Monday Jul 16 2012
From Where I Sit: Marching through my patriotic play list
By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
I recently decided to take a stroll around the block. It was the evening part of Independence Day. People were beginning to gather in front of houses with their fireworks. The growing excitement was palpable. While meandering the one mile of streets, I listened to my seven-year-old iPod. By the way, if anyone knows how to get a laptop to start recognizing an iPod again, please e-mail me with instructions. I can only listen to my old faithful friend but can?t add or remove music on it anymore. So in the spirit of the day, I decided to listen to music appropriate to the occasion. It started with ?The Star Spangled Banner.? Except for sporting events, most Americans have scant knowledge of our National Anthem. Being from Baltimore helped me get indoctrinated in this part of our shared history. Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem, is in the area. By the way, the anthem?s final words are not, contrary to many people?s opinions, ?the land of the free and the home of the brave play ball.? My Fourth of July play list, dubbed ?Americana,? next played ?Columbia the Gem of the Ocean,? ?Shenandoah? and ?Yankee Doodle.? Do you remember that last one? Kids don?t sing these anymore, do they? ?The Battle Hymn of the Republic,? ?Over There? (?the Yanks are coming?), and ?America the Beautiful? came next. Do we ever hear any of these? But then I heard ?My Country ?Tis of Thee.? We used to sing that one in grade school. Do they do that anymore? This pleasant little trek was becoming a morose contemplation of the way things used to be and the way things aren?t anymore. Well, the walk was near an end and twilight gave way to dusk. Dark wasn?t far behind. There was just time for Terry Cashman?s ?Willie, Mickey and the Duke,? a few songs by Woody Guthrie and finally, ?American Pie? by Don McLean. Hey, I remember when that song first came out and took up so much AM radio time (?WCAO in Baltimore with your host Johnny Dark?). What songs would comprise your patriotic play list? Oh there are many others I haven?t mentioned. For whatever quirky reason, these are the ones that stuck to my cumulative memory over the years. Back at home, still no success between the iPod and laptop. Someone hurry please and help. I need to download more songs for next year. Reach Tom Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org.