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Blistering Song of the Day: Tom Waits' "Georgia Lee"

By: Sara Heitman

Tom Waits - "Georgia Lee"
From 1999's Mule Variations (ANTI-)

This moving ballad was written in memory of Georgia Moses, a 12-year old girl who was possibly kidnapped and murdered in 1997. Her dead body was found under a redwood tree next to the freeway. Georgia Murphy's death has since been seen as a symbol in the community as a reminder of how important it is to look after youths. We ask ourselves, why did this have to happen? Why wasn't anyone watching? Not to mention having to come to terms with the painful reality that even an allegedly all-loving, omnipotent being is incapable of preventing such a tragedy.

Tear-jerking lyrics accompanied by a melancholy piano and Waits' unmistakable voice, "Georgia Lee" will not fail to be a mood changer. It makes you think about the fragility of life, the importance of creating a solid community, and keeping a memory alive. Authorities are concerned; if Georgia's case is forgotten by her community, then the chance of catching any suspect grows slimmer. Today, young Georgia Moses has been given immortality, in the art of the admirable Tom Waits.


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