A Country Rag

Stars And Circles, by Ginger Stone
graphic: Stars and Circles Forever, oil on canvas,
Ginger Stone Studio, Elizabethton, TN

Midi music files (click to play):
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Battle Hymn of the Republic (Jazz: Aces of Deep)
Star Spangled Banner

"...We are the champions - my friends/ And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -/ We are the champions -/ We are the champions/ No time for losers/ 'Cause we are the champions - of the world...."

-- We Are The Champions, written by Freddie Mercury, singer/songwriter for the British rock band Queen

Dear God,
It's Independence Day -- July 4, 2008 -- in the U.S. of A., once and future greatest nation on earth, a time to call upon good spirits of the living and the dead for assistance in crushing brutal, hate&harm-full, ugly, evil spirits of murder and thievery deserving of death and damnation for their destructive perversion of this empire's historically glorious ideals and principles. The dark ones aren't worth spit in the eyes of fellow man, countries, planets, or You. Now is the time for all of us to come to the aid of our country. Please help and guide us, as ever, toward the light for ourselves as leaders of The Free World and all peoples of our Earth home, a small and beautiful sphere spinning around our glimmering Sun spiraling in Your incredibly diverse and miraculous Universe. We beseech you in the name of Christ, and all the saints and angels you've sent over generations of our creation as soul-infused homo sapiens sapiens. Thank you whole-heartedly for our blessings past, present and coming as we press on, citizens of freedom loving, sharing and spreading America. So be it.
World without end. Le monde sans la fin.

An every day tribute to fathers: Peace, blessings and eternal gratitude to all the loving and nurturing (grand, great-grand and fore) daddies around the world, and to the spirits of those with God now, for the examples they set and their enduring legacy for all of us, with prayers for children who have lost theirs untimely.

Some famous and near-famous: George Washington (Army veteran, War of Independence), Albert Camus, Gerald Price Sr., Robert F. Kennedy, Marquis de Lafayette, Paul Gauguin, Jay Daily, Winston Churchill, King David, John Lysle, Adam, Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, Abraham Lincoln (Commander-in-Chief, American Civil War), Eric Clapton, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી, IPA: [moɦən̪d̪äs kəɾəmtʃən̪d̪ gän̪d̪ʱi]), Joe (Army veteran, Vietnam War) and Nick Grindstaff, Pablo Picasso, Michael Slivinski, Danny, Moshe Dayan (Hebrew: משה דיין‎), Auguste Renoir, Steve Cook, Robert Penn Warren, Danny Pates, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Army veteran, World War II), Hank Zimmerman (Navy veteran, Vietnam War), Don Liscomb, Ernest Hemingway, Woodrow Wilson (Commander-in-Chief, World War I), Jesse Jackson, Daniel Boone (Army veteran, War of Independence), Mike, Danny and Dean Sweeney, Davy Crocket, John Charles, Lech Walesa, Joe Sottosanti, Bob Howes (Army veteran, Vietnam War), Muhammed Ali, John Waybright, King and Emperor Charlemagne (Charles The Great), John Darnton Sr., Bill Bob (Army veteran, Vietnam War), Bill Moyers, Mike Neff, Fran Varnum, Henry VIII, Grady (Army veteran, Vietnam War), Nelson Mandela, Terry and Kerry Armentrout, Joseph, Don Silvius, Claude Monet, Franklin D. Roosevelt (Commander-in-Chief, World War II), Tim Tyler, Frank Harden (Air Force veteran, Vietnam War), Wil Roberts, Abraham (Hebrew: אַבְרָהָם, Standard Avraham Tiberian ʾAḇrāhām Ashkenazi Avrohom or Avruhom ; Arabic: ابراهيم‎, Ibrāhīm ; Ge'ez: አብርሃም, ʾAbrəham), Bernard Malamud, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley (Army veteran, Vietnam War), Charlie Dyer (Navy veteran, Vietnam War), Everette Hensley, King David, Woody Allen, Kirk and Michael Douglas, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Jr. (Army veteran, World War II), Robert Kuhn, David Owens (Marine veteran, Vietnam War)Don Muscher, Colin Powell (Army veteran, Korean, Vietnam and First Gulf wars), Jimmy Carter, Marlon Brando, Patrick Henry (Army veteran, War of Independence), Dan Sweeney (Marine veteran, Vietnam War), John Steele, King Solomon, Jesse, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush Sr. (Commander-in-Chief, First Gulf War), Thomas Jefferson, Goyaa³é (Geronimo), Gary Gerhart, Sequoyah (S-si-quo-ya, Sikwayi or Sogwali in Cherokee, also known as George Guess, Guest or Gist), Chief Joseph, John Glenn (Navy veteran, WWII and Korean War, first American astronaut to orbit Earth), Luis Ramirez, John McCain (Navy veteran and POW, Vietnam War), Barack Obama, John Warner (Navy and Marine veteran, WWII and Korean War), Al Gore (Army veteran, Vietnam War), Ed Knipe, Danny, Frank Slivinski (Army veteran, Korean War), Boris Yeltsin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tony Blair, Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer (Army veteran, WWII), my father George Arnold Gerlach 7/7/21-5/14/08 (Air Force veteran, World War II) and grandfather 1889-1965 (Army veteran, World War I), and so many others throughout the ages, including God the Father

(Inspired during 1999 Jonesborough Independence Day fireworks celebrations by Carolyn Moore, whose Invictus Maneo cross/dagger is pinned onto a fox fur boa she gave me in the fall of 2007, now decorating one of my living room walls.)
I am a nation of conquerers
not the meek or the mealy-mouthed

American from all the
shivering boundaries
the best the hardest
the most worn out

I'm your end of meaning
a place where countries come
to scream the last dream dreaming
tomorrow from yesterday lied

Warrior goddess yellow red
black brown I'm unclassified
the force you never reckoned
from a sky you never tried

Blistering with burnt ideals
fathered of sterling stone
I'm the light that will not die
leading on this globe

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...." -- Amendment IV, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the United States

".... a vast majority of Americans are unhappy with the direction of our country, and with our President's leadership.... When we learn that we have been lied to, we should be unhappy. When people you trusted, and confided your heart-felt soul and dreams to, turn out to be con-men -- you should be unhappy!... This is not justice, especially in a country that was founded on the rule of law.... Inequality, lies, and judicial and racial bias can make even the happiest person sad. The greatest thing about America is the promise in our constitution that we can and will be better. Now, that makes me happy." -- No, I am Not Happy, by Dr. Errington C. Thompson, in The Urban News, October 2007, Asheville, NC

(words and music by Woody Guthrie, Guthrie Center, Housatonic MA)

This land is your land, this land is my land From California, to the New York Island From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway I saw above me an endless skyway I saw below me a golden valley This land was made for you and me
I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts And all around me a voice was sounding This land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strolling The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling The fog was lifting a voice come chanting This land was made for you and me
As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there And that sign said - no tress passin' But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin! Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple Near the relief office - I see my people And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin' If this land's still made for you and me.
Chorus (2x)
©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and 1970 TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)

"... Love's not some kind of victory march. It's a cold and it's a very broken hallelujah ...."
-- Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!

-- America the Beautiful, quoted in "The Pioneer Frontier," a publication of Tusculum College, Greeneville TN

Where the heck am I? -- Beam me back home -- Whisk me away

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"Boom!" © Jeannette Harris, 1999, 2008, and A Country Rag, Inc., Jonesborough TN.
All rights reserved.