90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW

Paying Tribute: Physical and Musical Marathon Memorials

The impromptu memorial for the Boston Marathon bombings continues to grow in Copley Square, while tribute songs memorializing the bombing sprout up online. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

The impromptu memorial for the Boston Marathon bombings continues to grow in Copley Square, while tribute songs memorializing the bombing sprout up online. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

From Meghna Chakrabarti:

It’s been two weeks since police arrested suspected Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Two weeks, that in many ways, have felt like an eternity for this city. Since those bombs exploded on Boylston street, time has stretched and collapsed, blurred and stood still. When I step away from this microphone and my work, I admit, there have been moments where it’s been hard to find my bearings.

That is one of the reasons why I hadn’t yet been able to bring myself to go to the informal Marathon memorial that is growing in Copley Square.

Well, on Friday, I went.

Copley was beautiful. Clear blue sky. Steady drone of traffic. The occasional siren. The hum workers dodging around milling tourists. Life was beautifully, breathtakingly, defiantly normal. A striking comparison to the atrocious abnormality that we’ve experienced in the past weeks.

Maybe it was that. The tenacity of life, and the love, fellowship, and downright optimism evident in that memorial — the hundreds of pairs of shoes, the stuffed animals, the flowers, and the handwritten notes from visitors who come to Boston from around the world — all of that, made my half hour there more emotional than I could have imagined.

Here’s my little audio postcard from an afternoon in Copley Square.

As the official investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings continues, communities seek to find their own answers; their own understanding of what happened on April 15th. The musical community, both here in Boston and beyond, has taken that search online — posting tribute songs that remember, memorialize and comfort.

Tributes follow tragedy.  Bruce Springsteen released a well-received 9/11 tribute album, “The Rising,” less than a year after the attacks, while relief concerts in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy offered venues for multiple artists to contribute to the healing process.

But our guest John Covach notes, in the age of social media and digital recordings, crowd-sourced tribute songs provide a venue for anyone willing to sing. We listened to a few of the many Boston tributes out there. Listen for yourself below.

Guests

John Covach, director of the Institute of Popular Music at the University of Rochester.

More


Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari