Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ronan Tynan can go home now

I was quite pleased to see, and I hope this is the beginning of a trend, This Land is Your Land performed at the "We are One" concert over the weekend. As anyone who owns the Springsteen Live 75 - 85 Box Set knows, Woodie Guthrie wrote that song in response to Irving Berlin's God Bless America, a song he considered unrealistic and complacent. I could do without the explicit religiosity of the song. So let's hope This Land is Your Land becomes the unofficial anthem of the Obama administration, displacing God Bless America. The former is certainly more humble.

A friend adds:
I agree about This Land is Your Land vs. God Bless America. The former "feels" more American. However, it would be tough for me to say that the religiosity bothers me, since I've long been a proponent of substituting America the Beautiful for The Star Spangled Banner as our national anthem: I'll take a song about the natural beauty of our geography that happens to mention god over a god-less war anthem any day.
Must say, I've not thought of Francis Scott Key's work as a "war anthem" but in both origins and lyrics, it certainly is.