Tragedies often inspire art. The outpouring of emotion inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt has now inspired an outpouring of tribute songs.
“We were at the corner of Berkeley and Stuart,” blogged Rachel Rowlinson, who was at the marathon and subsequently composed a song about it. “We had been talking for a few minutes when we heard what sounded to me like really loud thunder; I had never heard anything quite like it.”
Many songwriters responded quickly to the tragedy (some perhaps too quickly). The songs are heartfelt. They’re earnest. They’re good … and, well, not so good. Here, a month after the events, we round up the “Boston Strong” songbook, as seen on YouTube. Tell us your favorite tune. And what music in tribute to the bombings shouldn’t we miss?
“From Watertown to Downtown Crossing, Dorchester to Southie, we are one Boston, undivided in times of tragedy. Just reminds me that there’s no place I’d rather be,” raps Ras Kenzie, with help from Cream and Louie Bello, in “Boston (You’re My Home).”
In Freddy Gervasi's folksy anthem "Boston Strong," featuring rapper V. Knuckles, he sings, “We’re Boston Strong and we keep marching on."
Jdviolinboy, apparently the screen-name for a 9-year-old from Colorado, sings “The Runner”: “They took your legs but not your will. You'll run again up Heartbreak Hill. The road to hope is hard and long. You'll show the world, we're Boston Strong.”
In Berklee College of Music student Steffi Geraldo's “Song for Boston”: “Sirens shake the earth. Doctors treat the hurt. With our thoughts and with our prayers we unite."
Yung T raps against prejudice in the wake of the bombings in “Pray for Boston (Boston Strong)”: “When they look at me they be like, oh, he’s just a hoodlum. When they see a terrorist they be like that’s a Muslim. What you mean that’s a Muslim? Homie may be a Korean. Don’t blame the innocent, blame the evil ones that are breathing.”
Students at West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School sing their version of Augustana's song "Boston," slightly rewritten to go: "We don’t know you, but please know we care.”
Musique Makers of Sudbury contribute “Boston Strong”: "When all in a flash came explosions, heavy smoke filled bewildered eyes, caring strangers ran to the injured, selfless love overcoming fear, the power of human kindness, comforted trauma and tears."
In "To You," Trinity Rayne sings, “Ten minutes later a tragic war started on north Boylston Street."
The President (also known as Nick Kermelewicz) raps with President Obama in “Boston Strong”: "I know we're getting justice cause we're doing it for Martin, and the others that we lost and everybody harmed. Nothing will hold us down not even a couple bombs.”
In Rick Machado's “Boston Strong Tribute Song," he sings, “We have a human bonding that’s in each and all us. That’s what makes it special when we say in God we trust. Boston Strong. Bet I’m wrong. Not for long.”
In “B Strong Boston Strong," rockers Clintone and Nick Groff sing: “Not here, not now . We're strong willed and real proud . Beantown, my home.”
Fourteen-year-old Blaine Stevens sings Inge Berge's song “Boston Strong”: "When the bombs went off, the code went red, most people would have fled, though the smoke and dust of our city streets Boston ran to help instead."
In “Thank You Boston," Lillian Grace sings: "Thank you Boston I have got you on my mind. I didn’t know we could risk so much just to be kind.”
Rachel Rowlinson, who was at the marathon, sings “Boston Strong": “Be strong. We’ve got to stick together when everything goes wrong.”
Samuel Lawton's “Song about Boston Marthon Bombings” offers a notable rhyme of Boston: "So Boston, those lost in, find you peace and rest.”
In “Boston Marathon Tribute Song," Jim Craven from Salem, Ore., wonders, “How do you write a song about a marathon gone wrong?”
This program aired on May 21, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.