23 April, 2007

The Serious Business of Politics

My home state of Florida is looking for a new tune. Efforts are underway to ditch "Swanee River" by Stephen Foster, which has been the official state song since 1935. It seems most other folks now accept the fact that nobody in their right mind "longs for de old plantation," certainly not the "darkeys" Foster referenced in his lyrics. I will be happy to see it go; no song using the word "darkey" should be a state song any more than Confederate battle flags should fly over state capitols. Period.

Aside from the controversial lyrics and their revisionist history viewpoint - I challenge you to find me the narrative of any former slave who might refer to the plantation as "my good old home" - Foster never set foot in the state and even misspelled the name of the river. Suwannee not Swanee, Steve. Here are my suggestions.....

Most appropriate:
Lawyers, Guns, & Money by Warren Zevon
(because the shit long ago hit the fan)
Actually, the late, great Mr. Zevon has enough fitting songs to provide Florida with an official state CD.....

Deep Down in Florida by Muddy Waters because Muddy even makes Newberry sound cool.
Rednecks by Randy Newman because far too many people in Florida actually DO NOT "know their ass from a hole in the ground", usually those in charge of something important. Note: you do not have to be from the rural South to be a redneck. I have met candidates for the position far and wide.
Ball of Confusion by The Temptations
As much as I love Floridays, Migration, and Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season by Jimmy Buffett, beach bums can't afford to live here anymore and picking one of those seems disingenuous.

Perhaps when the state deals with this issue they can move on to the other pressing issues facing them like pardoning Jim Morrisson. Yes, that Morrisson. The dead one.

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