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Old 07-05-2003, 11:38 PM   #1
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Offensive Lyrics From Johnny Cash?

Thursday afternoon wile driving home from work, I was listening to my ESSENTIAL JOHNNY CASH 2-CD set. on the 2nd disc, two songs played which I thought may be "offensive" or "insensitive" according to our standards as "true" U2 fans.

Keep in mind that Johnny Cash, "The Man In Black," sang lead on U2's "The Wanderer" on the ZOOROPA album, he covered U2's "One," and U2 has covered his "Don't Take Your Guns To Town."

The first song which I found potentially troubling is "Song of the Patriot," written by Marty Robbins but sung by Johnny Cash (with Robbins on backing vocals; the lyrics are below:

I'm a God fearing patriotic, nephew of my Uncle Sam.
A rough riding, fighting Yankee man.
I love mom and apple pie, and the freedom that we all enjoy
across this beautiful land.
I work hard and I'd fight hard for the old red, white and blue.
And I'll die a whole lot harder if it come whre I'd have to.
I'm a flag waving patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam.
A rough riding figthing Yankee man.

(Chorus, with Marty)
And when I see old glory waving, I think of all the brave men
who had fought and died for what is right and wrong.
And when I see old glory burning, by blood begins to churning
and I could do some fighting of my own.
(Johnny alone)
I don't belie in violence, I'm a God fearing man.
But I'd stand up for my country just as long as I could stand.
(Johnny & Marty)
'Cause I'm a flag wavinng patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam.
A rough riding fighting Yankee man.

(Johnny)
I'm a flag waving patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam.
A rough riding fighting Yankee man.
I enjoy the liberty of being what I want to be, and achieving any goal that I can.
I was taught to turn the other cheek, but Teddy used to say,
"Walk soft and pack a big stick, but never walk away!"
And I'm a flag waving patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam.
A rough riding fighting Yankee man.

(Johnny & Marty)
And when I see old glory waving, I think of all the brave men
who had fought and died for what is right and wrong.
And when I see Old Glory burning, my blood begins to churning
and I could do some fighting of my own.

(Johnny)
"Cause I love all my brothers and wee're proud of our birth.
We've got the greatest country here on God's green earth
(Johnny & Marty)
And I'm a flag waving patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man.


Also, while driving my moderately fuel-effeicient 6-cylinder SUV through the suburbs of Birmingham, I was cajoled at hearing the lyrics of Cash's "Ragged Old Flag," invoking images of the unjust participation of the USA against human rights movements orchestrated by the governments of North Korea, Viet Nam, and other rays of hope and freedom:

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your old flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it."

He said, "Have a seat," and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when
Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing Say Can You See.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seems.

"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.

"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II.
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She was sent where she was by her Uncle Sam.

"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land here she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused.

"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.

"So we raise her up every morning, take her
down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground and we fold
her up right.
On second thought, I do like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of the Ragged Old Flag."


What should I do? What should WE do???? Should I destroy my Johnny Cash CDs and my U2 CDs which feature him? Should we boycott Bono & U2 until they denounce Johnny Cash? He doesn't have the right to such opinions! This is causing me great horror. I'm afraid I won't be "cool" anymore unless I pursue the proper path. Thanks.

~U2Alabama
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:26 AM   #2
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lol. Nah, Bama, you see, the Man In Black gets an exemption, 'cause, well, he's cool. He is a man of God, beyond reproach.

Now the pickup drivin', shotgun carryin', chaw spittin', wife beatin', n-word usin' redneck, well, he gets a-horsewhippin'.

That's the whey it workz.

Oh, and SUV drivin' soccer moms with their cell phones in they ear are also exempt because, well, they iz what makes America go.

So keep your JC CD's and keep your U2 CD's. And be proud to be an American.

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Old 07-06-2003, 02:26 AM   #3
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God Bless Johnny Cash.
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:32 AM   #4
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In compare to Johnny Cash were all a bunch of greenhorns.
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Old 07-06-2003, 11:48 AM   #5
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Johnny Cash is a national treasure.
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:34 PM   #6
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Am I going crazy or have we had a thread like this in the past?
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Old 07-06-2003, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Am I going crazy or have we had a thread like this in the past?
You are going crazy
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Old 07-06-2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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I didn't find anything offensive about what Johnny Cash sang. Those words don't support pre-emptive attacks on poor people, nor do they endorse the heinous behavior that America is known for across the globe. Cash was speaking about what the flag means to him. He's from the generation that saw World War II and therefore has a different understanding of what it means to be an American. He sees the flag as a symbol of freedom, defense, and honor....and most of all valient chivilary (sp?).

I'm sure he's aware of the atrocities that transpired in the name of the American flag, but when he recorded those songs, it was a different time and our (America's) track record wasn't as tarnished as it is today. Sure, there was the Native American genocide, the black-eye of slavery, etc. But, Cash HAS spoken out against those things. Heck, he's a quarter Indian, so I doubt he's ignorant on the darker side of America's history.

The song is partriotic and shouldn't be overanalyzed. It's simplistic to believe in a symbol, but even the most complex people, Mr. Cash included, are allowed the right to occasionally indulge in mindless banter.

Long live Cash!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:20 PM   #9
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:35 PM   #10
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Re: Offensive Lyrics From Johnny Cash?

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama

A rough riding fighting Yankee man.
Bama.....Y'all sing about bein a YANKEE???????

D'ang I did't think you GOOD OLE BOYS were Yankees
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Old 07-09-2003, 12:23 AM   #11
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Re: Re: Offensive Lyrics From Johnny Cash?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Bama.....Y'all sing about bein a YANKEE???????

D'ang I did't think you GOOD OLE BOYS were Yankees
And no I have a moderate Catholic from Bah-stun using the word "y'all."

Anyway, for the record, Johnny Cash and I are Unionists, and Americans are seen in many international locales as "Yankees."

They said, "Don't come back here, Yankee!"
But if I ever do-
I'll bring more money,
cause all she wants to do is dance...
-Don Henley, who is from TEXAS


~U2Alabama
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