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Subject: Music review for the fourth of july

Hi all, for the Fourth I'm going to review a playlist i made for our country that the Toby Keith's
of the world fail to mention. I love the shit our of my country, i love being born here and grow up here,
yet i know, I KNOW, in the wealthiest country the world has seen, we can do better and not feel 
ashamed at times by the actions of our country. 
So, here we go....

1.  Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
-This song was such an anthem that people did not realize the scope of the lyrics.  The song sung 
to the struggles of those coming back from Vietnam, those searching for a well paying job, for those 
in America that are forgotten.  The chorus has, unfortunately, been corrupted by jingoistic, petty, 
flag-wavers.  The lyrics speak for themselves:
'Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says, "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to the VA, man
He said, "Son you don't understand"

2.Fortunate Son by Credence Clearwater Revival
-An oldie, but still a goodie, especially given the times we live in now.  Made to wave the flag, 
red white and blue.  My dad and his like were serving SOB's and made this country great.  
They all must be rolling in their graves to think Fogerty's lyrics have come to pass.  
They weren't no senators son. 

3.Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young
-Why couldnt we have blasted this outside polling places in 2000?  A Bush is a Bush is a Bush.  
Neil wrote this about the Resident's father, weird how things come around again.  Unlike most people, 
I find the enthusiasm in this song to be optimistic.  Maybe not in my life, maybe not in my son or 
daughter's life, but we will be able to come together. 
'thousand points of light for the homeless man
a kinder, gentler machine gun hand'

4. Our Country by John Mellencamp
-if you've watched any football over the last years, you've undoubtedly seen the chevy commercial 
with this song.  The thing is Mellencamp is a liberal and the lyrics achieve a level that emulates the 
Boss (listen to the lyrics, minus the hook).  The song's name itself should convey the fact that it is 
OUR country.  We are all in this together.  Your same BBQ in Topeka, Kansas is happening in 
Las Vegas.  Being free isn't supposed to be like this now; it is our country.  Perhaps we should 
go about resolving that problem.

5.America by Paul SImon
What can one say about this song?  i think this America Project, as founding fathers used to say, 
is an evolving, living thing.  Beyond the hopes and dreams we all share is that one characteristic 
that is embedded where we don't care if we get knuckles bruised or blistery hands, we will, 
and always do, help each other. 

6.  Old Mother Reagan by Violent Femmes
-A little ditty honoring the worst president in history, well, before now.  People think that the 
presidency is f'ing royalty, but it is not.  They live in our house, we paid for the goddamn thing,
so niceities aside. Anyway, that is a good song.

7. Which Side Are You On?  By Pete Seeger (for another version, Dropkick Murphys)
-Best union song ever.  And that is how we now have a five day work week, a 8 hour shift, 
benefits, and all the rest.  People think the Unions are corrupted (which some may be) but to 
throw the baby out with the bathwater is so nearsighted. 
*One thing Obama needs to do is repeal the Taft-Hartley Act,
nobody asks him about that, but they should......

8. The Story of Tom Joad by Rage against the Machine
If you haven't read "Grapes of Wrath" you should.  If not, this song encapsulates the
"american dream" during the 30's, which, seems to be happening again. 

9. Oh my god by Michael Franti and Spearhead
I sometimes wake up and think that same thing.  What the hell happened?  in the space of 8 years, 
which is a blink in the terms of life, i dont know how to reconcile the fact i love this country - would die 
for the people in it - and how fucked its become. I hadn't heard this song in a long while and now 
hearing it, it's all about what we have become.  i don't like the face i see in the mirror every day. 

10. Not Ready to Make Nice by the dixie chicks
-Leave it up to the ladies to tell us fucking 5 years ago about the way we are headed.  
This song goes into my playlist b/c they stood up and called it like it should have been called 
by the press years ago (minus the lives lost..  This one is for the First Amendment.
 

So that is all folks.  If any of those songs sound unfamiliar, that's a good thing. 
Happy Fourth, be safe and have fun. 
we are all in this together.

Brad the Bartcop Music Critic
 

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