Today we are going to listen to the song I most remember from grammar school: “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” It’s by the great songwriter George M Cohan for the musical, George Washington, Jr. That may explain why the song has stayed with me. It is quite a good tune. Just the same, I have long found the lyrics repugnant in its nationalism.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have nice aspects. I especially like the line, “And may never you boast or brag.” Just the same, this is the kind of mythology that exists today. Everywhere in the the USA, people are constantly chanting, “We’re number one!” Yet these same people would claim that we are a very humble country, just looking to lend a helping hand to the rest of the world. Not really.
Here is the Billy Murray version with the original lyric of “You’re a glad old rag”: