The song's theme is a positive interpretation of the history of immigration to the United States of America, both during the early 1900s and the present. Combining Diamond's typically powerful melody, dynamic arrangement, and bombastic vocal, it ends with an interpolation of the traditional patriotic song "My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. In Diamond's concerts, the song is a very popular number both home and abroad, with a large United States flag often displayed from the rafters on cue to the lyric, ‘Every time that flag's unfurled, they're coming to America’.
I often think it is a sad irony what the American nation is experiencing today. President Trump’s ‘No immigration policy’ contrasts so much with the liberal nature that America once displayed to all newcomers to their country in the early part of the last century. Indeed; it takes very little energy to forcefully argue that without that earlier mass immigration policy, and the newcomers that America allowed to its shores, that America would not have become as wealthy and as diversely cultural a nation as it is today.
During my early 20s, I emigrated to Canada for two years and during the initial months after my arrival in Montreal, I worked as a waiter on the long-distance journeys of the ‘Canadian Pacific Railway’. One of the perks of this job was that such travel enabled me to briefly see many parts of Canada and the USA for free, that I would probably have never seen otherwise. Once I arrived at each train destination, I would have a minimum of between four and eight hours 'rest over' period' before making the return journey to Montreal.
I have always had a twin love/hate perception of the Americans who constantly boast about being able to outgun any newcomer in town, outflank any person trying to be more streetwise than they claim to be, and outdo every ‘Son of a b…h’ that crosses them in muddy circumstances.
The part of American life I most admire, however, is their pioneering spirit, their fortitude in the eye of adversity, and their ‘get up and go’ attitude whenever they find themselves flat on their back. Mostly though, what they possess in spades that we are sadly lacking today, is their unflagging patriotism and love of country that Great Britain once had but has gradually lost/relinquished ever since the end of the 'Second World War'. No way would any American today (whether rich or poor, black or white, Democrat or Republican) ever seek to place any other country on the planet above that of their own. Such an act would be seen as being nothing less than 'treasonable'.
You can bet your sweet American ass that were the majority of USA citizens to find themselves in the European Union today (something that their independence, their 'Bill of Rights' and their love of liberty would never have allowed anyway), and wanting to get out tomorrow, that nothing short of a North Korean leader threatening nuclear destruction in their back yard would prevent whichever American President was in Office trumping the hands of Barnier, Junker and Tusk as he/she swept the floor with them in negotiations.
Why, I’d even trust the racist, misogynist, deceitful, double-dealing, warmongering, pollution promoting President Donald Trump to handle our negotiations to Brexit the European Union more effectively than any British political leader or politician we presently have (with a few exceptions)! Whether he/she had the majority of both Houses behind them (The Houses of Parliament and The House of Lords) or (The Senate and The Congress), or whether they held Office over a divided party,(The Conservative Party or The Labour Party) or (The Democrat Party or The Republican Party), you can bet your bottom dollar or sweet ass that the American President would win hands down every time over the achievement of a British Prime Minister who wasn't called Winston Churchill.
The first sign of Donald trump sniffing out that the European Commissioners and Presidents were bluffing and were holding no decent hand, he’d simply finish off his glass of bourbon and eat the last cucumber sandwich before leaving the table declaring, “I’m out of here now. I’ve already stayed too long! If there is anyone who can smell a bad egg in a rotten hen house, Chucky, it’s me! My name’s Trump not Duck or Dick Head!”
However bad a man British people think him to be (or actually is for that matter), I’d take Donald Trump any day of the week to negotiate more effectively with the European Union on our behalf rather than Teresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable or any of our political ‘Great Pretenders’; and I'm an Irish man who is ashamed and disgusted with the British politicians' failure to honour the expressed democratic vote and will of the British people to Brexit.
I guess that when all the water has boiled from the cooking pot, a lot of my American experience between 1963-65 must have rubbed off on this Irish traveller. “Long live America, Land of the Free” and “Long live England” (that independent country my family and I migrated to in the mid-1940s, and which we happily grew up in).
As for the land of my birth, (of which I remain a citizen and which Great Britain could choose to send me back to after the Brexit I believe in), I don't believe for one minute that the North and South of the Island of Ireland would ever return to what it was like before 'The Belfast Agreement'. It is in the interest of nobody, whatever type of border exists between them after Brexit! And while I won't be alive to see it, I'd bet the last American dollar I saved when I returned from Canada, that my own children will one day see a 'United Ireland' emerge, many decades faster than it ever would have done, 'because' of the current problem that 'The Irish Backstop' presents to the European Union and not 'in spite' of it!
Anyway, that's my political rant for the week, and if a man with a couple of terminal cancers isn't allowed to get a few irksome things off his chest, then who is?
Love and peace Bill xxx