With the United States presidential elections coming up within a couple of days (November 8th), the country’s more anxious than ever to see who will be elected to run the nation for the next four years. Truly, this presidential campaign has got to be one of the craziest ones yet, considering that neither of the two candidates are overwhelmingly favored by the American population, and along with all of the muckraking going on since last year, I’m ready for it to be done and over with.
That said, today’s post will be a special “Sunday Slow Jam” one, as it’s related to the political circumstances in the nation right now. I introduce to you Five for Fighting’s “America Town,” which had come out back in 2000 when we as a nation had also gone through the same political tensions, later resulting in the election of former-president George W. Bush.
***FYI I was unable to find the studio version of this song on Youtube, but found a live recording, so this will have to suffice!***
When I first listened to this song as a young teenager, I first enjoyed the musical quality of it, for it’s really guitar-driven and had this rock-country sound to it, which never ceased to energize me whenever I felt tired.
However, later I began listening to the lyrics, and you can tell that it’s rather politically-charged. From the beginning lines of “I know I should be happy in your land/
It’s not all that wild to me/Not that I want to be any other where/I know it’s hell out there” to “Hail to the chief/Let’s just drag them all down/There’s got to be a hero somewhere,” there is certainly a pessimistic tone towards American politics, and it’s pretty evident that the singer had, well, certain opinions of the political atmosphere during the time in which this song was released.
Interestingly, the motif of this song references a lot of “betting” and “spinning dollies (dollars),” thus giving it a kind of gambling, Las Vegas-esque image, which may or may not be intentionally used as a metaphor for the state of the country’s capitalistic ventures.
I’m probably doing too deep into this, and so for the sake of avoiding any heated discussion, I’ll stop right here and say that, despite the evident political themes in “America Town,” it’s nevertheless a catchy song to blast from your car as you drive along the Interstate in our large, tumultuous country. Let’s see how the elections turn out this time around; all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that I won’t be returning to a chaotic nation next year! 😛
Take care, and have a good rest of the weekend!
— The Finicky Cynic
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