Sunday Music.

I know, not the usual fare here for Sundays, but it is to accompany Peter’s posts about immigrant songs.

I may have told the story before, but here it goes anywhere: Three idiots with barely a command of an English Spanish dictionary decided to spend a couple of weeks in New York City. It was my first trip as adult to the US (Another one at 11 years and less than 48 hours in DisneyWorld does it count) and one of the reasons for the trip was to check on possibly coming to college.

I was nervous, won’t deny it. Many things happened that day that would have served as warning to others, but in my “ignorance” I chose to ignore them, including the fact that 5 planes were hijacked that day my a Left Wing guerrilla group, ours was to be the sixth, but the hijackers did not make it in time to board the plane. It was December and we were dressed tropically, we found out that we had been swindled by our travel agency with the van rental and so on.

Anyway, after we taken of, reached cruise altitude and breakfast was served, they showed a movie and one that I had not seen: “The Jazz Singer” Neil Diamond’s version. The movie starts with his song “America” which I never heard before and it struck me across the chess as good omen: You are doing the right thing and you will make it.

Thirty six years later, I am happy to say the omen was right.

America
Neil Diamond
Far,
We’ve been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
Free,
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream
On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again,
They’re coming to America
Home
Don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm
Home
To a new and a shiny place
Make our bed and we’ll say our grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm
Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America
Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
Today, Today,Today,
Today, Today
My country ’tis of thee (today)
Sweet land of liberty (today)
Of thee I sing (today)
Of thee I sing.

he song was from a time when becoming an American was enough prize and living in this country meant freedom, meant watching the Stars and Stripes fly and feel a knot in your chest. Today coming to America is about EBT benefits and free medical care. And God forbid you unfurl the flag because that makes you a racist.

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