Gut Rumbles

November 26, 2007


Originally PUBLISHED May 21, 2005

I happened to watch a movie today where some guy in a wagon train was blowing "Dixie" on a harmonica. I loved listening to that. I know that "Dixie" is considered to be a racist song in our hyper-sensitive society today, but hearing it still makes me want to stand up and cheer. It's a GREAT song and it means a lot to me about the part of the country I love the most.

I always stand up, take off my hat and put my right hand over my heart when I hear "The Star-Spangled Banner." I sometimes get goosebumps when I hear that song and see an American flag waving in the wind. That's our NATIONAL ANTHEM and I think it's glorious when played by a marching band. But have you ever tried to SING that song? Got-dam! You need a vocal range a lot better than mine to do it right. I prefer to hear the instrumental version.

Okay, it comes from my roots, but I sometimes get all misty-eyed when I hear "My Old Kentucky Home." Stephen Foster hit a home run with that one, even though the forces of political correctness have changed some of the words today. You seldom hear the version that mentions "darkies" anymore. I still love that song.

I may be a sap, but I believe that "America, the Beautiful" is a WONDERFUL song. I've traveled all the way from Washington State to Savannah, Georgia by car, and I've SEEN the purple mountain's majesty and amber waves of grain, from sea to shining sea. Bejus! Nobody can really appreciate just how BIG and IMPRESSIVE this country is until he takes that kind of trip. Plus, that song is a lot easier to sing than the national anthem.

You want to shut up a room full of rowdy drunks where I live? Just have somebody play and sing "Georgia on My Mind." The place gets quiet and you see rough-looking red-necks shedding tears in their beers. That one definitely IS an "old, sweet song."

I've never been very fond of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," because I am a Southerner and I prefer to hear "Dixie." The Battle Hymn reminds me too much of a durge, and it makes me think of William T. Sherman. I can't get excited about that one. Sherman had his nerve to say "War is hell." He didn't live in Georgia.

I also like the "Marine Corps Hymn," but that's just the militant in me showing. It's still a rousing song.

See? I didn't mention ANYTHING rap, hip-hop, rock-n-roll, pop or anything by Elvis or the Beatles. I still think it's a good list.

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