Local folk musician Brendan Brown has released “The Town That Always Returns,” a love letter penned to the city of Boston in the wake of the marathon bombing’s one year anniversary.
Based on the classic folk song “Charlie on the MTA” by The Kingston Trio, “The Town That Always Returns,” pays tribute to Boston’s resilient spirit, drawing comparisons to Bruce Springsteen’s iconic 9/11 song, “The Rising.”
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“The way the people of Boston admirably reacted to the tragedy after last year’s Boston Marathon reflects the way this town has always responded in moments of crisis, ever since its colonial origins,” said Brown.
“It is my hope that future generations will look back on this song and be reminded of the potential they have inherited from those who came before them – a town that always returns.”
A music video for the song is already available on YouTube. The video – featuring Brown playing his banjo – displays images of Boston landmarks and the city as it healed over the course of the past year.
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The origins of the song’s melody trace to 1865 in a song called “The Ship That Never Returned,” written by Henry Clay Work.
In 1949 the tune was interpolated as a campaign song for Walter A. O’Brien. The song’s lyrics tell of a man named Charlie trapped on Boston’s subway system, then known as the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
A version of the song with the candidate’s name changed became a 1959 hit when recorded and released by the Kingston Trio, an American folk group.
While previous incarnations of the song centered on things never returning, Brown says he took the opposite approach in putting together “The Town That Always Returns.” #BostonAlwaysReturns