'City that Care Forgot'

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Dr. John's new album is a plea for New Orleans.

Dr. John's new album is a plea for New Orleans. Source: dsb nola hide caption

itoggle caption Source: dsb nola

One hardly needs to hear the title track from Dr. John's latest CD, City that Care Forgot to know where he's going with this. He's one of New Orleans' most beloved musicians, and he's got a bone to pick with the world about his city that's being left behind. But wait, of course you need to hear it — so listen to the segment for a taste, and go here to hear a bunch of the album live from Philadelphia in May. And if you're hunkered down in a cube with no headphones and can't listen, here are some lyrics that tell the tale:

Uptown everything looks fine/ When you head downtown/ you see the water line so high/ When you get down to the Lower 9/ the smell of death still hangs on the honeysuckle vine/ Magnolias lie in the streets/ In the city that care forgot/ Everything sacred been strung up and shot/ in the city that care forgot.

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Thank you Dr. John for telling it like it is. The reason this country is turning its back on NOLA is because of who lived in the 9th Ward - let's face it - if the 9th Ward had been a population of WASPs - it would have been rebuilt already. We have lost something unique and precious - the mix of people that made NOLA, its music and culture, wonderful. For three wonderful years, I lived and worked in NOLA. I grew to love every aspect of the City, the good and the bad. I still cry about what is not being done for the people of the 9th Ward and for our whole nation. Shame on America for turning her back on our own people.

Sent by Delilah Lyon Brock | 3:02 PM | 6-30-2008

Watching the weather maps as the storm was coming into New Orleans chilled me as I looked on. I felt a little part of me has died after the storm. Anyone that has gone to New Orleans and met the people knows it's a life changing city. I remember looking down at the stones in the street and realized that they had to be several hundred years old. The food there was as unique and the city. I feel a part of me was lost after the storm.

Sent by Bob Sakall | 3:43 PM | 6-30-2008

Oh please Dr. John, you can't be serious! It certainly was a tragedy, what happened in NO, Katrina and all, but no one got left behind! Most of these people were never ahead! These folks are living below sea level for crying out loud, in a city with one of the highest crime and murder rates in the country! (which hasn't changed by the way). The government sent them troups, and supplies, and food, and clothing, and money, and ATM cards, and trailers to live in, and relocated them, and I have yet to hear a "thank you". Most of the people that were hit hardest were not even employed, so it wasn't even their tax dollars they were receiving back in relief! On behalf of a REAL taxpayer, "you're welcome". Venice Italy floods several times a year, Florida gets hit with hurricanes all the time, and Iowa and Missouri are getting their butts kicked right now! I don't hear them whining. They just get up, dust themselves off, and put things back together! Why does it always have to be someone elses fault? Maybe God was just mad at them??? (That makes about as much sense as what Dr. John was saying!) I have some questions for you Dr. John: Where are all of the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help in restoring Iowa and helping the folks affected by the floods? Where is all the media asking the tough questions about why the federal government hasn't solved the problem? Asking where the FEMA trucks (and trailers) are?
Why isn't the Federal Government relocating Iowa people to free hotels in Chicago ? When will Spike Lee say that the Federal Government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines ?
Where are Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks? Why haven't we heard from the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, complaining about the plight of the flood ravaged Iowans?
How come the Federal government hasn't handed out free credit cards to displaced Iowans? Where are all the looters stealing high-end tennis shoes, liquor and big screen television sets?
When will we hear Governor Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a 'vanilla' Iowa , because that's the way God wants it? Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of cannibalism? Where are the people declaring that George Bush hates white, rural people? Where's the stadium that the Iowans have turned into a filthy, crime ridden sty? How come in 2 weeks after it is over, you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever again? I enjoy listening to NPR and I knew you guys at NPR were liberal, but this guy's interview was a complete waste of your time and mine. Why is everyone afraid to tell the truth about what happened in NO after the floods. Talk about catching people at their worst! Holy cow!!! Watch Iowa, you will see hard working people who care about each other, who work hard for a living and take care of their family and friends. Bet you don't hear any stories that even remotely resemble those from NO. You draw your own conclusions but I can see past the end of my nose. Just thought you should hear from at least one Republican. Dare you to print this! Thanks.

Sent by Mark Sites | 9:21 PM | 6-30-2008

Thanks Doctor, for the music and the truth.

Sent by Steven in Austin | 9:17 AM | 7-3-2008

(This response will span many topics.) I have to agree with Mark Sites in comparison of the two storm-ravaged areas...in some respects. Most people in Iowa however, do have jobs, and they have transportation to get out of the way. A lot of those poor citizens in LA and MS had no way out of there. Mark- it is a much more densely populated area and the damage was much more widespread. Also, this storm hit with such a impact, CAT 5 and an area under sea level. IN respect to Mark Sites comments..there hasnt been quite the reaction to the recent Midwest floods like there was for New Orleans and much speculation is directed toward the race of the people involved as the reason. Minority communities did get more attention in LA then the predominant whites in Iowa. If this is a credible ideas then consider the following. When a pretty white girl is abducted or suffers a terrible murderous crime...they get the media attention fro months! Doesn't one think there are many pretty black and miniority women who suffer from those same crimes everyday? Not the same media coverage. I would not be suprised that the major news media outlets know what sensitizes the public down to a science. They know what market they target with each news story and the reaction it will get from that demographic. I hate to think there is such a calculated strategy on their part, but how can one not think that is true at times? There is an imbalance in the system. What makes this country great is the heart of those individual heros who volunteer their time to go to these ravaged areas and help. From the ministries who arrive to help rebuild and counsel victims, Habitat for Humanity. The American Red Cross- and (other relief orgs) who are first-responders with "boots on the ground" ready to assist. These are the people who need a sincere thank you! I do agree with Dr. John that we should put NOLA citizens to work, not importing foreigners.

Sent by Bill Bailey | 9:55 AM | 7-4-2008