I wasn’t alive 50 years ago today, so all of my feelings about today’s anniversary of JFK’s assassination are born from books, TV specials, movies and music. Maybe I’ll watch Oliver Stone’s JFK tonight. I think I know where I put that DVD. Back and to the left I think. Anyhow, reading tweets and FB posts about today’s anniversary, I was reminded of how much great music was born from this tragic event. And that’s no conspiracy.
Rather than using Spotify for such a random playlist, I thought it would be more fun to make a video mix-tape. Hopefully there’s something here that you’ll like. If not, Jack Ruby’s coming for you.
THE DAY JOHN KENNEDY DIED by Lou Reed
“Oh, the day John Kennedy died, I remember where I was that day, I was upstate in a bar
THE CRUCIFIXION by Phil Ochs
JFK as Jesus put to song
SLEEPING IN by the Postal Service
“Where there was never any mystery of who shot John F. Kennedy, It was just a man with something to prove, Slightly bored and severely confused, He steadied his rifle with his target in the center, And became famous on that day in November.”
PURPLE TOUPEE by They Might Be Giants
“I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba”
SATURN 5 by Inspiral Carpets
“Laying down the lifeless corpse of President 35, the lady crying by his side is the most beautiful woman alive.”
LIFE IN A NORTHERN TOWN by Dream Academy
“It felt like the world would freeze With John F. Kennedy and The Beatles”
TOMORROW, WENDY by Concrete Blonde
“Underneath the chilly gray November sky/We can make believe that Kennedy is still alive and/We’re shooting for the moon and smiling Jackie driving by…”
CATHOLIC DAY by Adam and the Ants
“Kennedy died in 63, poor John F. Kennedy’s wife with his brain on her knee, poor Jackie.”
SECONDS by the Human League
80s synth-pop song about Lee Harvey Oswald
DALLAS 1PM by Saxon
80s Metal song about Lee Harvey Oswald
THE OSWALD FILE by Mob Rules
2000s synth-mix song about Lee Harvey Oswald
BORN IN THE 50s by the Police
“My mother cried When President Kennedy died. She said ‘It was the communists,’ But I knew better”
JACKIE’S STRENGTH by Tori Amos
She’s not singing “Get Jiggy,” she’s singing about Jackie Kennedy.
RELOAD by Ministry
I’m not sure the song is about the assasination, but the video sure is
HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE by the Byrds
These guys wrote a pretty song about this tragedy.
WARMTH OF THE SUN by the Beach Boys
This was the boys’ response to the event 50 years ago today.
SOUNDS OF SILENCE by Simon & Garfunkle
This was these boys’ response to the event 50 years ago today.
BRAIN OF J by Pearl Jam
“Who’s got the brain of JFK?”
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by the Rolling Stones
Where Mick takes credit for the deed.
NATIONAL ANTHEM by Lana Del Rey
I’m not sure the song is about JFK, but the video sure is.
ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN by Dion DiMucci
This is the go-to-standard on the topic. Here’s the original.