January 04, 2012
Original Intent

From The Loyal Opposition:

At an early-morning rally today, a few hours before the Iowa caucuses begin, [Romney] discussed his love for the patriotic song — probably the most beloved in the canon — and recited several of the song’s verses, strongly suggesting that its vision of the country differed from President Obama’s…

The lyrics were written in 1894 by the Massachusetts poet Katharine Lee Bates, an ardent feminist and lesbian who was deeply disillusioned by the greed and excess of the Gilded Age.

Her original third verse was an expression of that anger:

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 04, 2012 01:23 PM
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Heh. I saw Arlo Guthrie in concert last spring - he tells a delightful anecdote about discovering in kindergarten or first grade that one of the songs the kids were being taught had been written by his father. He excitedly tells his father about this, whereupon Woody sits him down and shares 'the rest of' This Land Is Your Land with him.

Posted by: Kurt Weldon on January 4, 2012 4:14 PM
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