Monday, June 28, 2010

New York: Banks of the Hudson

Black 47: Banks of the Hudson

[purchase Fire of Freedom]

There's something sinister lurking in this quintessentially pre-millennial Celtic-tinged rock and roll track. Though we know our protagonist is under pressure, a desperate thief chased by an iceman, overdue to be on the run yet willing to spend one more night in "New York town" to assure his girl that he'll never leave, it's not until the very last stanza that we learn about the interracial tensions that also underlie his stress, and his need to get out of New York City.

But this isn't just any bank on the Hudson; according to the landmarks and street names, it's a few blocks from the Lincoln Tunnel, by the pier and the Greenway - a terrible place to hide and a pretty desperate spot for a romantic goodbye, but directly across from the Statue of Liberty. Those who know New York City well will recognize the reference to very specific place throughout, and understand the location as both a perfect spot to call to freedom and the immigrant experience, and just another in a series of naive decisions bound to lead to disaster.

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