4th of July Music and Open Thread

It seems like the same songs make the list of top 4th of July music each year. Current TV's Sergio puts them in context. I especially liked the part [/sarcasm]about the Toby Keith song where the soldiers stomp and cheer and go totally wild as he belts out:

You'll be sorry you messed with the U.S. of A.
Cause we'll put a boot in your as*, it's the American Way

He also points out the critical verse in Springsteen's "Born in the USA" [More...]

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

And to answer Sergio's question, is John Mellencamp pride or punishment, I'll cut John some slack and go with pride. He spent a lot of time helping the Dems last year on the campaign trail. How about you?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome, not just the 4th of July.

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    IMO, punishment. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:03:58 PM EST
    Can't sing and can't play the guitar.  What's the point.

    Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:46:45 PM EST
    The rock poet of America's heartland!  An inspiration to all us flyover country types.

    What do I know? Listening to a thrilling (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:57:35 PM EST
    performance of Verdi Requiem at present.

    If you're talking about Springsteen (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:20:01 PM EST
    I can't listen to him either.  I heartily support and approve of him on principle, but man, it's hard on my ears.

    well put (none / 0) (#49)
    by weltec2 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:25:54 PM EST
    Listening to BS is like listening to the sound of raking gravel in my driveway... which I have to do this afternoon.

    Mellencamp. Didn't listen to Springsteen. (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:31:13 PM EST
    Has anybody made more money off (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:43:27 PM EST
    of jarheads than Toby Keith?  His fanbase is usually easily identifiable within the military too with the same predictableness of the McCain/Palin fanbase:)

    But (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 09:17:00 AM EST
    He's a Democrat

    Keith considers himself "a conservative Democrat who is sometimes embarrassed for his party." He endorsed the re-election of President George W. Bush in 2004 and performed at a Dallas, Texas, rally on the night before the election. Keith also endorsed Democrat Dan Boren in his successful run in Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district and is good friends with Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In a January 2007 interview with Newsday, Keith was asked whether he supported the Iraq War. He responded with "Never did." He favors setting a time limit on the campaign. He also said, "I don't apologize for being patriotic... If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops, then they can kiss my ass on that, because I'm not going to budge on that at all. And that has nothing to do with politics. Politics is what's killing America."

    In March 2009, Toby received the Johnny "Mike" Spann Memorial Semper Fidelis Award during a New York ceremony held by the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The trophy is named for a former Marine Corps captain who was the first U.S. casualty in the war in Afghanistan.

    Toby has made annual trips to the Middle East for years to bring entertainment and encouragement to the men and women serving on or near the front lines.

    "Spending time with our soldiers around the world is something I've always regarded as a privilege and honor," Toby says. "I'm certainly happy to accept this award, but I won't forget for a second who's really doing the heavy lifting to keep this country safe. And that's why I'll keep going back and spending time with those good folks every chance I get."

    Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue
    On March 24, 2001, Keith's father, H.K. Covel, was killed in a car accident. That event and the September 11 attacks in 2001 prompted Keith to write the song "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue", a song about his father's patriotism and faith in the United States. At first, Keith refused to record the song and sang it only live at his concerts for military personnel. The reaction was so strong that the Commandant of the Marine Corps James L. Jones told Keith it was his "duty as an American citizen" to record the song.[9] As the lead single from the album Unleashed (2002), "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue" peaked at number one over the Fourth of July weekend.

    Keith visits with fans during brief breaks in filming the music video American Soldier in hangar 1600 at Edwards Air Force Base on November 17, 2003.ABC invited Keith to sing "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue" on a 2002 Fourth of July concert it was producing, then rescinded the invitation after host Peter Jennings heard the song and vetoed it. Jennings said the song "probably wouldn't set the right tone." "I find it interesting that he's not from the U.S.," Keith said of Jennings, who is Canadian. "I bet Dan Rather'd let me do it on his special."

    beautiful day in central park. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:00:48 PM EST

    I wouldn't mind summer in NYC ... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:10:53 PM EST
    if every day was like today!

    I can't beleive the weather (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:01:47 PM EST
    it feels like Spring finally!

