May 24, 2010

I'm So Bored With The USA

31st March - 13th April
Buffalo NY/Toronto ON

Not really. And I don't think The Clash were either. Their American influences became ever more apparent on their sleeveless shirts. Americans revere them much more than we Brits do now. But I am tired and want to go home. I crave some Warburtons bread and a pint of bitter. And decent cheese as standard. That said, I don't want to leave Buffalo. My friends are here. It helps that those friends get me free drinks and entrance into shows too but even if they didn't, I'd wish I could stay here. Damn immigration laws and damn private health care.

It's been a long trip. I ought to thank all the people who let us stay with them or showed us around or hung out or just cared. I know that might be boring to read so feel free to skip ahead. It won't bother me. I'm more worried about missing someone off the list. But thems the risks... so thank you... Michael, Tara, Geoff, Daryl, Alexis, Erik, Donny, Chantal, Mark, Tim, Sharon, Zeno, Lorelei, Mike, Meri, Mike, Missy, Kevin, Jeff, Donna, Michael, Louise, Jon, Kelli and Ward.

The one state I'd urge you all to see is Montana. Bozeman could be a place to live. And I liked a lot about California way more than I thought I would. New Orleans I owe a second visit too. Being ill there was shameful. Atlanta too. Though God knows I'll never forget the Clermont Lounge. Or Jumbos Clown Room in L.A. On the other side of the fence, I can't imagine me ever setting foot in Oklahoma again. I wish we'd had the time to visit the northern states, the Dakotas especially. And I really wanted to see some more of Kentucky if only so I could write about their state song My Old Kentucky Home which used to open with the the following lines...

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
'Tis summer, the darkies are gay

Darkies? Seriously? Fucking Hell!
And it doesn't stop there. Verse two has the line...

The time has come when the darkies have to part

And verse three, not wanting to be left out, has these charming couplets...

The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the darky may go;
A few more days, and the trouble all will end,
In the field where the sugar-canes grow;

Now it was written back in 1852 and no doubt such a word wouldn't have caused offence back then. Truth be told the whole lyric is, if anything, pretty sympathetic to the darkies' plight. (Though not in any way advocating emancipation or any such foolish notion.) But what really amazes me about the song is this - it stood proudly extant as the official song of the state of Kentucky until... 1986. Then the Kentucky General Assembly changed the word darkie to the word people. Phew.

But I know I have to go back and hear those good folk of Kentucky sing that song. Maybe at the University of Kentucky football games.

I ain't done with these songs and this country yet.

1 comment:

  1. Still identifying with the spirit of Holden Caulfield