Friday, July 4, 2008

These Are Not Americans

On this Fourth of July, it's important for US Americans (and most of my readers are American) to remember our status as citizens of the planet. While you're watching your outdoor fireworks or eating grilled animal or vegetable flesh, there's a whole planet full of people who don't really care about our Independence Day.

Here's a mix of a dozen songs about the USA by non-Americans. These songs are all sung by citizens of another great country that granted us independence 232 years ago (actually a few years later when we beat them in a war). Fire these songs up on your laptop (or wi-fi enable cellphone, or networked iPod) while your firing up your grill to remember the views of non-Americans like these Englishmen (who are all English and all men) toward our country. They don't hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our arrogance (and all the crappy music and movies and TV shows we send abroad!).

These Are Not Americans
  1. "America" - The Nice
  2. "America" - Yes
  3. "Young Americans" - David Bowie
  4. "I'm So Bored With The USA" - The Clash
  5. "Crawling To The USA" - Elvis Costello
  6. "American Squirm" - Nick Lowe
  7. "America" - Robyn Hitchcock
  8. "This Is Not America" - David Bowie
  9. "Just Like The USA" - Aztec Camera
  10. "American Eyes" - The Lilac Time
  11. "Help Save The Youth Of America" - Billy Bragg
  12. "51st State" - New Model Army
All three songs called "America" are different songs.  The Nice track is the one from West Side Story (written by Woodward and Bernstein, or Sondheim and Bernstein, or whoever) extended to seven minutes with lots of organ solos. The Yes track is the one by Simon and Garfunkel (or probably just Simon) about counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike. The Robyn Hitchcock one is by Robyn Hitchcock, and all the others are also written by their (non-American) authors.

There are two songs by (non-American) David Bowie from two different decades. Even though British people all claim to not like America, they continue to enjoy singing about its Ford Mustangs and President Nixons.

Happy 4th of July everyone. Don't drink or eat too much and stay safe!

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