Weekly Song Challenge — Red, White, and Blue

054C35C1-F2B2-4D2B-B1F0-C81F813A7661For this week’s Weekly Song Challenge, Laura has asked us to post videos reflective of Veterans Day in the United States.

Her rules are:

  • Copy the rules and add them to our own post, pinging back to Laura’s post.
  • Post music videos for our answers to the musical questions.
  • Tag two people anyone who wants to participate!

So here goes.

1. Post a song that is about your country.

2. Post a song that is patriotic.

3. Post a song that has the color — red, white, or blue — in either the title or lyrics.

Okay, now it’s your turn.

Song Lyric Sunday

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us Bus/Truck/Lorry. And the song I chose for this theme is “America” by Simon & Garfunkel, where the singer and his girlfriend boarded a Greyhound (bus) in search for America.

“America,” written by Paul Simon, was released on the duo’s fourth studio album, Bookends, in 1968. It was later released as a single in 1972 to promote the release of Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits.

The song is about young lovers hitchhiking their way across the United States, in search of “America,” in both a literal and figurative sense. It was inspired by a five-day road trip Simon took in September 1964 with his then girlfriend Kathy Chitty. They were coming back to America from England, and Paul was deeply confused and unsatisfied, but he didn’t understand why he felt that way. His lyrics include the line, “I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.” He just knew that something was missing.

Interestingly, there are no rhymes in this song. The entire song is prose. There’s not one line that rhymes, which is unusual for a pop song.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Let us be lovers,
We’ll marry our fortunes together.
I’ve got some real estate
Here in my bag.

So we bought a pack of cigarettes,
And Mrs. Wagner’s pies,
And walked off
To look for America.
“Kathy”, I said,
As we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh,
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.

It took me four days
To hitch-hike from Saginaw.
“I’ve come to look for America.”

Laughing on the bus,
Playing games with the faces,
She said the man in the gabardine suit
Was a spy.

I said, “Be careful,
His bow tie is really a camera.”
“Toss me a cigarette,
I think there’s one in my raincoat.”
We smoked the last one
An hour ago.

So I looked at the scenery,
She read her magazine;
And the moon rose over an open field.
“Kathy, I’m lost”, I said,
Though I knew she was sleeping.
“I’m empty and aching and
I don’t know why.”

Counting the cars
On the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come
To look for America,
All come to look for America,
All come to look for America.

God Help America!

2507021E-A074-4446-9AB3-8669A896A4D4“So have you decided who you’re going to vote for in the 2020 election next year?” Dave asked his coworker.

“Yeah, I’m going to vote for Trump,” Steve said. “The value of my 401(k) has jumped by almost half a million since the 2016 election. How could I not vote for him? What about you?”

“First of all, that’s a very self-serving reason to vote for Trump. Second of all, let me assure you that wild horses couldn’t make me vote for that moron,” Dave said. “There are some good candidates on the Democratic side who would be so much better than he is.”

Steve let out a robust laugh. “That’s wishful thinking, bud,” he said. “The Dems can’t get out of their own way. They’re coming across as weak, disorganized, and divided. You’d think with all the shit Trump has pulled, impeachment would be a no-brainer, but they can’t even agree to do that.”

“Okay, I have to concur with you on that,” Dave admitted. “But Trump is destroying our environment, spending billions on the stupid vanity wall of his, treating people inhumanely at the southern border, is in bed with foreign autocrats, and is breaking all kinds of laws. Even the worst Democrat would be better than he is.”

“But the stock market is going gangbusters,” Steve said. “Listen, you might as well bite the bullet, pal, and get used to the Trump name. He’s going to win in 2020 and he’s got a nest full of kids to keep the dynasty going, starting with Ivanka, who is being groomed to be America’s first female president.”

Dave shook his head. “God help the United States of America,” he sighed.


Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (election), Ragtag Daily Prompt (horses), Your Daily Word Prompt (laugh), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (wishful), Word of the Day Challenge (concur), and Daily Addictions (nest).

Song Lyric Sunday — No Name

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us Cowboy, Gun, Hat, Horse, and Western. For me (and probably a few others, as well), the first song that popped into my head was “A Horse With No Name” by America.

Recorded in 1971 and released in the U.S. in early 1972, the song was written by Dewey Bunnell, lead singer for the folk rock band America. It was the band’s first and most successful single.

The song was commonly misinterpreted to being about drugs, given that “horse” was often used as slang for heroin. It was even banned from being played by some radio stations in the U.S. because of its alleged drug references. But according to Bunnell, the song’s original title was “Desert Song,” and it was written about the desert scenery and images he encountered when he was visiting his father when he was stationed at an Air Force base near Santa Barbara, California.

According to Bunnell, the “horse” represents a means of entering a place of tranquility, and this tranquil place was best represented by the desert. As to why the horse had no name and why it went free after nine days, Bunnell doesn’t have any answer.

Personally, I’ve always thought that the lyrics to this song, as is the case with the lyrics to many of America’s songs — the group, not the country — were written under the influence of pot or acid, but the band members strongly deny that.

Here are the lyrics to “A Horse With No Name.”

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la

Weekend Writing Prompt — Vulnerable

43A715BB-C3E8-4320-A5E9-B46D18F6F3BEI never thought I’d see the day when America would be vulnerable to becoming an autocracy.

Then along came Donald Trump.

(21 words)


35CBBA8C-02CC-40E2-8249-E6BB3707BA14Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “vulnerable” in exactly 21 words. Photo credit: Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post.