Music: Profits of Tragedy

Schadenfreude has always been one of humanity's least attractive—but most lucratively exploitable—qualities. Lately, though, in the field of popular music, delight in other people's anguish has reached new levels of callousness—and depressing commercial success.

INCIDENT AT DYKE BRIDGE, distributed as sheet music three months ago and recently recorded by its Texas creator, Red River Dave McEnery, the song is predictably moral, mournful and sententious:

When the sun came up next morning, the black Oldsmobile was found

The young man was so sorry, but sweet Mary Jo was drowned.

The composer, who once made it big with Amelia Earhart's Last Flight, feels he has "told the...

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