Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Glorious Fourth

I thought I'd find a few patriotic songs and poems to celebrate Independence Day.

Not having been raised a country fan, I seem to have missed this one from Twilight Bridge:

by Johnny Cash

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing "Oh, Say Can You See".
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams."

"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag."

"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam."

"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused."

"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more."

"So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

Not to slight the other US Armed Forces, but....

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun.
Here they come, zooming to meet our thun-der,
At 'em boys, give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun now!)
Down we dive, spout-ing our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame
Or go down in flame.
(Shout!) Nothing'll stop the US Air Force!

Minds of men fash-ioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue.
Hands of men blasted the world asunder;
How they lived God on-ly knew! (God on-ly knew them!)
Souls of men dream-ing of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before and bombers galore,
(Shout!) Nothing'll stop the US Air Force!

Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
keep the wings level and true.
If you'd live to be a grayhaired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue! (Out of the blue, boy!)
Flying men, guarding the nation's border,
We'll be there, followed by more!
In echelon we carry on.
(Shout!) Nothing'll stop the US Air Force!

The Coast Guard has a song, too! (And the link includes the tune.) Here's a longer version without the tune.

A very nice little poem from an Italian shopkeeper.

And because patriotism includes a bit of outspokenness, you can scroll on down for this funny little poem from Harper's Weekly back in the day, which sounds rather topical, actually. (Spelling regularized, 'cause it was too dialecty for me to stand.)


Resolved,-This nation's goin' to ruin,-
Old Abram Lincoln's bound to strand it.
Thare's some all-fired mischief brewin',
We Democrats can't no way stand it!
We make a vow, from this time forth
To stop all warfare in the North.

Therefore we form a resolution
To make all Lincoln's orders void;
To put his generals to confusion,
So that our own shan't be annoyed;
And fortify our strong position
By firing guns on abolition.


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