September 20, 2001 08:43 AM

Clear Channel Communications, the Texas-based company that owns some 1,170 radio stations nationwide (and has 110 million listeners), has circulated a list of 150 songs and requested that its stations avoid playing them because of last week’s attacks, reports The New York Times. In a statement, the company said that the list came from “a grass-roots effort that was apparently circulated among program directors.” Even so, some of the listed songs would be insensitive to play at this time, such as the Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and Soundgarden’s “Blow Up the Outside World.” But many of Clear Channel’s other choices, critics and musicians say, are less, well, clear — because they have little literal connection to the tragedies. These include “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles, “On Broadway” by the Drifters and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John. Even stranger, some songs listed are patriotic, such as Neil Diamond’s “America,” or optimistic, such as Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” or even inspirational. These include “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens and “A World Without Love” by Peter and Gordon. Said Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon in response to being verboten (albeit on a voluntary basis): ” ‘I can’t live in a world without love’ is a sentiment that’s as true in crisis as it is in normal times. It’s a totally pro-love sentiment and could only be helpful right now.”

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