Happy Independence Day! It’s generally agreed that “The Star Spangled Banner” is a lame national anthem. Maybe “La Marseillaise” is the only good one. But America deserves better. So Billy and Dad’s challenge is to nominate songs that would be our national anthem in a perfect world.
Here are some of our contenders.
Billy suggests Fats Domino’s “My Blue Heaven.”
I turn to the right,
A little white light
Will lead you to my blue heaven.
Billy also nominates Junior Walker and the All-Stars’ “Way Back Home.” Man, just imagine singing that before a baseball game!
Maybe it’s too parochial, but Dad would like to see W.C. Handy’s “Beale Street Blues.”
You’ll see pretty browns in beautiful gowns,
You’ll see tailor-mades and hand-me-downs,
You’ll meet honest men and pick-pockets skilled,
You’ll find that business never closes
Till somebody gets killed.
If Beale Street could talk, if Beale Street could talk,
Married men would have to take their beds and walk,
Except one or two, who never drink booze,
And the blind man on the corner
Who sings the Beale Street Blues.
He said, “I’d rather be there than anyplace I know.
Yes, I’d rather be here, than anyplace I know.
It’s gonna take the Sergeant, for to make me go.”
“I’m goin’ to the river, maybe by and by.
Yes, I’m goin’ to the river and there’s a reason why,
Because the river’s wet and Beale Street’s done gone dry.”
Ain’t that America?
Dad also is partial to “Take the A Train.”
What captures the spirit of America better than that?