Jan 26, 2007

All of us chickenhawk neocon wingnuts

Love Mark Steyn's writings on the GWOT, but his pieces on theater and music may be even better. Like this one, about national anthems and "Waltzing Matilda."
The same rules of standard songwriting apply to patriotic music. First, be specific. “The Star-Spangled Banner” meets that test. So too, in fairness, does “La Marseillaise”. But, if you sit down to write a purpose-built national anthem, you wind up with something that sounds like it won second prize in a Write A National Anthem For Anywheristan competition. And there’s nothing that sounds like a first-prize winner.

With Australia, it’s especially unfair, as the country has one of the best catalogues of folk songs of anywhere on the planet. I’m always surprised at how many I learned from afar as a child: it’s not just that Oz occupied a particular place in the imperial imagination, but that that place had a very specific musical character, too.
Read the whole thing.

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