Monday, October 11, 2004

# Posted 7:48 AM by Patrick Belton  

OUT OF THE MAILBAG: You wrote in, and in droves, with your own favourite funny stupid national anthem tricks. Here are just three selections:
On the subject of state songs, you should be aware of that of Maryland, my favorite, by far.  You can find it here. Don't stop reading before you get to the last verse.   - Aaron Gurwitz (friend, incidentally, of OxParents Prof. Adesnik and Rabbi Hauptman) In re: 'It was adopted as the State song of Maryland in 1939 and remains so today, possibly because, as Richard Marius points out in The Columbia Book of Civil War Poetry, it has had little competition.'

Was rather surprised you didn't mention the Japanese. ed.: Duly remedied It's a lovely song with a somewhat mournful melody, glorifying the reign of the emperor (may you reign for 8000 yrs, etc.) Does he get time off for good behaviour? Some people think it sounds kind of evil. Very different, in any event, from the majority of national anthems. - Adrian Jensen, Columbia

You may already know this, but as far as outdated state songs go, Texas had a strong claim until recently.  From 1959 to 1993, we persisted in claiming, every time we sang "Texas, Our Texas," to be the "largest and grandest" state -- pointedly ignoring that other large upstart with oil so recently admitted to the Union.  (I remember being sentenced by my seventh grade Texas History teacher to stand in the corner for a half an hour back in, oh, about 1970 or so for arguing that I shouldn't have to sing a song that contained such an obvious lie.)  By act of the Texas Legislature in 1993, however, the song lyrics were amended to "boldest and grandest," which certainly puts those mellow Alaskans back in their place!  (Rumor was that the Legislature was trying to work in something about "Big Hair," but couldn't get the rhythm to work.) Plus, we have our own flag pledge. Best regards, Beldar
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