Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Independence Day, Peeps!!!

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

God bless this country's TROOPS, wherever they may have you, making our country safe. And God keep you SAFE, PUD, wherever you may be. I think about you a LOT.
Hope you all have a safe holiday~here's to whirrled peas!
Mousethis can't POSSIBLY be a mouse, although smiley central says it is. Looking further into things, they've got a "pony" listed as a mouse, and a "mouse" listed as a pony. I'm convinced that the blogger people are trading crack bags with everyone at smiley central. Really.
Fireworks Happy Hat


captain corky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
captain corky said...

Happy 4th K! I'll try not to blow off any fingers today. ;) I hope Pud is ok too.

Cap'n H said...

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

A testament to the courage and fortitude of a very young America at the time, the words of Francis Scott Key have an eloquence that shines through today's coarsened culture and what it passes off as art. Verse 4 even provides some insight into where the religious right is coming from, and provides some key insight into our national thought-processes of recent times:

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The tune is one of the more difficult national anthems to sing, due to the range involved. Most other national anthems that I have heard tend to have melody lines that stay a little more "in the box" so to speak. The Chinese anthem resembles a scalar exercise, IMHO. Many occasions have seen our anthem butchered in public performance (Roseanne Barr comes to mind), either out of ignorance, lack of ability to sing it, or a stylistic interpretation that borders on irreverence. Don't get fancy with it, just play it, and know what it means. The first verse, the one kids learn in school, never fails to inspire. Give the anthem the reverence it deserves, because it memorializes brave souls who paid the ultimate price in prooving that freedom is not free.

Cap'n H said...

More good stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

Cap'n H said...

Today is a very special day. It is one of a handful of days each year where the comtemplation of what it means to be an American comes more naturally.

On this day in 1973, as a boy, I arrived by the dawn's early light in Capetown, South Africa, and was promptly sat down by my mother before we cleared customs and given an explanation that has sharp resonance still. Apartheid was in effect then, and I had already read and learned about the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. beforehand. This was perhaps one of the best lessons in what freedom and human dignity truly mean.

Flash forward to this day 1982, when I saw the space shuttle Columbia land in my native SoCal, and learned over the radio of the death of a high school classmate.

Perhaps the biggest regret in my life is not serving my country in uniform, although the geo-political climate of the time might make it easier to understand why it did not happen. If I were of military age today, I doubt that I would serve, since the perception of the American cause around the world is not exactly just. The world was mostly with us in the 1991 Gulf War, and again when we landed in Afghanistan. It will take decades to recover from the damage to our image brought about by the current administration's misguided adventure in Iraq. We can only hope that the long view of history will show that we were correct in our actions, and that subsequent generations of Americans will still have the country that we know and love to call their own.

SPEAK ENGLISH today. "Nuestro Himno" can lick my American citizen ass. We've come this far by speaking the mother tongue. I fear that the highly charged immigration issue may one day result in bloodshed, if not outright war, and that I probably live in what would be hostile territory in such a war. My Spanish skills may one day have to be put to use in combating the tricolor and what it stands for.

Enjoy the day. Know what it means, and f'crissakes, stay cool. It's gonna be in the high one-teens outside today.

Lady K said...

cork ~ right back atcha! I'll be enjoying a twilight zone marathon for awhile and catching up on some much needed vegging. I MIGHT go to the pool, if the brats aren't around.

cap'n h ~ Thanks for the history! You KNOW I know what this day means. And by the way, I can BELT this tune. BELT IT, I tells ya!

Cap'n H said...

"You hear guns in the night, and you hope they're not for you.
For a dog eats a dog and he eats his master too.
In the land of the free and the not-so-often brave.
There's both love or money, now choose what you will save."

--Joe Jackson

Cap'n H said...