Sunday, July 25, 2010

Liberty Song Saturday: America--The Song

There are these Saturdays that never wake up . . . yesterday, it was a monsoon Saturday--hard rain, fog and then drizzle gently falling. And I took a full Shabbat. So, maybe I should change my theme to Liberty Song on a Sundae this week . . . (Geek Alert: You have to have read Lucifer's Hammer to get that one!).

This week, no parody but a real, honest to goodness country song. I was born in northern Illinois, but grew up south. I can speak Chicago--though that's getting harder all the time!--but I can also speak Harrisburg, and Cairo and Kentucky. The soft, drawn out vowels that are not quite southern. I can speak country, because I grew up in McLean County Illinois, surrounded by Mennonite farmers, German and Irish railroaders, and Jewish merchants; Americans all.

This song was inspired by Ellis Island. And sometimes, I swear I forget the trouble they went through, not so long ago, so I could be born on these shores and have the liberty to make the stand I am making. Although I doubt they understood the philosophy of natural rights, or knew the words of the Declaration, they understood that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness would be theirs if they left everything they knew, to take that dreadful trip in steerage across the Atlantic:

". . . but the weariness and worry must have faded from their eyes,
to behold that lady arising in the sky,
Oh, can't you hear them cry:

America, I hear you calling me,
Sweet land of Liberty,
I'm on my way!
America, beckoning with open arms,
I long to feel the warmth of Freedom's flame!
G-d had given hope a name,

This week--America: The Song by Dustin James

Dustin says:
"This song has no political agenda. It does not scold the way we are or lament the way we were. It is a simple tribute to a remarkable country by one deeply grateful citizen. . . "

I hope those ones who came before me, they who took a risk so that I could have freedom, will be proud of what we do to claim the liberty they risked everything to obtain.

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