I got really choked up watching this:
It’s really fun to note the three additional lefty verses that have been scrubbed out of what we normally hear. Because they are awesome, full of New Deal solidarity, hope, optimism and humor. Cue at 2m12s:
In the squares of the city, by the shadow of the steeple,
By the relief office, I saw my people,
As they stood there hungry, I stood there whispering,
This land was made for you and me.
“A great high wall there that tried to stop me;
A great big sign there said private property;
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing;
That side was made for you and me.
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.”
I love the impish grin on the 89-year-old Peter Seeger’s* face, who must not be able to believe he gets to sing these amazing lyrics in front of 700,000 fans celebrating the election of an African-American who is also the most culturally liberal candidate of his lifetime in the biggest non-incumbent landslide since Eisenhower. What a fucking crazy 89 years.
I like Ross Douthat’s formulation:
this was an impressive celebration of left-wing patriotism, the sort of thing this country hasn’t seen on such a scale in years or even decades. In an essay for Time last year, Peter Beinart observed, with some accuracy, that “conservatives tend to see patriotism as an inheritance from a glorious past,” while “liberals often see it as the promise of a future that redeems the past.” The inaugural concert was all about the latter sort
Indeed it is. Happy America, folks.
(* Bonus points: Seeger’s dad created the department that employs ms.** rortybomb.)
(** that’s ms. like ms. pac-man.)