I preface the following by noting that you can find Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and even some David Allan Coe in my music collection. I regard Johnny Cash as one of the most unique and important performers of the past century, and believe his cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" and the accompanying video to be perhaps the most powerful and poignant work of the past year.
So it is not a genre thing when I say Darryl Worley's ode to 9/11 is a staggeringly wretched tune. "Have You Forgotten?" sounds like a lost parody from The Simpsons except not as tuneful as Lurlene Lumpkin or as sharply focused as "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well."
Worley manages to turn "bin Laden" and "forgotten" into a rhymed couplet, which goes to the heart of the conceptual dysfunction of the song. Worley aims to shoot down doubts about "this war" but immediately u-turns into bin Laden, the man whose name the Bush administration refuses to speak.
In fact, the more you remember bin Laden and America's "people blown away" the more you might wonder how it is Saddam has morphed into public enemy number one. But that is evidently not the effect the song is having.
It is climbing the country charts and KZLA in Los Angeles reports that a Web poll found 89 percent of listeners want to hear the song.
They must be stone deaf.