15 Songs About 9/11: A Guide for Remembering the Fateful Day

songs about 9/11
Songs about 9/11. Photo by Anthony Fomin on Unsplash.

Listening to songs about 9/11 can help you to remember a critical day in American history. No matter what your political stance is, the events of 9/11 changed the lives of many Americans forever.

Whether you had a friend or family member who was in one of the towers, or perhaps a family member in the military, 9/11 was the beginning of a dark few years in American history. So, when you want to remember what happened or the aftermath, sit down and listen to one of these songs about 9/11.


15. “When the World Stopped”—Alan Jackson

If you were alive on 9/11, then you likely remember watching the TV and thinking that the world had stopped. This song embodies that exact feeling as Alan Jackson discusses how he himself felt time stop that day.


14. “9/11”—Wyclef Jean

Not all songs written in response to 9/11 are country ballads. This song by Wyclef Jean which features Mary J. Blige, is a Hip-Hop tune, and it was written in response to the attacks.


13. “Sacrificed Sons”—Dream Theater

The death and dying which happened on 9/11 are a small piece of the total death count that resulted because of this day. After 9/11, many fathers and sons were sent off to war to never return. While this song isn’t about 9/11 in particular, it does discuss the fallout which came in the years following.


12. “9/11”—Lady Gaga

The first song in her album Born This Way, Lady Gaga wrote this song in 2011 about what people in emergency services faced on that day. Unfortunately, the song had mixed reviews as some people didn’t like that Lady Gaga used autotune in it.


11. “Empire State of Mind”—Jay-Z

Of all the artists on the list, Jay-Z is the only one who has felt angry enough about 9/11 to write two songs about the event. This one is more widely accepted as it is about American resilience. His other song about 9/11, “9/11 Freestyle Rap,” faced more criticism as many felt it was released at an inappropriate time.


10. “Around My Way”—Talib Kweli

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one who wrote a tribute piece to the emergency workers of 9/11 Talib Kweli followed suit with his song discussing the same topic. As one of the top songs about 9/11, it’s easy to feel the same anger in the lyrics that the singer felt when he saw the attacks of 9/11.


9. “American Rocks”—Monty Milne

In this song about 9/11, Monty Milne links 9/11 with other tragedies in American history like the JFK assassination and the Vietnam war. Critics were quick to hate the song, as they felt 9/11 was way worse than the JFK assassination, and to be honest, we kind of agree.


8. “Exodus Damage”—John Vanderslice

Of course, a list of songs about 9/11 wouldn’t be complete without at least one song about conspiracy theories. While this song isn’t for everyone, it does give an interesting perspective.


7. “I Can’t See New York”—Tori Amos

During the 9/11 attacks, there was so much smoke and debris it was impossible to see. Tori Amos embodies this feeling of confusion and loss associated with 9/11 in her song “I Can’t See New York.”


6. “Elevator”—Box Car Racer

It’s no secret that many died on 9/11 because the elevators weren’t useable and there were so many stairs in the World Trade Center. This song by Box Car Racer is about the final thoughts of someone stuck in one of the towers on 9/11—up until the moment they decide to jump.


5. “Skyline and Turnstiles”—My Chemical Romance

Although MCR has long since broken up, this song about 9/11 was one of their first. It was written by frontman Gerald Way as he was on a ferry bound for Manhattan when the planes hit the towers.


4. “Flying”—Living Color

This song about 9/11 is a complete story that will leave you heartbroken at the end. While it is specifically about 9/11, it’s a good reminder that life can change in an instant.


3. “Flag Shopping”—Heems

9/11 had backlash not only for US Military members but also for Arabian Americans who suddenly found themselves alienated from their own country. They, too, were affected by 9/11, and this song shows the feeling of Heems as he found himself an outcast overnight.


2. “Sirens”—Nell Bryden

Many people were unable to talk about their experiences on 9/11 until decades later. Nell Bryden is one of those people, and her song “Sirens” about 9/11 wasn’t released until 2013


1. “Into the Fire”—Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is one of the most famous artists of all time, and it is no surprise he has a song about 9/11. This song is guaranteed to make you cry as it is about a firefighter that loses his life to save someone else’s.

Did we get all the songs about 9/11? If you found one we missed, let us know in the comments!

Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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