    I don't know if it's supposed to get more humid this week, but it looks like the temps will hold where they are until at least Thursday :) I love having all the windows open with a couple of window fans on low and a very comfortable top floor apt! Can't wait to see my electric bill. So far, no AC at all this summer {grin}


    Williams sisters won the women's (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:05:09 PM EST
    doubles in straight sets. 7-6, 6-4

    It is hard enough to beat them one on one. The combination of both sisters is just incredible.

    It is a stunningly beautiful day here (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:45:29 PM EST
    in northern Maryland: gentle breezes, low humidity, robins' egg blue skies, hi-70's temps.

    The husband and I are just chillin' out; I did some gardening and read an entire book out on the deck, husband washed the cars and did some puttering.  I laughingly said to him at one point, "I keep thinking of all these things I could be doing, and then my next thought is, naaah, don't feel like it."

    After years of having kids at home whose needs came first, this empty nest thing has freed me to be selfish - I still feel some guilt about it now and again, but indulging myself is, most of the time, a lot of fun.  It's filling a place inside me that I didn't even realize needed some attention until I had the space and time to see it and feel it.

    It makes the things I do for others now more about want than about obligation - and there is a purity of spirit there that feels really good.  Don't get me wrong - I love my kids with every fiber of my being - but there's a genuineness to our relationship now that is so much deeper and richer and full than in all those years when we were on the family treadmill.

    And while I can see how husbands and wives can find themselves looking at each other at this stage and wondering who the heck they are and what they're doing with each other, all I can say is that I'm glad we're not in that group.  No, we're not the same carefree people who met 30-some years ago, fell in love, got married and started a new life together; we're better, stronger, more connected, and more together than we ever were then.

    Listen to me - going all philosophical; maybe that's where a beautiful day and the blessings of my life take me.  Whatever - I'm grateful and contented, and I can think of no better way to feel on such a gorgeous day.

    Hope all of you are feeling that in your lives, too.

    you have such a nice style of writing (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:55:08 PM EST
    and I really appreciate your heart-felt comments. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Contentment is my idea (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oldpro on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:20:16 PM EST
    of extended happiness.

    Well said, Anne.


    Thank you Anne, (none / 0) (#33)
    by GeorgiaE on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:11:18 PM EST
    I love reading your posts.  You have stated so eloquently how I also feel today!  So many blessings to be thankful for.

    Your happiness comes through.....thanks for (none / 0) (#36)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:02:42 PM EST
    sharing.  Your post made me think of this saying:  "Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind."

    Western Maryland (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:11:31 PM EST
    here, and it was wonderful here, too.  My birthday yesterday, my anniversary tomorrow, and I'm feeling very mellow, despite whatever else is going on in the country and the world.  Be selfish, Anne, and don't feel guilty.  Every once in awhile, we need to take some time off from the cares of the world.

    the fort of jewel eye (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:35:39 PM EST
    A story about letting boys be boys:

    A few weeks ago, my wife comes into my office and says "Eli wants to spend the money he's saved on a pocket knife, what do you think?"

    Eli has just turned nine, is a complete city kid, spends far more time around adults than most kids his age.

    "No way," I reply.

    She walks out.  I think about it.  Come on, let him be a boy, it's not like he wants a gun, it's not like he's a bully or irresponsible with his other stuff.  He doesn't have any kids in the neighborhood, all his friends live a decent drive away.  Come on, let him have a little knife, he can learn something, whittling, something that will be useful and fun.

    So I walk out into the living room and say I've changed my mind.  When he returns from the store with a small Swiss Army-style knife, I read him the riot act of rules and be carefuls and don't you dares.

    A few hours later, as we sat around the dinner table with my wife's sister and a couple of friends, from back in Eli's room we hear the anguished cry of "Mom!"  Then another one, this time warbling from anger or pain or similar emotion.  My wife goes back, assuming he's frustrated with his computer and needs his mom's help (computers are her career).  A few minutes later and she's not back, I can hear water running in the bathroom, some sniffling and pained sounds.  I move down the hall and, sure enough, within hours of getting this knife, the kid has carved up the end of his finger nicely.  There is blood all over the sink, on the counter, poor Eli is shaking in shock, and all he says is "I was worried you were going to get really mad at me, daddy."  

