Jonestown: Soundtrack for a Mass Suicide

Today marks the day in 1978 that cult leader Jim Jones ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid at his Jonestown compound in Guyana. Congressman Leo Ryan had come to the compound to investigate reports of abuse, and even though Ryan stated he planned to report positively on the settlement, Jones had him and his entourage assassinated. Fearing retribution, Jones told the cult death would be better than what they would suffer at the hands of the government, and the 900 plus deaths resulting from the order remained the largest non-natural disaster loss of civilian life in the United States until the attacks on September 11, 2001.

The horrific events of that day have echoed down through the years inspiring musicians to comment on it through their art. Today we present five of those songs.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner