Happy Birthday USA

July 4th, 2010

“You have a republic, if you can keep it.” – Ben Franklin, answering a citizen’s question about what form of government the Constitutional Convention had created. 

Today is Independence Day,

So happy birthday, USA.

We’ve always celebrated July 4,

But what do we celebrate it for?


When we celebrate someone’s birthday, we’re really celebrating their life,

So with July 4 we’re celebrating our whole history, not just the initial strife.

Just like the school birthday party, everyone’s invited,

So at least for today, let’s be united.


Even that mean (or poor) kid you’d rather not come

Can line up for birthday cake and be given some.

And when it’s time for the song, everybody can sing,

Even those for whom the words hollow ring.


So today when you’re eating your burgers and drinking your beer

(Both of which we ran out of here),

Please think about what this holiday means

And give thanks that


Now excuse me, but I’ve got to run

To catch the fireworks before they’re done.

And I apologize for being hypocritical

And being so (covertly) political.

***

Here’s Keith Olbermann’s 7/02/10 “Worst Persons” comment, in honor of July 4: the 26% of Americans in a recent survey who didn’t know who we got our independence from. “If you can keep it” indeed…

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here (in a repeat performance) is your theme music for today, America the Beautiful, as performed by the great Ray Charles. (That’s late sixties/early seventies talk show host Dick Cavett at the end.)

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