Saturday, September 03, 2005
"New York Minute"
With the benefit of hindsight, there is something almost preternaturally spooky about this song. The chorus - "In a New York Minute/Everything can change/In a New York Minute/Things can get a little strange" - has been associated with the events of 9/11 almost from the moment it happened, but what's spooky is how so much of the rest of the song is relevant to that day as well. Don Henley sings of the Wall Street banker who disappears one morning, leaving his family forever asking questions: "One day he crossed some line and he was too much in this world." Then there are the sounds: "Lying here in the darkness/Hear the siren's wail/Somebody going to emergency/Somebody's going to jail." The memory of thousands of notes stuck to walls, seeking lost loved ones is conjured up too. It's as if Henley was channeling Nostradamus, and it raises a lump in the throat; not just for the memories we all carry of that terrible day, but because the song itself paints a picture of such desolation, such emptiness that we cling like limpets to the half-hearted promise of hope in the line: "You find somebody to love in this world/You better hang on tooth and nail/The wolf is always at the door."