. “3”
  3. Hailing from my home state, Dahmer brought us great shame. He was a serial killer and cannibal of 17 boys. He didn’t live to see a later life. “213”
  4. 5 marchers were shot and killed by members of the KKK and American Nazi Party The shady part is that police watched the event and didn’t do much to prevent it. “88 Seconds in Greensboro”
  5. A Bruce Springsteen song about the 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant, which set off a tirade about racial profiling in America “American Skin” or “41 Shots”
  6. Billie Holiday was jazz singer whose performances often moved people to tears. She battled much in her life— racism, drug addiction, and relationships. She died too early. “Angel of Harlem”
  7. Rodney King, a black motorist, was beaten in a routine traffic stop. His attackers (the police) were acquitted and the world rioted for 6 straight days. 53 people died. “April 29, 1992”
  8.  Tale of one of five marines who raised the flag at Iwo Jima  His death was a horrible one—one all too common for our veterans “Ballad of Ira Hayes”
  9. Police raided an African-American drinking club…to find a party welcoming home Vietnam vets. A racial riot ensued. The numbers were startling…over 7000 were arrested; many were injured; a multitude were dead. “Black Day in July”
  10. ―The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.‖ It is a protest song, but what is Dylan protesting? Civil rights? War? “Blowin’ in the Wind”
  11. Systematic destruction of the Native Americans by our government—go figure, the destruction still continues today “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”
  12. If you love corrupt politicians, then this is the song for you. It is a song highlighting America’s finest—liar that is…Richard Nixon “Campaigner”
  13. The song has gone through several versions, but you would be researching the initial inspiration—Marilyn Monroe— her life and death “Candle in the Wind”
  14.  Some question the ―legend‖ of her being the one asked/killed because she said she did believe in God.  Typical teenage girl who once was consumed in a life of drugs…she found her faith and supposedly tried to defend it on that infamous day in Littleton, Colorado. “Cassie”
  15. You will be researching the Green River killer Gary Ridgway. He was convicted of 48 separate murders. He admitted to killing twice that amount of people. “Deep Red Bells”
  16. Can there be a COOLER story than that of the infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde? I think not. “Demolition Lovers”
  17.  Dropped ―Little Boy‖ on Hiroshima— forever changing the world.  Named after the mother of the pilot. “Enola Gay”
  18.  ―Stop, children. What’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.‖  The song takes on a true generational problem—its real inspiration came from the Sunset Strip riots “For What it is Worth”
  19. The song recounts the wrongful conviction of Leonard Peltier (a Native American whose tribe had been annihilated in drive- by shootings by our government). The tribe fought back and Peltier was wrongfully convicted. He rots in jail because the legal system is too weak to admit it is WRONG! “Freedom” by Rage
  20. Want to learn more about one of the most famous killers to exact revenge on his victims and the police? Then enter the of this Slayer song about the Zodiac Killer. “Gemini”
  21. A scathing look at President George W. Bush and FEMA’s slow rescue of those stranded in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. “Georgia Bush”
  22. Remember Trayvon Martin…the kid we studied on the first day of school? The African-American kid who was shot by a Hispanic man…thinking Trayvon was up to no good. All Trayvon had in his pocket was Skittles. It will be the TRIAL of the year. “God Don’t Love Me”
  23. A song about how much our Vietnam veterans went through and how little they were supported while at war/when they returned. “Goodnight Saigon”
  24. Interested in the war with Iraq and our world’s reliance on black gold (oil that is)? Pick this song. “Heaven Runs on Oil”
  25. Had its own life before Charles Manson hijacked the song. It was a prophetic song of racial tensions destroying our nation. You can also study its relation to my favorite freakazoid, Charles Manson “Helter Skelter”
  26. Be prepared to be disturbed, really disturbed about this on-air suicide which was shown in classrooms throughout our nation. The man is from our local area. “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
  27. Don’t ignore this song…one of the coolest topics to research. Have you seen the movie with Denzel Washington? Rubin Carter was a black boxer who, in my opinion, was FRAMED for murders he did not commit. He spent 20 years in jail—a wrongfully convicted man. “Hurricane”
  28. I know you hate Mondays. The song’s origin is truly fascinating. A crazy woman opened up fire on a bunch of young kids at a playground…the end result? Fascinating.  Remember the House episode with Dave Matthews? This song was a crucial part of the episode.  *Did I fail to mention that Hugh Laurie is my biggest celebrity crush? I know he is old and that is creepy… “I Don’t Like Mondays”
  29. A look into the day John Lennon, famed singer of the Beatles, was murdered by a slightly crazed man (who carried a copy of Catcher in the Rye—which is a story of its own—literally and figuratively). “I Just Shot Lennon”
  30. Eddie Vedder tried to give life to a small story of a boy who committed suicide in his English class; it has a second story as well. In my opinion, it is the best SONG on the list. “Jeremy”
  31.  Truly disturbing…  Not for the weak of heart  Beyond SICK serial killer who dressed as Pogo the clown to lure boys to their death. “John Wayne Gacy”
  32.  One of the most fascinating stories on the list. ―Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid‖ takes on new meaning. A cult leader who led young children and others to mass suicide.  GREAT documentaries on this historical event “Jonestown”
  33. Just added this one this year…I would love someone to pick this topic. Latimer killed his son who was in pain and suffering (he had multiple crippling diseases). Latimer went to prison while many think what he did was humane. Peer into the dark tale… “Latimer’s Mercy”
