…from the album liner notes:
American Tragedy is how I feel about the country in which I dwell. When the highest Court in the land becomes a political tool, where will justice be?
– Bob Brookmeyer, Feb. 26, 2001 – Grantham, NH
Another highlight of the CD is the somber “American Tragedy,” which was not inspired by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 — Waltzing With Zoe was recorded eight months before those attacks — but rather, by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that caused Al Gore to concede to George W. Bush in the presidential race of 2000. In Brookmeyer’s opinion, the Supreme Court made a decision that was inspired by partisan politics rather than law.
An encapsulation of the historical circumstances which inspired this piece can be read in the following wikipedia article under the heading, “Recount.”