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Rebecca Clayton

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

Woody still has my vote for national anthem, provided you include the often-omitted last verse. Not that I don't like your pick, but "America" always made me sad--hardly the way to start a baseball game.

nothstine


I like America, but it's a classic bit from Paul's gloomy phase. I have no interest in the 19th century triumphalism of the Star Spangled Banner, but even so, America's probably too gloomy for a national anthem: They smoked the last cigarette an hour ago, he pours his heart out but she's asleep and doesn't hear it, he's empty and aching and he doesn't know why. If they sang that to me before a baseball game, I'd curl up under the bench in the fetal position.

If I had to vote for a Simon song, I'd probably vote for American Tune. [Still Crazy is better, but isn't anthem material, although it might make other countries think twice...]

American Tune's a little gloomy too--the age's most uncertain hour, he's been mistaken, confused, forsaken, and misused--but even if you can't be forever blessed, tomorrow's another working day and if he can get some rest he'll be back out there tomorrow. I like that.

Always thought it was fitting that Simon performed American Tune at the White House for Carter.

kellyofsiam

I agree with Rebecca Clayton on This Land Is Your Land. Yet The Simon & Garfunkel song is a sure sight better than O Say Can You See

Michael Bartley

Well I've got to agree with Rebecca and nothstine. America the song, and the country for that matter, has always made me teary eyed. In my youth, I think it was the bursting at the seams promise of it moderated by the heartbreak of knowing you couldn't possibly swallow it all. Now, old and busted maybe it is simply loss or nostalgia. Or, maybe, it’s the sense that the rust can’t be buffed out and the horizon is lost; all, in the end, just another version of Stegner’s old man chasing that Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Give me Woody Guthrie any old day (thanks for noting that verse Rebecca) and together let’s all warble, maybe a little less triumphant, but loud and brash and, yes Lance, defiant. Then, heck, let’s play ball. I’ll man the cooler.

Linkmeister

What? No votes for "You Can Call Me Al?"

Oliver Mannion

My vote is still for YMCA. That would be awesome.

Bill Hicks

I vote for Mississippi Goddam. I know I'm not getting with the spirit in which you've written this fine post. It's just this Haley Barbour stuff that's in the conversation this week.

Bill Altreuter

Chuck Berry's Back in the USA. Consider that when it was released in 1959 Berry couldn't enjoy the simple pleasure of a hamburger sizzling on an open grill in every restaurant in his home town-- and yet he was happy to be here, happy about the potential in the USA. Our anthem should be something authored by an African American, because black America is responsible for our most iconic music (and a great deal of what is best in our culture generally).

minstrel hussain boy

"gimme a pigfoot."

mac macgillicuddy

These days I'm more interested in a World Anthem. What would that be? And no one say John Lennon's "Imagine," because that's too easy.

actor212

Well, except for the "toss me a pack of cigarettes" line, I can't find much fault in your choice, Lance.

But no love for Born In The USA?

Lance Mannion

Lots of good suggestions, folks. But Rebecca's right. I should have considered the baseball game problem.

nothstine, after listening a few more times since the post went up, I've decided it's a song about nicotine withdrawal.

eric schantz.

glad to see you like my work.

eric schantz.

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