Somewhere between the tongue-in-cheek satire of Trey Parker and Matt Stone – “America: Fuck Yeah” and the antagonisticly soaring “Star Spangled Banner” by Hendrix at Woodstock there lies a handful of rock songs that actually might encapsulate something to be remembered today, Memorial Day in the United States of America. Originally set aside as Decoration Day in memory of the Union troops who died during the Civil War to keep this great nation whole, the holiday has morphed to become a celebration of any person, particularly those of military service, who lost their life in the service of these United States.
Sadly, Stateside douchbaggery is all too common and the political infighting that continues to divide this nation based on a grand splintering into ideological groups so self-absorbed and self-concerned they have lost the social idealism that brought all the peoples who founded this nation together no matter how different they were. Most of what Memorial Day stood for is now lost in BBQs, beer and bikinis as it morphed from a solemn remembrance to a super-party where beaches are packed solid but cemeteries are nearly empty as we ring in the unofficial beginning of summer as opposed to truly understanding how we were granted the ability to party in the first place.
Those of us who can see past the ailes of modern America have a few things to rock along with and he’s my short list of memories to embrace the holiday with… if I actually bothered to maybe research a few more the list would be longer, so feel free to add in at the end as you see fit…
Chuck Berry “Back in the USA”
Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band “Born in the USA” from Born in the USA
john Cougar Melloncamp “R O C K in the USA”
Grand Funk Railroad “We’re an American Band” from American Band
Neil Young “Rocking in the Free World”
Paul McCartney “Freedom”
Sleep Station “America” from Blood of Our Fathers
Jimi Hendrix “Freedom” from First Rays of the New Rising Sun
Iced Earth “When the Eagle Cries” from the Glorious Burden
Queensryche “I’m american” from Operation: Mindcrime II
David Bowie “Young Americans” from Young Americans
I left off “American Woman” by the Guess Who because it’s actually meant to be a bit of a poke at the US during the Vietnam-era by a Canadian band reacting to the cultural schizm exiting here. It is a great song though….