The one event that finally made him finish on a song that he had desired to write the whole of his life was the Russia shooting down the Korean jet flying to Seoul from New York where 269 people, including 63 Americans, died. “I saw the senseless strike as a personal attack against our countrymen and it moved me to pen to paper” says Greenwood. “The song came so easily, it nearly wrote itself.”
“I’m from California, and I don’t know anybody from Virginia or New York, so when I wrote it-and my producer and I had talked about it-[we] talked about the four cities I wanted to mention, the four corners of the United States.” The producer however suggested Detroit and Houston because they both were economically part of the basis of the US economy. He says ‘so I just poetically wrote that in the bridge while they chose New York and L.A. (the boot.com) In 2003, the song was performed b the American Idol season two finalists and released as a single, with part of the proceeds going to American Red Cross. It raised 155,000 dollars for the charity though some words were changed such as ‘men’ in ‘and I won’t forget the men who died” was replaced with ‘ones’. It reached number 4 in the ‘hot 100’ and it was certified gold b the RIAA the same year (Keuss, 03-45). ...
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