Feelings On Inauguration Day

When I Hear Patriotic Songs Jazzed Up (No Offense Intended)

When I Hear Patriotic Songs Jazzed Up (No Offense Intended)

First, I want to say that I’ve never heard an “artistic” rendering of a patriotic song that I did not detest.  I mention this with no particular animus towards James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, or Beyonce –none of whom I actually listened to during the inauguration.  (The minute someone starts singing a jazzed-up, drawn-out, wailed, yodeled, syncopated, or otherwise individualized version of any of My Country Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, or the Star Spangled Banner, I find I have to either mute the sound, or jump out the window.  Oh why oh why oh why can’t someone just sing one of these beautiful songs as written?)

Second, I confess.  I do not love Michelle’s bangs.  I love her  – and I do understand the urge of someone turning 49 to look like a retro teenager– (I’ll even go so far as to agree with the President – sure they look great – she always looks great.)  But.. (there’s so much hair it’s a bit hard to see her face.)  But enough said!  It’s fine to try something new!

And I did. in an earlier verion of this post, feel that poet Richard Blanco and the minister doing the final invocation could have cut their remarks a little in light of the cold, and the length of the ceremony and the large magniciation — but I know they were doing a great and wonderfully inclusive job.

So  putting the irritation and pettiness aside, what do I feel?

Pride.

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(Okay, okay–and I thought the President’s speech pretty great.)

(P.S. sorry to seem so curmudgeonly.  I wrote this last night, late, after a fair amount of traveling.)

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22 Comments on “Feelings On Inauguration Day”


  1. Love everything from the elephant to the crack about MIchelle’s bangs (I actually think they make her look a bit less severe) and finally to the PRIDE. Perfect day for the Inauguration, and when he turned back to have a final look at the whole mass of people, I wept. Sure, I still want the war to end NOW, but he is the best hope we have to overturn Citizens United and stamp out the Tea Baggers. Great post! Remember, it’s OUR flag, too.

    For my money, the best version of the Star-Spangled Banner was done by the late Whitney Houston, and I wasn’t really much of a fan. But her direct, powerful delivery still gives me goosebumps. Did you know who the first musician was to “fool around” with the song? Jose Feliciano! In solidarity, Amy

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks, Amy. I was just looking to edit the post to put up better elephant! Or another. I’m so tired that used old one. I really appreciate your comment as I always get nervous posting about politics. Thanks again.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      PS – I think all of them have good voices – and I can’t really remember Whitney Houston’s rendition – I just like the songs as is! Especially on a solemn occasion. (Or also, you know, at a baseball game.) (Ha.)

      I found my other elephant drawing. Thanks! k.


  2. I realized when I read this that I zone out during the patriotic songs modern versions. But Obama’s speech? Yes, it was wonderful. And as my grandson (Trinidadian father, American mother) said: He’s just like me. Made my heart happy.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      That’s so nice. I do think Obama just being who he is in terms of background gives a great deal of hope to many around the world. (Your grandson is super cute.) k.

  3. Mary Says:

    Well, I will say I agree with you about Michelle’s bangs; but if she and Barack like them, I don’t care what she does with her hair. Of course, the whole Inaugural thing was impressive, a lovely show. However, I did think (in the back of my mind) that the millions of dollars spent on security, parade, balls, designer clothing, expensive entertainers, hoopla might have been better spent in these times of speaking about the fiscal cliff, etc. As in SO many other things, doesn’t the government ever think that perhaps THEY should be setting an example on being fiscally conservative???? Oh well…all was enjoyable to watch. Onward!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, I know what you mean. With a second inauguration, it does feel rather old hat, and I think there was less excitement because the people that are excited were excited in November, and there’s definitely a grim mood over the country.

      All that said, if Obama didn’t go along with tradition, they would accuse him of some kind of anti-democratic intent. Also, I think a lot of things – not the security – but the balls etc. are paid for by private donors. The parades have a lot of volunteers; I doubt if any speaker is paid a fee (though they may have expenses) but the cost then is really security and planning of the main event. And maybe it is good for government officials to come together once in a while in a celebratory confirming way. There may be some feeling of collective there that is useful.

      • Mary Says:

        Good point about the feeling of collective that may be useful. Hopefully this will carry over even a little bit to the political process. And, if nothing else, just for everyone to hear Obama’s wonderful speech perhaps was worth the expense!

  4. brian miller Says:

    ha. it was interesting…i enjoyed the poem actually…and i feel you on the song…i do get a bit miffed at the pomp and circumstance as i agree the money has better uses elsewhere, particularly in the economy we live in…but that pride may be worth it…it was nice to see everyone playing well together…perhaps that is hope…at least in front of the camera…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You know, I couldn’t really follow the poem – it just felt so very very long to me. I should read it! There were the lines about his parents that stuck out, but so many hands and eyes and I don’t know what other body parts! Ha. I am sure it is a very difficult task. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Re money – I don’t know. I think it’s good to have some public celebrations, something collective (other than football!)

  5. janehewey Says:

    Definitely read the poem, k. It reads better on paper, and no offense intended here, as I think the reader did a fine job. I agree with you, it was long and, I thought, quite simple in the message about inclusion and bringing together our fellow humans, but certainly did not blow me away. After missing out on the festivities, the first thing I did yesterday to recap was search for the poem. It took quite awhile, but found it in the LA Times about an hour after the ceremony. I appreciate Blanco’s story and what he symbolizes in our country right now.
    I think the bangs make her look more cutting-edge, but agree with you in that I like seeing more of her face. She and I are the same age. I will be watching for early signs–hot flashes and temper tantrums– with all due respect.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I think I’ve been unfair to the poem! I like Blanco fine, and I thought his choice was fine. When he was reading it, it seemed to go on and on, but I could tell there were some lovely parts. It was just so long in the reading – expecially with the loud amplification – that I felt much was lost in it.

      I think I was a bit curmudgeonly last night, as I enjoyed what I watched, and I thought James Taylor okay – I just hate jazzed up old songs!

      I think Michelle is super attractive no matter how she wears her hair!

      Yes – I understand re the signs. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I am sure that I’ve been way too curmudgeonly and I will take down my knocks of the poem. And, of course, I can really understand Michelle’s wish for something more fun.

      So. I’m convinced.

      • janehewey Says:

        I hope you don’t, you’re being honest. It is not a fantastic poem, it is safe and speaks to many, but is not the power pack of a poem I really wanted. Maybe there ought to be a prompt today: write the poem you wanted to hear at the inauguration.

      • janehewey Says:

        I am feeling regretful. Here is a link to a blogger’s take on the inaugural poem. I appreciate looking at it from different angles. (ok, I’ve said enough already) bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2013/01/richard-blancos-inaugural-poem-one.html

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        I think it’s a very hard task, and I laud Blanco for his sincere efforts. I think it’s particularly hard to write a poem that can be taken in aurally – especially if read over a large microphone. This was my only reason for thinking that length is particularly problematic in such an instance. I’m not sure Whitman himself could read a long section of verse in this instance that would work as well as it does on the page.


  6. I decided up front not to watch the entire proceedings, so all I saw were the clips on the evening news, and that was just about right for me. I too canNOT stand jazzed up national anthems, even by the lovably bald James Taylor, so I am in total sympathy with you there. OTOH, I was extremely pleased with everything in Obama’s speech–he actually sounded like a liberal–a real FDR liberal, and I really feel we need to hear liberal values expressed loudly, frequently and yes, with pride. Enjoyed your elephants reaction, k, as always they are more emotive than many humans I know. ;_)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Well, I did watch it but for the walking on Pennsylvania Avenue which is truly the best part and what I watched this morning, and so maybe that was why I was a bit curmudgeonly. I’ve modified the post now.

      O’s speech was very good. A hard occassion, coming on top of so much else. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      PS – James Taylor’s baldness does give him a bit of a dispensation in the going-jazzy area.

  7. Jamie Dedes Says:

    Okay! We have our complaints. We’re allowed. Overall it’s good. It’s good he got re-elected. Mixed feelings about Bianco’s poem.

    Love your elephants. Charming.


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