  34. While 9-11 was a dark, dark day, Flight 93 was a slight ray of light in the midst of the utter despair. This song was written about Todd Beamer and the others who overtook the plane and crashed it. Ultimately, they saved many lives on that day. “Let’s Roll”
  35. One of the stories on this list that makes me ashamed of my American ancestors…her SENSELESS death and the nation’s reaction to it REPULSES me “Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll”
  36.  Most twisted love story I have ever heard of…you know Mary Kay, the elementary teacher, who fell in love with her young student. She had kids with him, went to jail, and then still went after him.  What is wrong with the world today? “Mary Kay”
  37. Reaction to the confession of the Boston Strangler murders. “Midnight Rambler”
  38.  Disgruntled with corrupt religious figures?  Jimmy Swaggart took a pretty big religious FALL, and Ozzy discusses Swaggart’s disgrace. “Miracle Man” by Ozzy Osbourne
  39. A civil rights leader who was gunned down outside his home…his kids found him dead. It took 31 years for his killer to be brought to justice. “Mississippi Goddam”
  40. Squeamish? Can’t handle a story about a man who skinned his victims and then wore their flesh? Don’t pick this topic. “Nothing to Gein”
  41. Anti-war? Choose this song about the Kent State Riots. You will have a wealth of research. ―Innocent?‖ college kids were gunned down for their beliefs on war. “Ohio”
  42. Recent Arizona legislation which is our nation’s most stringent law on the books for anti-immigration. There is great controversy over this bill. “Papers Please”
  43. Great song…not-so-great story that inspired the event. This song is the HARDEST one on the list to research. You would have to dig REALLY deep and have a whole lot of Nirvana books to find the answers. “Polly”
  44. American bank robber romanticized by the American media. “Pretty Boy Floyd”
  45. MLK’s assassination—a safe topic with a wealth of research. A great song to dissect. “Pride in the Name of Love”
  46. Too many gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender kids seem to be turning to suicide after terrible bullying. Tyler Clementi (the boy who jumped off a bridge after his college roommate secretly filmed him) and others are profiled in the song. “Make it Stop”
  47. A song recounting the nuclear Power Plant accident and Three Mile Island. Our government reported no deaths or injuries. They lied. Lung cancer and leukemia rates in the area spiked (as did infant mortality rates). “Roulette”
  48. I would love to have a group cover this song about the senseless murder of Matthew Shepard. He was a homosexual who was brutally beaten, tied to a fence, and left for dead. Why? That is where the mystery starts. “Scarecrow”
  49.  Safe song…great story…a ton of research  Tale of Rosa Parks and what she so bravely accomplished with one simple gesture. “Sister Rosa”
  50. A political convention having controversy and protests? No way. This event was a big one. “Someday”
  51. Safe topic about the Cuban Missile Crisis…a truly frightening event for our nation. “Talking Cuban Crisis”
  52. A song written in memory of Caylee Anthony whose mom got away with murder (my opinion). Obviously, the courts feel differently. Such an injustice this young girl is dead. “She’s Going Places”
  53. A look into our nation’s dark past when it comes to slavery. “Southern Man”
  54. There was a time where our nation got eerily close to war with Cuba…It was a tense time and a shameful one for our government. “Talking Cuban Crisis”
  55.  This song was written as a memorial to Kurt Cobain after his tragic ―suicide?‖  You would be looking at the death and life/legacy of Kurt Cobain “Tearjerker”
  56. Nice guy with a not –so-nice obsession. Girls about to go off to college…don’t pick the topic. Ted Bundy is the source for much disconcerting information. “Ted, Just Admit It”
  57. In this song, the White Stripes attack GM, Chrysler, Ford and unions for killing off part of America. “The Big Three Killed my Baby”
  58. Calling fellow environmentalists—a look at how the government takes away what little natural resources we have left. “The Last Resort”
  59.  Science gurus unite  Our first attempt to develop a nuclear weapon…shame …shame…shame  Tons of research to help here “The Manhattan Project”
  60. Mystery abounds with this ship that sank with NO distress calls. “The Wreck of the Edmund…”
  61. Lil Weezy critizes my favorite president of all time about his ―quick‖ response with Hurricane Katrina (I do miss George W.) “Tie My Hands”
  62. Prom is about fun and dancing, right? Well, for one young teen it was a place to birth a baby in the bathroom and then throw it away in the trash. Truly a sobering tale. “Throw Yourself Away”
  63. Why do rappers sing about Watts? It has a story—then and now. “Trouble Every Day”
  64. Valentine’s Day isn’t all love and roses. For Chicago, it is the day of one of the worst mob massacres ever. “Valentine’s Day”
  65.  Don’t like your kids? Why don’t you put them in a car, roll them into a lake, and blame it all on an innocent African- American man.  This is the messed-up world of convicted mother/murderer Susan Smith. “When This is Over”
  66. A biting social commentary on our race to the moon at the expense of more pressing social issues. “Whitey on the Moon”
  67.  This song details Vietnam and the EMPTY promises of politicians.  It is a great Creedence Clearwater Revival song. “Who Will Stop the Rain”
  68. Kanye West wasn’t the only artist to criticize the SLOW response time of our government when it came to Hurricane Katrina. Audioslave took on the issue as well. “Wide Awake”
  69. So, there is a little government secret known as Guantanamo Bay, and there are some not-so-nice things which happened there. Patti Smith recalls the story of Murat Kurnaz, a man who rotted away there for 4 years without any real evidence against him. “Without Chains”
  70.  Pearl Jam’s stance on Operation Iraqi Freedom. Let’s just say they are not fans of the war or the government who sent our troops into Iraq.  Vedder claims the song was written to honor Pat Tillman (the American football player who left his team to join the Army. He later died in the war). “World Wide Suicide”