If the country you most readily associate with music is Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, the Music Educators National Conference has news for you. In their forthcoming book, Get America Singing…Again!, these real-life Mr. Hollands — who obviously don’t get out of the classroom all that much — propose that part of what’s wrong with Americans today is that we just don’t sing as much as we used to. Believing that ”the very spirit of our community, our towns, our cities, and our nation” may be in danger, the conference has released a list of 42 songs it says all Americans should be encouraged to sing together. But a little homework suggests we might take away some very different lessons from the straightforward, corn-fed values the music educators expect. Let the humming begin.
1 Thinly veiled Marxist, anti-private-property ideology 2 Thinly veiled parable of hallucinogen-induced reveries 3 Melody ”borrowed” from former colonizer’s anthem 4 Americans love cosmopolitan life 5 Americans hate cosmopolitan life 6 Implores God to give us peace 7 Implores God to give our enemies hell 8 Unidentified woman’s arrival prompts an animal’s death 9 Overzealous tool owner threatens nation with incessant banging
A ”Battle Hymn of the Republic” B ”Give My Regards to Broadway” C ”If I Had a Hammer” D ”Dona Nobis Pacem” E ”America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)” F ”Puff the Magic Dragon” G ”Home on the Range” H ”She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” I ”This Land Is Your Land”
Answers: 1-I; 2-F; 3-E; 4-B; 5-G; 6-D; 7-A; 8-H; 9-C