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>> PLENTY OF POPULAR SONGS GLORIFY GUNS, BUT NOT ALL OF THEM DO page 2


 Townes Van Zandt, writer of many of country music's greatest songs, died in 1997.
FILE/Mark Humphrey/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 1/24/2013

By Jonas Beals

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Conventional wisdom suggests hip-hop is full of lyrics that glorify guns. That is true, to an extent, but hip-hop also has a slew of strong anti-gun tracks that decry the way gun violence has destroyed neighborhoods, families, friendships and large swaths of urban black culture.

'American Skin (41 Shots)' by Bruce Springsteen

Bruce wrote this song to highlight the 1999 shooting of 23-year-old Amadou Diallo, who was shot 19 times by four New York City Police officers. They fired 41 rounds at Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, when he ran from the police and reached into his pocket. It turned out he was unarmed and was reaching for his wallet. Bruce didn't exactly sympathize with the officers.

'Bubba Shot the Jukebox' by Mark Chestnutt

Guns don't always kill people--they can also kill the music. Bubba, saddened by a country song, puts an end to it with a pistol. More proof that when emotions are running high, a gun probably isn't the best solution.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com


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JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: The Unites States Navy Sea Chanters at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford. As the Navy's official chorus, they sing a little bit of everything, including sea chanteys. Saturday at 7 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Umphrey's McGee at The National in Richmond. A supremely talented jamband in the vein of Rush, Zappa and Yes. Saturday at 7 p.m. LISTENING TO: "Johnny Too Bad" by The Slickers. One of the greatest reggae songs ever recorded and another great commentary on a bad guy with a gun. Taj Mahal's version is also worth a listen.