Petula Clark ‘in disbelief’ at Nashville bomber who played ‘Downtown’ ahead of explosion

‘Downtown’ singer Petula Clark (left), and a police officer near the Nashville blast site on 25 December (Tim P Whitby/Getty/Mark Humphrey/AP)
‘Downtown’ singer Petula Clark (left), and a police officer near the Nashville blast site on 25 December (Tim P Whitby/Getty/Mark Humphrey/AP)

Petula Clark has expressed her shock after her hit song “Downtown” was played aloud from a car that exploded in Nashville on Christmas Day.

On 25 December, a recreational vehicle rigged with explosives blew up in downtown Nashville, leaving as many as 40 buildings damaged.

Before the blast, a recording played from the vehicle warning those nearby that an explosion was imminent, along with a ticking countdown clock that was spliced into Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown”.

Writing on her official Facebook page, Clark said she was in “shock and disbelief” after hearing the track was a part of the incident.

“I love Nashville and its people,” Clark wrote. “Why this violent act – leaving behind it such devastation? ... I was told that the music in the background of that strange announcement was me singing ‘Downtown’! Of all the thousands of songs – why this one?”

Clark continued: “Of course, the opening lyric is ‘When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go downtown’. But millions of people all over the world have been uplifted by this joyful song. Perhaps you can read something else into these words – depending on your state of mind. It’s possible.”

Clark concluded by writing that she wished to “wrap [her] arms around Nashville”.

Tennessee police have named 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner as a “person of interest” in the blast, adding that they believe Warner “perished” in the explosion, which otherwise injured three people.

<p>Petula Clark</p>Tim P Whitby/Getty/Mark Humphrey/AP

Petula Clark

Tim P Whitby/Getty/Mark Humphrey/AP

David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, told NBC’s Today programme that the “intent” of the incident looked like “more destruction than death”.

Authorities are also investigating claims that Warner was “paranoid” about 5G technology, and that he believed conspiracy theories suggesting it was being used to spy on people.

Clark’s “Downtown” became an international smash in 1964, reaching number two on the UK singles chart, and number one on the US Billboard chart.

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