    "Nah," I told him, "there's nothing I could do at this point that would teach you any more than you just taught yourself."

    "The only thing I taught myself," he sniffled, "was I don't think I want a pocket knife anymore.  You can have it."

    So it's on my keychain for now, waiting for him to get his courage up again.  We're going camping in a few weeks, his first real trip doing so, so I think he'll be asking for it again soon.  We shall see.

    Happy 4th, y'all.

    Aww (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:53:38 PM EST
    I got my dad's swiss army knife when I was about 9.

    thats the point (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jen M on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 06:55:55 PM EST
    when I usually ask if he's cut himself shaving then show off my woodcarving scars.

    Heck, my almost 65-year old friend (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:15:59 PM EST
    really did a lot of damage to his thumb with my brand new Swiss Army 1-inch knife blade.  

    Being of the girl variety and having (none / 0) (#43)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:33:28 PM EST
    two daughters, we never got into the "sharp things" stage, but every man I know and everyone I know with boy children has been there.  I think the only thing that saved us from that girl stage of wanting to wear makeup and inappropriate clothing was them being bitten by the horse bug, and spending the next 10 years in the barn.

    Sounds like Eli has a pretty smart dad, who knows him well and will be ready to teach him some cool things one can do with a pocket knife while camping out.  

    One thing's for sure, Eli's found a whole new level of respect for sharp things...


    to make money, silly! (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:19:33 PM EST
    Can't sing and can't play the guitar.  What's the point.

    i often wonder, listening to "Born in the U.S.A.", how many people actually listen to those lyrics, which i picked up on around the second or third time i heard it. put a whole new perspective on it for me.

    country music thrives on its appeal to a large subset of americans: they have nothing; aren't likely to ever amount to anything; tend to not be very bright; are easily led around; but dammit, they are proud to be americans!

    probably explains (taking into account my inflated ego and sense of self.) why i never cared for the genre.

    I am not a big (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:04:23 PM EST
    country music fan, but when someone casts aspersions like you just did, I have to ask for some links showing where country music fans are less bright than other music genre fans.  Or is that just your opinion?  I would opine country music fans are less likely to be led around and assisted.  

    well my friend, (none / 0) (#55)
    by cpinva on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:28:54 PM EST
    I would opine country music fans are less likely to be led around and assisted.  

    you can opine all you like, and you'd still be wrong. who do you think constitute the bulk of rush's, sean's, glen's and ann's audience? that would be, um, er, uh............country music fans. those people have a ring permanently affixed to their noses.


    Heh (none / 0) (#56)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 06:58:13 AM EST
    Of course I was thinking of people who willing want to get led around by the gov't.  

    I hestitate to "go there," but re the (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    Springsteen verse, assuming he has never been in the military, isn't it somewhat disengenuous for him to sing this lyric in the first person?  Also, is Springsteen considered country?  This is a serious question. I thought he was a descendant of Dylan.

    Artists Right (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:48:07 PM EST
    Artists have always create empathy for things that they never actually experienced first hand. Just because they have not been there personally doesn't make the tears of the audience any less real.

    on behalf (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jen M on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 01:53:49 PM EST
    of those who can't reach a wide audience themselves.

    Answer: Dylan's Grammy awards (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:09:30 PM EST
    are almost entirely in the "Rock" catagory.  None for "Country."  Source:   Wiki.

    Oops. Not Dylan. Springsteen. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:10:35 PM EST
    Springsteen (none / 0) (#54)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:35:28 PM EST
    is most definitely not country.

    One could easily classify... (none / 0) (#57)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 08:53:29 AM EST
    Nebraska as being very much "country".  It is a genre that is hard to pigeonhole.  From the Flying Burrito Brothers to Allison Krause to the Drive By Truckers, there is a wide variety of music that can be called "country".  

