Thursday, September 24, 2009

Political music 

From Drudge, via Instapundit and Althouse, a three month old video of a group of young students "at the B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, NJ" (according to the YouTube description):

A number of observations:

At least patriotism is cool again -- kids can sing the praises of sitting President of the United States in school.

The middle name is evidently OK to use again, at least if it assists in the flow of the lyrics or melody. It's hard to keep track of when it is permissible and when it is not, but I would short that position 30 months out.

Using the music from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," a wonderful and powerful Civil War piece, would not have been my first choice, and for pure uplifting snappiness, it pales in comparison to perhaps the gold standard for political song making, Frank Sinatra's (later a famous Reagan Democrat) 1960 version of "High Hopes":

I admit a bias for this tune. After every home win at Citizens Bank Park, as the Phillies are leaving the field, a regular version of this tune led by the late Harry Kalas (the long time play-by-play announcer), lights up the video screen in the outfield, and the crowd sings along.

Of course, there is a difference between a recording artist making a campaign song, and having young kids in school use an old tune with new and praising lyrics for the most senior elected official in the land. While I don't think that this activity brainwashes kids that age, it is understandable that many people would have a strong reaction to the video, since Americans generally (and thankfully) have avoided cults of personality with political figures. Anyway, trying to indoctrinate at that age will likely result in rebellion somewhere down the road. I wouldn't want to be that school's Principal this week, however.

CWCID: Drudge, Instapundit, Althouse, and The Chairman of the Board.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 24, 02:59:00 PM:

"At least patriotism is cool again"?

What's so patriotic about their song?

If you think this indoctrination, and objectionable for that reason, say so. If not, say that.  

By Anonymous JSF, at Thu Sep 24, 03:16:00 PM:

Something in the kids video looks out of place to me..
What is it.... what is it....?
Oh yeah, where's their brown shirts?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 25, 03:16:00 PM:

At Catholic School in Queens in the early sixties, we used to sing "John F. Kennedy, A remarkable young man is he, AT age 43, elected to the presidency!" So, maybe this is not unprecedented  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Sep 26, 08:20:00 AM:

The poor kids can't win!

If they had chosen to sing the original lyrics of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with words such as "Lord", "Christ" and "God" they would have been in even MORE trouble.

Of course, the only difference between God and Obama is that God doesn't think he's Obama...  

By Blogger davod, at Sun Sep 27, 12:56:00 PM:

This morning a Fox comentator tried the "they did it for Bush" rationalization. Unfortunately, the kids that sang a song to Laura Bush at a White House Easter Egg Roll did it the right way - A song of thanks to America -

Our country’s stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us and we join them hand-in-hand!  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?