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"I'm Afraid of Americans"

Soundw

ArtistDavid Bowie

ComposerD. Bowie & B. Eno

Released1997

AlbumEarthling

Buy fromiTunes

Featured inNo Good Deed

"I'm Afraid of Americans", recorded by David Bowie, is a song featured in the Person of Interest episode “No Good Deed”. It plays twice in the episode: during the taxi ambush where Fox intercepts Reese and Henry Peck, and at the end of the episode when the Machine flashes back to Alicia Corwin listening in on Finch's conversation with Peck.

In interviews, David Bowie describes the song as not particularly anti-American or even anti-gun. Rather, the song is a response to the ubiquitous global presence of elements of American culture, such as the fast food restaurants he saw just before writing it.

The song's appearance in the episode may reference the song's music video, which involves a character named Johnny pursuing Bowie, the growing presence of guns, a New York City taxi, and the taxi being caught in a hail of gunfire. The video's themes include paranoia and the inability to trust anyone.

Lyrics

Johnny's in America, no tax at the wheel
No-one needs anyone, they don't even just pretend
Johnny's in America

I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans
Johnny's in America

Johnny wants a brain, Johnny wants to suck on a coke
Johnny wants a woman, Johnny wants to think of a joke
Johnny's in America

I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans

Johnny's in America, Johnny looks up at the stars
Johnny combs his hair and Johnny wants pussy in cars
Johnny's in America
Johnny's in America

I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans
I'm afraid of the world
I'm afraid I can't help it
I'm afraid I can't
I'm afraid of Americans

God is an American
God is an American

I’m afraid of Americans
I’m afraid of the world
I’m afraid I can’t help it
I’m afraid I can’t

I’m afraid of Americans
I’m afraid of the world
I’m afraid I can’t help it
I’m afraid I can’t

I’m afraid of Americans
I’m afraid of the world
I’m afraid I can’t help it
I’m afraid I can’t
I’m afraid of Americans

Johnny’s an American
Johnny’s an American
Johnny’s an American
(repeat and fade)

Lyrics from LyricWikia.

Music Video

David Bowie Trent Reznor 'I'm Afraid Of Americans'04:39

David Bowie Trent Reznor 'I'm Afraid Of Americans'.

Notes

  • The reference to John in the song ("Johnny's in America"), which was recorded in 1997, is coincidental.
  • The music video was shot in New York City.
  • The video features Trent Reznor as the American, Johnny, who stalks Bowie through the streets of New York.

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