Courtesy of the red, white, and blue

Hugh Hewitt posts a letter from a USMC Captain stationed near Fallujah, who reports on a concert at his base by Ted Nugent and Toby Keith. The two performers were on a tight schedule –“before their late-night arrival, they spent the last night in Afghanistan, stopped over in Baghdad, played a show at another base, and then came out to Camp Fallujah before leaving for yet another show. When they arrived at our base, they had only slept briefly on an airplane for the past 36 hours.” The Marine Captain writes: “In this environment overseas, it’s difficult to understand what would motivate someone to travel thousands of miles and risk their lives simply to entertain. Being a natural skeptic, I figured it was mostly a publicity stunt. Now, having experienced it from the end of someone involved in the backstage planning, and having seen these guys up close and personal, I’ve got a different and very positive perspective.”
It happens that yesterday one of my daughters was watching a show on VH1 about the 50 worst songs of all time. When I walked by, the featured song was Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.” The commentators (three guys identified as “comedians”) didn’t seem to have much against the song musically. The first funny man’s stated objection was that Keith hadn’t joined the armed forces but had merely written a song (but then, Country Joe McDonald didn’t spend the Vietnam war in jail, either). However, if Hugh’s correspondent is reliable, the Marines themselves don’t seem to hold this against Keith. The other comedians objected to the lyric “we’ll put a boot in your ass. It’s the American way.” That objection struck me as a bit delicate, especially considering that this was VH1. But if one thinks it’s un-American to inflict violent retribution on terrorists, thugs, and dictators who attack us then I can see how one wouldn’t think much of Keith’s song.
For the rest of us, here it is:
American girls and American guys will always stand up and salute;
Will always recognize
When we see ol’ glory flying,
There’s a lot of men dead,
So we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our head.
My daddy served in the army,
Where he lost his right eye.
But he flew a flag out in our yard ’til the day that he died.
He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me
To grow up and live happy in the land of the free.
Now this nation that I love has fallen under attack.
A mighty sucker punch came flying in from somewhere in the back.
Soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye,
Man we lit up your world like the Fourth of July.
Hey Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly,
And there’s gonna be Hell,
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell!
It’s gonna feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you…
Brought to you courtesy of the Red, White and Blue!
Oh, Justice will be served and the battle will rage.
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
You’ll be sorry that you messed with the US of A
‘Cuz we’ll put a boot in your ass
It’s the American way.
Hey Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly,
And there’s gonna be Hell,
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell!
And it’ll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you…
Brought to you courtesy of the Red, White and Blue!
Of the Red, White and Blue…
Of my Red, White and Blue…

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