Monday, November 7, 2016

God Bless America??

These times, they are a changin’. 
I remember the first time I mentioned a Rock group from the days of my youth or some song they had made famous --- and the kids’ reactions of:  “Huh?”  Now I can comment on some fact of history and many young people react in the same way.  Those things bother me --- not knowing history more than not knowing the words to some Rock and Roll song --- but what is bothering me more is that some new, politically correct, things are becoming law, and the young not being aware that once, in this great country, you could say those words and not fear for your job, or that your house might be picketed or your kids sought out, or even that those words were once treasured.
These times, they are a changin’, and not, I fear, for the better.
I suspect that most young children today have heard of neither Irving Berlin nor Kate Smith.  Nor have they probably heard Kate Smith’s sing the song which I used to sing every single day in school, when I was growing up.  Now to sing that song is undoubtedly politically incorrect, and certainly the words themselves are illegal to be said in our schools (and soon to be illegal in public, I wouldn’t doubt).  Already in most church hymnals the song and words, which used to be so common, are not listed, and are not sung.
But I remember.
And so at the close of this morning’s mass, I stood and loudly proposed to the small gathering that we sing that song as the closing hymn, and all the old people there knew the words, and they thanked me after.  And so we sang:

God Bless America
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her,
Through the night with the light from above.
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam.
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
(Irving Berlin, 1918)

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