Mighty Mighty Bosstones | A Jackknife to a Swan
On October 2, 1973, an extremely shocking murder took place on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester. A 24-year old woman ran out of gas and was returning to her car from a filling station, when six teenagers forced her to douse herself with gasoline, and then set her on fire. She died four hours later. The murder can be described as 50% Hate Crime, and 50% copycat, as a film had aired the previous weekend in which the plot was to capture a person that was setting homeless people on fire in Boston. The murder remains unsolved to this day.
Let me just describe how much I really adore this song. This is a song by third-wave ska band, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and as such is a peppy and powerful ska song. One about racial tension, and the fear in normal people when hate crimes are a possible reality.
In the song, a man named Walter is headed home after work, while news of Evelyn Wagler’s inhumane death is still heavy in the air. Approached by a group of young men, like Eveyln was, he panics — and throws himself in front of a train, deciding taking his own life is better than suffering at the hands of bigoted sociopaths.
It’s powerful subject matter, and also a pretty good song.