Born in the U. S. A.: The Myths of America in Popular Music by Timothy E. Scheurer

By Timothy E. Scheurer

This is often the 1st research to discover absolutely the parable of the USA as mirrored within the nation’s well known song. starting with the songs of the Pilgrims and carrying on with via greater than centuries of heritage and track, Born within the U.S.A. indicates the rising American delusion and provides an in depth analyzing of the compositions of songwriters as diversified as William Billings, Henry Clay paintings, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.

So that the total and numerous narrative of this complicated kingdom will be recorded, this insightful research is concentrated either upon the nationwide delusion and upon the songwriters and performers representing subcultures and substitute viewpoints which are the textual content of America’s tale. via hymnlike paeans and during discordant lamentations protesting the realities of the modern workaday international, renowned song is an incredible reflect of yank historical past.

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Extra info for Born in the U. S. A.: The Myths of America in Popular Music from Colonial Times to the Present

Example text

For now, however, we must look at the final stanzas where the songwriter draws together most of the dominant mythemes and, with great effectiveness, reconciles the colonists' secular faith in liberty with their religious faith in God's providential role. Our fathers were distressed, while in their native land, By tyrants were oppressed, as we do understand; For freedom and religion, they were resolved to stray, And trace the desert regions of North America. We are their bold descendants, for liberty we'll fight, The claim to independence we challenge as our right; Tis what kind heaven gave us, who can take it away— O, Heaven sure will save us in North America.

I974/ 13) The land, then, becomes the perfect complement for the mythic destiny of God's chosen people: Like the people of Moses they will wander and struggle with its forces, but ultimately it will yield riches and in enough abundance to sustain a people of destiny. The psalms present images of the "wilderness" that reaffirm the duality of God's providential role in history. The wilderness is subject to God's power, and clearly functions as but a manifestation of that awesome power. A. For each beast of the wood to Me perteyns The beasts that on a thousand mountayns bee.

Most balladeers—although a few were well educated for their day—were little more than average citizens. Nevertheless, many managed to draw together these disparate strands in the verses of a broadside, bringing together the mythemes of God's role in the country's destiny, the sacrifice of the forefathers, the land, and the principles upon which all were based: liberty, opportunity, and equality. In doing so, they helped people deal with the frightening idea that they were engaged in changing their world.

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