Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

I've been a fan of Todd Snider for a long time. Although he may be associated more with Nashville or Austin, he was born in Portland, Oregon. He has written a handful of songs reflecting his Oregon roots, and one is about legendary airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper. On November 24, 1971, Cooper hijacked a flight from Portland, landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport to collect a $200,000 ransom and four parachutes, made the plane take off again, and then made his escape by jumping out of the Boeing 727 somewhere northwest of Portland. He was never found, and speculation about his real identity and whether he survived has run rampant over the years.

In "D.B. Cooper," Snider sings about watching coverage of the extensive manhunt on TV as a kid (taking the liberty of making himself eight years old when actually he was only five) and imagines a conversation with Cooper:

But he told me that the hardest part wasn't really jumping out of the plane
It was spending the night watching those lights
Shine through the pouring rain
It was a very thorough search; the F.B.I. found two bodies, but they were people who had been missing for years. Snider ponders Cooper's fate, and in the end he's rooting for the outlaw:

Now some people say that he died up there somewhere in the rain and the wind
Other people say that he got away but his girlfriend did him in
The lawmen say if he is out there someday they're gonna bring him in
As for me, I hope they never see D.B. Cooper again
The D.B. Cooper case is "the only unsolved domestic skyjacking in U.S. history." The Wikipedia entry gives a good overview of the hijacking and potential suspects, but Court TV's Crime Library probably has the most extensive narrative online.

No comments: