Monday, May 31, 2010

An Anthem for Memorial Day

The video in this post features Josh Groban performing an operatic version of one of my favorite tunes: "Anthem." The song comes from the 1980s musical, CHESS, by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson. Although the show is very much about the board game of chess, it is even more about the politics of relationships ... and nations.
In the storyline, "Anthem" is performed by a Russian chess player -- a champion -- on the occasion of his defection from the U.S.S.R., but there is nothing in it to make it specific of any particular nation. I, therefore, find it very inspirational and appropriate for Memorial Day. For it is the love of our nation that our veterans served in the armed forces. It is for the love of this land that so many soldiers laid down their lives.
Check out the lyrics:
No man, no madness
Though their sad power may prevail
Can possess, conquer, my country's heart
They rise to fail
She is eternal
Long before nations' lines were drawn
When no flags flew, when no armies stood
My land was born
And you ask me why I love her
Through wars, death and despair
She is the constant
We who don't care
And you wonder will I leave her -- but how?
I cross over borders but I'm still there now
How can I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart

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