17 Songs Written in the Aftermath of Columbine | Playlist
Numerous songs have been written in the aftermath of the Columbine Massacre. This playlist explores 17 songs written in the aftermath.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when the word Columbine is uttered? For those old enough to remember, and perhaps not from Colorado, it’s the Columbine Massacre that took place in 1999. This incident certainly wasn’t the first school shooting to occur, but it remains the deadliest high school shooting to date. Furthermore, it seemed unlikely. Littleton, Colorado?
The perpetrators were seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Both were supposedly bullied, though allegations they were social outcasts seem to be disputed. Nonetheless, they killed 13 – 12 of which were students – before committing suicide. In addition to the fatalities, there were many more injured. A most gruesome, chilling event.
Following the Columbine Massacre, America was unsettled, expectedly. There was debate about gun control, naturally. Also, there were questions about what influenced these teens to commit this mass murder. Was it the influence of Marilyn Manson? Did the purported bullying drive them over the edge? Additionally, musically, numerous artists were affected by this event. Numerous songs have been written in the aftermath. This playlist explores 17 songs written in the aftermath of Columbine.
1. Tyler, the Creator, “Pigs”
Album: Wolf, 2013 | Previous Appearance: 10 Songs About Mass Murderers | Playlist
The following tweet comes “straight from the horse’s mouth.”
I Made A Song With Dylan And Eric In Mind Called ‘Pigs’. Its On WOLF. Today Is 14 Years Since. Check That Song Out If You’re Bored….
— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) April 20, 2013
Eric Harrisand Dylan Klebold, the infamous Columbine perpetrators, inspired “Pigs.” Tyler, the Creator paints a picture of the social outcast perfectly.
“Geek, fag, stupid loser, find a rope to hang… / I sit in my room and I listen to tunes, I’m amused alone / Cause none of the cool kids would let me join a team.”
Also, the retribution is incredibly chilling, beginning at the end of the first verse:
“But not at lunchtime, see / I know better than to show my face around them / But the day I do it’ll be everywhere / When I share these feelings finally they gon’ fucking care.”
The full-on evil is revealed, beginning on the hook:
“Grab a couple friends, start a couple riots / Crash a couple – / Gather all the bullies, crush them motherfuckers…”
On the second verse, Tyler goes on to rap:
“And recently, them assholes been fucking with me in class / So I’mma keep them motherfuckers there and make sure they pass.”
On the third verse, Tyler dispels the myth that surrounding the source of the massacre.
“Music had nothing to do with my final decision / I just really wanted somebody to come pay me attention / But nobody would listen…”
2. Marilyn Manson, “Disposable Teens”
Album: Holy Wood, 2000 | Previous Appearance: 10 Songs About Mass Murderers | Playlist
As aforementioned, musical influence was questioned in regards to the Columbine massacre. The chief artist blamed was Marilyn Manson. While ultimately it was myth, Manson responded with a song that Loudwire included in its list of Disturbing Songs People Love. Author Graham Hartmann asserts that Manson was “likely commenting on the events aftermath, along with referencing George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four.’” Safe to say, there’s nothing ‘warm and fuzzy’ about “Disposable Teens.”
On the second verse, the disposable teen gives thanks.
“I want to thank you mom / I want to thank you dad / For bringing this fucking world / To a bitter end / I never really hated the one true God / But the God of the people I hated.”
On the chorus, he sings:
“You said you wanted evolution / The ape was a great big hit / You say you want a revolution man / And I say that you’re full of shit.”
Lyrically, Marilyn Manson is always captivating. Here, he seems to be repudiating the actions of Harris and Klebold, whom he was blamed for influencing.
3. Marilyn Manson, “The Nobodies”
Album: Holy Wood, 2000
“Disposable Teens” wasn’t the only song with ties/influence of the Columbine Massacre from Holy Wood. “The Nobodies” also loosely references the horrid event. “The Nobodies” is approached from the perspective of the perpetrators.
“Today I’m dirty / I want to be pretty / Tomorrow, I know I’m just dirty.”
“We are the nobodies / We wanna be somebodies / When we’re dead / They’ll know just who we are.”
The most specific reference to Columbine itself occurs later in the song:
“Some children died the other day / We fed machines and then we prayed / Puked up and down in morbid faith / You should have seen the ratings that day.”
4. Alice Cooper, “Wicked Young Man”
Album: Brutal Planet, 2000 | Previous Appearance: 10 Songs About Mass Murderers | Playlist
“Nothing’s Shocking” in the hands of shock rocker Alice Cooper, right? Most of the time, but in this case, Cooper was rattled by the unfortunate, tragic events at Columbine High School. According to Post-Gazette, two songs from his 2000 album Brutal Planet were “based on the killings at Columbine High School.” In an article for Chron, Michael Moore speaks about the song “Wicked Young Man” specifically:
“One of the songs on the album, ‘Wicked Young Man,’ creates a character for the dark world by combine elements from the move ‘American History X’ with gruesome recollections from the murders at Columbine.”
Cooper gives a chilling description of the dangers of hatred. He first clarifies that it’s not outside influences, but pure wickedness.
“I am a vicious young man, oh I am a wicked young man / It’s not the games that I play, the movies I see, the music I dig / I’m just a wicked young man.”
Cooper doesn’t stop there. He cites specific examples of fuel for the fire:
“I got every kind of chemical pumpin’ through my head / I read Mein Kampf daily just to keep my hatred fed / I never ever sleep I just lay in my bed / Dreamin’ of the day when everyone is dead.”
5. The Orwells, “Hallway Homicide”
Album: Remember When, 2012
Punk-/garage-rock band The Orwells capture the horror of the Columbine Massacre in “Hallway Homicide.” This song is taken from the perspective of perpetrators, essentially shedding light on the mindset of a school shooter.
“Cartridge is loaded, my trench coat unzips / Eyes on the clock and his hand on the grip / Sawed off, Zoloft, the cocktail is lit / Make his family proud he got a scholarship / Oh no, they don’t know what’s gonna happen! Oh no, they don’t know, well, look who’s laughin’!”
“Lunch room exploded, my gun met her lips! / Well, she can’t take it, stop throwing a fit! / Popped off her top off in class where she sits / Too down the class clown and saved the misfits.”