Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

Liberty 1 Happy 4th of July fellow Americans! So while I was trying to find a video and joke to match what I posted for my Canadian neighbors a few days ago, I came across a video where Americans were asked to sing the national anthem, and of course, no one could. Yeah, well, I can't either. When I Googled the lyrics for the The Star Spangled Banner, I was shocked at its length.

I mean here's Canada's national anthem (although, they do have 3 versions - English, French, and Inuktitut:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Nice and simple. Then I couldn't help but think of Edelweiss, what I thought was Austria's national anthem - you know, the one the Sound of Music's Van Trappe family sang in defiance of the German's impending occupation? Also simple. Except that it's not Austria's national anthem. The song was written by Rodgers & Hammerstein just for the movie. Just as I was feeling stupid about this, I read that in 1984 President Reagan actually played it for Austria's President, also thinking it was their anthem. Duh. Their real anthem is a bit more complicated, but check out ours:

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
’Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust;”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Are you kidding me??? Are we at all surprised that this was a poem written by a lawyer? If that isn't long enough for you, Oliver Wendell Holmes added a fifth stanza to the song in 1861 when he got all ticked off over the Civil War (and yes school kids had to sing it).

When our land is illumined with liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that tries to defile
The flag of the stars, and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained,
Who their birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

Well, at least the anthem was set to the tune of an old English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven (really). I think we need a new national anthem - maybe this time written by Justin Bieber. I'll bet that one would be really simple.

Your joke (its pathetic, but my pickings were slim):

Two brothers have a lifelong dream to immigrate to America. They work hard and save their money. After many years, they have saved enough money and finally emigrate into New York.

Before they begin building their new lives in America, they decide to see some of the famous places they dreamed of for so long; the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Rockettes, and others. Eventually, they make their way to Coney Island.

As they stroll down the beach, taking in all the newness of America, they see a very large billboard that reads: "HOT DOGS," with a big arrow pointing down to a little hot dog stand. Being hungry and seeing that having an American hot dog would be something new, they decide to try one. So they order two hot dogs and sit on a nearby bench to enjoy another piece of Americana.

The first brother sets his hot dog in his lap, unfolds the paper wrapper, looks at his hot dog for a moment, and suddenly wraps it back up.

He then turns to his brother and says, "What part of the dog did you get?"
Flag Wave 1 Here's Robin Williams take on being an American flag:



We'll be saluting America from Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack, where there will be concerts on the beach, a buffet, and fireworks! Hope you all have a fun and safe day!
Fireworkes