Reflecting on the 16th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland has written and released a poignant new song called “King of the City,” inspired by an immigrant window washer who was killed in the attack.
“September 11 was such a tragedy that everyone rallied around,” she recalls in a statement from her label. “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.”
“King Of The City” tells the story of Jose, a pizza delivery-man turned window-washer whose “throne sits downtown in the air.” Jose, the narrator of the song, tells of watching the first plane hit the tower, lamenting “that day on my perch, I made it a church/And I prayed for each soul to fly home.”
“It has been so long since I started writing this song, but I was only able to finish it in the last year,” confesses Nettles, who now resides in New York City in an apartment that overlooks the Freedom Tower site.
“What I like to do as an artist is not wave a flag and scream in your face,” she continues. “I like to sit in the corner and say, ‘Look over here, here’s a different story, another way to look at this.’ The places I want to address are places of pain, to say, ‘Where does it hurt? Let’s talk about that.'”
“I hope that within the country at large it sends a message of unity.”