Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

02 July 2006

"God Bless America"

This is the last song in this book. It feels like a true Reader's Digest moment to end on a patriotic note. I liked singing this, even with the 'God' bit. It's another one that feels good in my mouth, good in my ear. I'm nervous about starting the 'songs of faith' book tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be good for me, somehow. I'm still trying to find an affordable copy of the Reader's Digest Country and Western Songbook. Who the heck else wants these things?

Patriotism is a tricky thing for me. I consider myself very lucky to be American, I know that I have it very good here, as a relatively average citizen. I cherish our collective story, and I cherish the people of our country. We have an energy that is rather forceful, admittedly, but it has its uses and even its charm at times. I do grieve the fact that there is no where in the world where my accent is considered 'charming', alas, and that large groups of people apparantly want to kill me because of where I live.

Our leadership is, unfortunately, not the cream of the crop, and I regularly feel incredibly embarassed at their actions and decisions. Very few people in charge seem to be obviously planning for any kind of healthy long-term goals, and I have a bias against those who do not plan for the future. I vote every election, I do attempt to have some say in the matter. Democracy does seem like the best idea, but it is an awful lot of work to do it right on even a personal level.

Tribal consciousness seems an inevitable part of who we are, hard-wired into our beings. We need enemies in order to define ourselves by what we are not. In this technological age, when the world feels in many ways very small, needing this kind of definition seems very counter-productive for our long term survival as a planet. How can I be proud to be American, if it means that I should be hating other people, or needing their inevitable change, as a part of that definition? Knowing that my government has technologically advanced methods of destruction at its fingertips? Why the hell can't we all be part of a happy, difference-appreciative family? Can the large scale population of Earth ever reflect the best that is possible on a smaller, more personal scale?

July fourth has never been a big holiday for me, fireworks are very pretty, but very loud. In the last few years I've come to appreciate a nice barbeque or picnic with friends, though we don't have anything like that planned for this year. I hope that America is blessed with grace, with understanding and wisdom, with a vision that we can all agree on.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter