On the fourth of July, I always like to listen to “Song for America,” a song by the band Kansas. Could there be any combination more red, white, and blue? An ode to the nation from a bunch of dudes in group named after the heartiest of America’s heartland? The buckliest bit of the Bible Belt? The sparkliest trailer park jewel of the Tornado Alley diadem?
Except… if you listen to the song, it turns out to be a lamentation about how beautiful America once was and how we totally crapped it up with our ugly industry and commerce. Much like the band itself, “Song for America” is not quite what the label indicates.
Anyway, since I can no longer afford my old July 4th tradition of celebrating America with sushi, I guess listening to a cynical MP3 will have to do the trick. It’s just as well; I can share this tradition with you. I don’t think you’d have liked it if I had mailed you a piece of raw fish.
5 thoughts on “RockSpite: Happy America day from Kansas”
My favorite in the “classic rock ode to what America could and should be” category, admittedly not as prog yet even more heavy-handed, is Steppenwolf’s “Monster/Suicide/America”. It’s even sung by an immigrant, (in our better times) one of the most lionized of American types.
I have a difficult time listening to cynical songs about America. It seems like the majority of them are these days, and it’s depressing as hell (and not entirely realistic either; I can’t sympathize with these rich musician types!).
Agreed. Especially for the 4th! It’s just too depressing (and, as mentioned, not always reflective of reality).
Personally, I’ll take my Bible Belt-infused dose of God and country. :D
You should listen to the version they did with the London Symphony Orchestra, it’s fantastic.
God, I love this song. We need more critical examinations of this country, rather than having mindlessly jingoistic Lee Greenwood ballads shoved up our asses every 4th.
Having said that, The Death of Mother Nature Suite and Cheyenne Anthem are a little too morose and preachy for their own good. It’s better for the moral to leap for your throat without warning than have it pounded into your brain from the moment the song starts.
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