Joy (cithra) wrote,

let freedom thud

If you flat out asked me if I consider myself a patriot, I'd have some trouble answering you. Certainly if I love anything about this country it tends to be in terms of the abstract ideals it was founded under; the current execution, not so much. But I have to confess I was surprised at the vehemence of my reaction to the background music at Walgreens this afternoon.

My first thought was "Hymns? They're playing hymns now? WTF?" because I was surrounded by a somewhat pedestrian SATB arrangement of My Country, 'Tis of Thee. Statistically speaking, the most common prior context for same was the church services of my youth. A moment later I recalled the calendar time-frame currently being occupied, and i thought "Aha, no, Patriotic Music." With a touch of dismissal, I figured it was probably one of a few sprinkled into to the usual soft-rock mix, and that it had caught my attention due to the stark contrast - of singing style, if naught else.

So I continued collecting the items on my shopping list, only to be rousted out of my semi-reverie by lyrics I swear said "we worship blood and glory". The tune was familiar, but mostly from items of parody/pastiche; I caught the chorus of something about "the Army goes rolling along". Some research indicates I misheard the lyrics or missed the segue from a previous song, as The Army Goes Rolling Along is apparently the official Army Song, though nowhere in the lyrics I found was it so unabashedly bloodthirsty. It was all the stranger to hear because it was that same SATB chorus, with the warbling of sopranos.

Maybe it was hymns; the Marines have a hymn. Everybody else seems to have songs - the Navy's Anchors Aweigh is apparently just a song, for all its over-familiarity to me as the hijacked tune to my navy town high school's fight song. [Great grief and pains, further down the wikipedia article they cite the bloody thing! Aaah, there's no escape!!] It was definitely meant to be 4th of July music, Independence Day music, and my main response was "ew".

I don't find them qualitatively distasteful - musically they seem a bit drab, but they were originally meant to be sung together rather than performed to be listened to, making their simplicity a virtue. The lyrics hang together, certainly. But the sentiment leaves me cold, and wondering if there isn't a better way to deal with problems then sending large angry men out to poke them with pointed sticks, tarantara.

I know where that puts me with the "If'n yer not with us, yer agin' us" crowd, and I suppose that is why I find myself with the urge to look around nervously after admitting such is the darkness of my heart. I suppose I'll again have to take refuge in my long-sought curmudgeon-hood. And I find fireworks are like automobiles - fine, fine things in the hands of those that know how to use and appreciate them, but far too often wielded by unthinking incompetents, to the detriment of all concerned.

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