British singer Petula Clark is speaking out about the use of her 1964 song “Downtown” during the Christmas Day bombing that destroyed dozens of business in downtown Nashville.
In a message posted on Facebook, Clark, 88, says she was first shocked at the news of the explosion on Second Avenue in the heart of the city’s entertainment district.
“I love Nashville and its people,” the message read. “Why this violent act – leaving behind it such devastation?”
Days after the investigation, Nashville police officers detailed their experience responding to an RV parked on the street and playing a warning about a bomb about to explode.
Officer James Luellen said he heard a song began to play from the RV and recalled some of the lyrics he heard.
“What I remembered was ‘Downtown where the lights shined bright,’” Luellen said during a press conference.
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Luellen said the ATF agent he spoke to pulled it up and identified it as ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark.
“Of all the thousands of songs – why this one?” Clark’s message states.
“Of course, the opening lyric is ‘When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go Downtown’. But millions of people all over the world have been uplifted by this joyful song. Perhaps you can read something else into these words – depending on your state of mind. It’s possible.”
The RV exploded at 6:30 a.m. as the bomb squad was en route. The force of the explosion knocked an officer to the ground and gave another officer temporary hearing loss.
Three people were hospitalized with injuries. At least 41 businesses were damaged in the explosion.
“I would like to wrap my arms around Nashville – give you all a hug – and wish you Love, a Happy and Healthy New Year…” Clark’s message continued.
Clark first captivated American audiences in the 1960s as the most popular female artist to emerge during the British musical invasion with a long string of now-classic hit records that have a style all their own.
More: Man identified as Christmas Day bomber was longtime Nashville resident with electronics expertise
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