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Music for Pouring Tea To


Did you know there’s an apparent genre of music based in politics, or more specifically the Tea Party? Well, there is and it’s not just called country music. Embedded on every page of the Patriot Action Network, which is a Tea Party-based Social Network, is a music player filled with anthems for America that basically go with the Tea Party mentality. There’s the usual God Bless America, O’ America by Celtic Women and of course your Toby Keith and others. But there’s also pop songs like “Crumbling Castle” about a girl who’s in a castle when it’s crumbling, and she needs somebody to save her? How does this fit with the Tea Party? Well, the castle represents America. You know, because America is broken.

The singer of the song is one Krista Branch, a pastor’s wife from Oklahoma who’s a personal favorite of Glenn Beck’s iPod. Consequently, she’s also become something short of a Tea Party darling, with a million hits on YouTube about her Tea Party anthem, “I Am America.” Listening to the song, it’s not exactly something you’d at first peg as a Tea Party song. After all, it has more of a Euro Pop vibe to it. But then you read the lyrics and then it gets clearer with lines like this:

How do you know she's Patriotic? She's singing in front of the American flag.

I’ve got some news, we’re taking names
We’re waiting now for the judgment day

I am America, one voice, united we stand
I am America, one hope to heal our land

There is still work that must be done
I will not rest until we’ve won

I am America

Ok, now it makes more sense. Also, is it just me or is it slightly antagonistic? Right before those lines, she says, “Pretend you’re kings, sit on your throne; look down your nose at the peasants below.” Now personally, I think politically-based lyrics are extremely hard to pull off, especially in a non-Country or rap context. It just feels wrong when the name “Nancy Pelosi” is being sung by anybody. Sure, Krista may have a decent-to-good voice, but that still can’t make up for the fact that it just doesn’t sound right.

He says it, so it must be true.

Why do you think it’s so hard to find music for the 4th of July? Songs about America and politics either play off as too sappy, or just plain sucky. We only know the lyrics of the National Anthem because somebody told us that is was our National Anthem. America’s official song if you will. That, and the fact that we’ve heard it a billion times, especially weekends when they play it before every possible sporting event because it’s tradition. So instead, we’re really stuck with maybe 3 or 4 songs about America that people can agree to play over fireworks displays. And I should add that one of those songs is now by Katy Perry.

You think that’s bad? Wait, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Meet the Rivoli Revue, a couple of country/rock singers that are also embraced by the Patriot Action Network music player, and also have a lot of YouTube hits. Mainly it’s for their at least slightly racist song, “Press One for English.”

They also have one in favor of Arizona’s recent & controversial Immigration law, where they sing, “What part of illegal don’t they understand?”

These people were clearly in Branson, Missouri at some point in their lives.

Now, whether you agree with the song or not, the question has to be asked, “Should we really argue serious political issues in song, where nobody can respond to us, unless it’s in a YouTube comment?”

That’s the main problem with politically-based songs in general. Since the opinion is expressed in song form, it’s not like life is a musical where we can sing back, “I agree with giving amnesty!” Note: If you do this, you have too much time on your hands.

The point is, there’s no room for debate, and therefore no room for fostering of ideas. It’s a form of preaching to the choir since you’re saying one thing, and whoever likes it is just agreeing with you.

The desire to have these songs comes from one thing: culture. You might already be pro-military and drape yourself in the American flag, have a 24/7 feed of Fox News streaming from your TV and be covered in various pins and bumper stickers, so why not have it in music? There’s a reason why “The Ballad of the Green Beret” has managed to live on more than a day after it was created. It’s because there’s a market for it. Granted, that market is categorically older, but it’s still there, and they desire that culture.

Right, because Liberals hate America...

Of course, maybe that’s the whole problem. We aren’t in a really Patriotic culture, so hearing pro-America songs just doesn’t sound right. If it was more prevalent, maybe it would sound better. Of course, maybe that’s not a problem at all. America is just a breeding ground of culture. It creates culture and it fosters it. But just because it can create a culture where we celebrate America, which makes creating the culture for worshiping itself popular. Or something like that. Point is, just because you’re in America doesn’t mean you have to be especially Patriotic. Which therefore means that you don’t  necessarily need pro-America music. You can have it and you can attempt to make a good one, but on a list of legitimate pursuits to be doing nowadays, artistically or otherwise, that’s pretty low.

Who knows, maybe in 40 years we’ll be creating songs of our own to protest robots gaining Artificial Intelligence, as if the Terminator series of movies hadn’t done that enough already. It is a form of expression after all, even if it doesn’t leave any room for rebuttals.

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