Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Thee I Sing!

The first song I learned about America was This Land Is Your Land. I was in a hippie classroom, and the other songs we sang during "rug time" were Old MacDonald, Farmer In The Dell, Yellow Submarine, and Love Potion Number Nine. Of course we all sang Elbow Room from Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings in front of the TV.

I learned America The Beautiful once I started attending CSH. I guess I knew the tune, but during Mass I would read the words in the hymn books tucked into pockets on the pews, and "America The Beautiful" was on the last page. When I grew up, I learned from a friend who worked in the Colorado State Parks that the lyrics were written by a lesbian after she had ridden a wagon up to the summit of Pike's Peak and she had looked over the plain below.

When I was hanging around with ComedySportz, like every other athletic event, the evening always started with the singing of the National Anthem. I don't like this song as much as I like "America The Beautiful" or "My Country 'Tis Of Thee," but I heard on NPR during the Olympics last year that most national anthems include lyrics referring to battle (the French one famously so). What "The Start Spangled Banner" does have as an advantage is its challenge to sing well. When I went to East Bay Harmony for the first time, I sang it to determine that I should sing with the altos.

I'll be singing some song on Tuesday, and after Tuesday. There's a lot to be done and the ideal will never match the reality, but I, like the ant with the rubber tree plant, have hope.

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