Just found a beautiful song that really captures the way I feel about this country. The wars, the economy, watching the rich get richer as they outsource all our jobs and sneer at us as they put us out on the sidewalks, ridiculous electioneering politicians, no leadership to be found, but demagogues aplenty… Yet I want to be proud of this place. Maybe we started out as a bunch of slaveholders, we did a lot of great things. Created space for freedom and big ideas for a while. I try to stay proud and patriotic, but it feels kind of hollow. Despite it all though, there are still a lot of good people here doing the best they can. When I get bummed out about the country, I think about that.
Joe Henry captures that feeling so well in this song, I get weepy listening to it:
I saw Willie Mays At a Scotsdale Home Depot Looking at Garage Door Springs At the the far end of the 14th row His wife stood there beside him She was quiet and they both were proud I gave them room but was close enough That I heard him when he said out loud This was my country And this was my song Somewhere in the middle there Though it started badly and it's ending wrong This was my country This frightful and this angry land But it's my right if the worst of it might still Somehow make me a better man The sun is unforgiving And there's nobody who would choose this town But we've squandered so much of our goodwill That there's nowhere else will have us now We're pushing line at the picture show For cool air and a chance to see A vision of ourselves portrayed As younger and braver and humble and free< This was our country This was our song Somewhere in the middle there Though it started badly and it's ending wrong This was our country This frightful and this angry land But it's my right if the worst of it might still Somehow make me a better man I've started something I can't finish And I barely leave the house, it's true I keep a wrap on my sores and joints But yes, I've had my blessings too< I've got my mother's pretty feet And the factory keeps my house in shape My children, they've both been paroled< And we get by on the piece we've made I feel safe, so far from heaven From towers and their ocean views From here I see a future coming across What soon will be beaches too But that was him, I'm almost sure The greatest centerfielder of all time Stooped by the burden of endless dreams His and yours and mine He hooked each spring beneath his foot He leaned over then he stood upright Testing each against his weight For one that had some play and some fight He's just like us, I wanna tell him And our needs are small enough Something to slow a heavy door Something to help us raise one up And this was my country This was my song Somewhere in the middle there Though it started badly and it's ending wrong Well, this was God's country This frightful and this angry land But if it's his will, the worst of it might still Somehow make me a better man If it's his will, the worst of it might still Somehow make me a better man