Praise The Lord & Pass The Ammunition

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 14 01:29:27 UTC 2005

At 7:40 PM -0500 12/13/05, James Landau wrote:
>How good is the song "Roger Young"?  I'm not enough of a musician to want
>to judge it, but I will note it is not a rousing song but more of a dirge.
>The words basically repeat a single metaphor
>      "In the everlasting annals of the infantry/ shines the name of Roger
>A couple of ADS-L members have said they don't like "God Bless America"
>that much.  I am curious whether they dislike the music, the words, the
>sentiments, or the contexts in which it is encountered.
>My pet peeve among US patriotic songs is "It's A Grand Old Flag" which (in
>my humble opinion) has a great melody and words that are simply
>embarrassing to listen to.  While on the subject:
>"This land is your land" - a very nice song, but not a rouser and therefore
>never a competitor to "God Bless America"
>"My Country 'tis of Thee"- let's give it back to the British
>"Star Spangled Banner" - great words (if you can still distingusih them
>after ten million repetitions) married to the wrong tune.  It is, as far as
>I know, the ONLY national anthem actually written on a battlefield by an

You don't include an evaluation of "America the Beautiful", which
I've always liked better than most of its competitors, although the
first two lines always puzzled me as a child ("O beautiful for
spacious skies/For amber waves of gray")--we didn't know from "grain"
in NYC.

>On TV last week I heard someone refer to Michigan as "the big mitten."  An
>obvious nickname, but my wife, who is a native of Detroit and still points
>to her hand when asked where she is from, never heard it before.
"The Mitten" is relatively common, especially in the northern part of
the state and in particular the U.P. (Upper Peninsula), which is
crucially *not* part of the mitten (check the map), so it's not quite
accurate to gloss The Mitten as 'Michigan'; it's just the Lower
Peninsula.  The quite funny songs of The Yoopers, for example,
feature numerous (universally disparaging) references to The Mitten,
as do books set in the U.P.


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