This song is horrifyingly real beyond the extent of most songs you will ever hear.
Jim Jones was fanatical, but at least at first, promised to and was to a certain extent, helping the community. He was a powerful speaker that grew a following. Eventually, the church degraded into a cult and Jim Jones became out of control with power. He eventually created Jonestown, a place where “his people” could seek refuge from the world that had gone wrong (as he presented it to them).
What’s particularly sad about this song, is that it’s full of hope. What all the people wanted was this ideal freedom from the cruelty, racism, and poverty of the world, which were very real and still are real problems with our world today. This proved to be a very easy tool for manipulation by Jim Jones to promise a world without these things. There is no such thing as utopia. This was also Hitler’s goal. We hopefully have learned our lesson, that the seeking of perfection and world peace are in fact, very dangerous ideas.
As things inevitably fell apart, Jones had large barrels of punch with cyanide prepared and commanded that everyone must drink, that it was the only way out. People began drinking the punch and forcing their children and babies to drink as well. Those that refused were made to drink at gunpoint. Some tried to run and were shot and only a handful of people managed to escape. Ultimately, 909 Temple member’s lives were ended that day in the most disturbingly pointless mass suicide on record.
“To the extent the actions in Jonestown were viewed as a mass murder, it is the largest such event in modern history and resulted in the largest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001.“
The part most disturbing is now going back and listening to the lyrics:
“…Mommy and Daddy, will protect you… and keep you safe from all harm…“
It gives me goosebumps and sends shivers down my spine knowing full-well that they killed their children, their babies, all of them.
If you’re interested in learning more about these events I recommend this documentary, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.
Listen to it again and find other selections of sad music I’ve collected here:
I have so much more music, so this isn’t quite that extensive of all the sad music I could compile. Just a glimpse.
I would love for everyone to share their own findings and songs that are personally sad to them.
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