Well, what a depressing subject for a 1960s song, eulogizing not just one, two or three… but four assassinated US heroes:
- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
- Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)
The soothing folk rock arrangement strikes a dissonant chord to the losses.
An assassination is when a well-known person is murdered. Obviously then, political assassinations have politicians as victims, maybe perpetrated for ideological motives. Assasinations could also be conducted in the name of religion and finance, or for the person doing the killing to get their name in the news.
The song does not mention two other assassinated US presidents, if you care to make a guess who they might be. (Hint: they were both Republicans). Perhaps the song’s author, Dick Holler, and singer, Dion, were sticking to Democrats?
Related from this blog: Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence was written after JFK’s assassination.