Friday, 26 November 2010

America the Beautiful

"America the Beautiful" has been recorded by so many different people, and it's also had verses added by many, many people. You go on the internet, and you'll see there's all kinds of verses from all kinds of perspectives. I mean, some of them are really kind of racist, and others are just kind of natural and beautiful.

But my friend John Herrington, Commander John Herrington, was the first Native American astronaut. And when he was going to get his ride, NASA invited me to sing and invited a whole lot people to come from his reservation, Chickasaw reservation in Oklahoma. And I had been thinking about "America the Beautiful," so I wrote new verses for it, and I also wrote an introduction for it. It says, [singing] "There were Choctaws in Alabama, Chippewas in Saint Paul. Mississippi mud runs like a river in me. America, ooh, she's like a mother to me." So it's-and the verses continue from there, with small changes, and then there's a middle section, too.

But it really reflects kind of a different approach to America than you usually see in the headlines. It's about America the country, not America the nation state. It's about the real America that so many people, regardless of their political associations, really feel in their hearts-you know, this beautiful, beautiful place. So, it's yet another take on "America the Beautiful." People seem to enjoy it.

--------------------------BUY ALBUM/DVD-------------------------------

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Loved listening to this song, great to pull away from the usual political overtones and focus on the land itself and the people therein - as you mention. This is the first time to have heard it. I am a Native Canadian who's dad was born in Vermont - I think of that also as a homeland, as do my Maple Syrup producing relatives that are of Algonquin ancestry. My native roots here are of an area of Central Coast BC (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw) ...perhaps I will be inspired to write such a lovely song, and find a young singer with musical talent to sing and play it!

With love and respect, C.