Jennifer Nettles has released a poignant ballad to mark the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. The song, titled “King of the City,” was inspired by the story of an immigrant window washer who perished in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
“It has been so long since I started writing this song, but I was only able to finish it in the last year,” Nettles says in a statement. “I was inspired by the political tensions in our country right now. I want to humanize the immigrant story as an American story, and allow people a different narrative from what they might be seeing on the news or in their communities.”
“It’s true I wasn’t born here / But my heart is sworn here,” she sings from the perspective of a man named Jose. The powerful story song tells the tale of a man who sees the first plane crash into the building before he perishes himself. “That day on my perch, I made it a church / And I prayed for each soul to fly home.”
“September 11 was such a tragedy that everyone rallied around,” she says. “We all hurt on that day, we were all Americans and all patriots, and the immigrant story is the real American dream — to come and build your life in this place.”
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