    No more (none / 0) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 02:49:48 PM EST
    disingenuous than an actor playing a part in a movie.

    my referrence (none / 0) (#30)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:58:09 PM EST
    Also, is Springsteen considered country?

    was to the toby keith audience, not springsteen. no, i don't believe i've ever seen anyone put springsteen, or any of his work, in the country genre.


    Is this Colin Powell's first ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:09:33 PM EST
    salvo in a potential run at the White House in '12?

    "The right answer is, 'Give me a government that works,'" the former secretary of state said in a television interview to be aired Sunday. "Keep it as small as possible," added Powell, who said he has spoken recently with Obama and stays in touch with him. Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama last year over the GOP presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.

    Obama wants to overhaul the health care system and take on climate change while also helping the country emerge from the recession.

    "I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president -- and I've talked to some of his people about this -- is that you can't have so many things on the table that you can't absorb it all. And we can't pay for it all," Powell said.

    Sure sounds like some groundwork laying to me.

    Rest of the article is here.

    Let's cut military spending (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:28:04 PM EST
    Quit giving trillions in welfare to corporations who use the funds to increase the obscene salaries and bonuses that they give to top execs.

    Give the administration and Congress the same insurance benefits that we have and cut their traveling budget.

    My recommendations on how to pay for the programs for the common good.


    I know asking this is like asking (none / 0) (#44)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:57:58 PM EST
    a "progressive" to define racism, but who would determine common good?  

    Politicians know (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 08:09:49 PM EST
    the definition of common good. It is all the things they promise when they are campaigning for office and fail to deliver once they have been elected.

    BTW, I do not consider myself a "progressive."


    On what ticket? (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:17:16 PM EST
    I mean really, do you think the Republicans are going to give him a shot? Never.

    Did I say he'd win the ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:19:41 PM EST

    Just thought these comments looked like he was gearing up for a run.


    He won't do it now (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:29:00 PM EST
    for the same reasons he wouldn't do it in 1996.

    We'll see ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:31:32 PM EST
    looks like he's working out an argument to me.

    Powell endorsed both Obama and, (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:20:52 PM EST
    more recently, Michael Jackson.  

    Speaking of music for the ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 03:28:09 PM EST
    day how about this classic?

    Hendrix (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:14:14 PM EST
    Muppets (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:18:51 PM EST
    Have any of you seen the Japanese (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:26:41 PM EST
    film Departures?

    Taught me how to shoot to kill (none / 0) (#26)
    by SOS on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:29:06 PM EST
    A specialist with a deadly skill


    OMG, Dodgers @ Padres on Fox Sports. (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:43:01 PM EST
    All because of Manny, who already got a HR and is up now.  1-1, top of the 6th, 2 outs.

    It was funny that they cut into the (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:07:39 PM EST
    Mets/Phillies game when Manny came up! Then they went to split screen. Looks like a lovely day out there also :)

    Pads beat LA 7 to 4. Of course (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:13:52 PM EST
    we didn't go to this game!

    There's always tomorrow? (none / 0) (#53)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:34:05 PM EST
    I would have loved to be at the Yankee game today. Beautiful weather, extra innings and a win.

    RIP (none / 0) (#35)
    by michitucky on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 05:36:12 PM EST
    Former NFL QB Steve McNair found murdered in downtown Nashville today......

    I gasped when I read your comment - (none / 0) (#42)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 07:24:25 PM EST
    I've not had the TV on today - spent most of the day outside, and while I was making dinner, TCM had "Born on the Fourth of July" on.

    It was hard not to appreciate McNair's toughness, his ability to play through whatever his injuries were - and I appreciated him even more when he signed with the Ravens and led us to a 13-3 season that year.  He might have been older, and banged up more than most, but there was no denying that was a fun season for us.

    I can only hope that the circumstances of McNair's death do not add an ugly footnote to what was a stellar career.


    They just newsflashed it after the fireworks (none / 0) (#51)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:12:27 PM EST
    were over as a teaser for the 11pm news. Shocked.

    Didn't he play with broken ribs at one point?

    When I checked online, the story I saw said there was a woman with him, also dead.



    I also cut Mellencamp slack and (none / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 09:32:13 PM EST
    put him in the pride category. 23 years helping family farmers/Farm Aid.