*Bruce Springsteen wrote “American Skin (41 Shots)” about the 1999 New York police shooting death of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo, but on Tuesday night in Limerick, Ireland, his song took on a different meaning.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, after seeing a fan’s sign that read “American Skin (41 Shots),” the Boss decided to play the track, dedicating it to Trayvon Martin, just days after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of the Florida teen.
In a fan’s video posted on YouTube, Springsteen, 63, tells the crowd: “We’ll send this as a letter back home for justice for Trayvon Martin.”
Zimmerman said he fired his gun in self-defense during the altercation that took place in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012.
Springsteen debuted “American Skin (41 Shots)” on June 4, 2000, in Atlanta, Ga., and went on to play it during his 10-show residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It appears on his 2001, “Live in New York City” album.
The song’s lyrics directly reference the Diallo case in which four New York City police officers shot an unarmed man: “Is it a gun, is it a knife/Is it a wallet, this is your life/It ain’t no secret/It ain’t no secret/No secret my friend/You can get killed just for living/In your American skin.”
Watch Springsteen’s Ireland performance below: