There is only one song worthy of American ‘Independence Day’ and that is ‘America’. ‘America’ is a patriotic song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond. It was released in 1980 on the soundtrack album of Diamond's film ‘The Jazz Singer’. The song was a hit single in the United States in 1981, reaching number eight on the ‘Billboard Top 100’.
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. There are many complaints against the American President’s conduct, expressed views on women and race, twitters and specific governmental policies BUT FLYING THE AMERICAN FLAG HIGH AND SINGING THE AMERICAN ANTHEM LOUD AND CLEAR WITH PLEDGED HEARTS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!
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 twenty-four 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 bitch’ 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 British are sadly lacking today, is their unflagging patriotism and love of country. Such patriotic fervour 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.
The first sign that an American President smelt a rat lurking beneath the 'European Negotiating Brexit Table', he'd immediately remove the baited cheese and activate the trap of awareness. He’d simply declare, “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 Donald, not Duck or Dick Head!”
I am a born a bred Irish man who has always lived in England. Indeed, all that I have been given since I entered this world has been from England; a home, full-time employment, educated beyond degree level, health provision, social provision, disability provision, national security and individual freedom. Although I will always choose to remain an Irish citizen, I will forever remain grateful to England for providing my parents and their children with the means of living a good life when they migrated to West Yorkshire during the early 1940s.
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 we obtain 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', with or without a Brexit. 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 who currently has three cancers in different parts of his body isn't allowed to get a few irksome things off his chest, then who is?
To all you Americans, wherever you live, I urge you to continue flying your flag high for as long as you live, Continue to fly it high and fly it proud wherever you live, and remain patriotic to your country through difficult times when the rest of the world find it easy to take a cheap snipe at you. Thank you also for including Great Britain to take protective shelter under your nuclear umbrella ever since the end of the 'Second World War'. Happy 'Independence Day'. Long Live America!
Love and peace Bill xxx.