Confession time: I like country music. And no, I’m not being facetious. And no, not just the alternative kind. Gimme a steel guitar, a banjo, and a slow southern drawl, and I’m jammin’. When I put on the New Boots playlist, however, I do get looks ranging from disbelief to slightly annoyed to amused. Not that the reaction surprises me. As is the nature of stereotypes, there is some truth to them, but they also don’t cover all of the vast cornfield called country music. And honestly, you don’t have to strain your ears (pun intended) to pick up on all there is to hear.
I think it’s likely true that the people of all nations love their patriotic songs even when they don’t agree with their message.
I love American patriotic music, although some of the lyrics are much too bellicose and virtually all of it is much too religious for this atheist to embrace. And the music itself may or may not be American. Indeed, the music of one of our most prominent songs, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” is the British national anthem “God Save the Queen.” This rendition is sung by Aretha Franklin at Barack Obama’s inauguration:
Perhaps more ironic is the fact that our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” a poem written in praise of our efforts against the English in the War of 1812, is set to the tune of a British drinking song, “The Anacreontic Song.”