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She’s Queer For Uncle Sam: The 52 State Pick-Up Mix Epilogue

December 11, 2010
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Despite me devoting twelve-plus weeks to a mixtape of 52 songs about states in America, I’m not exactly a patriot in the nationalist sense. (I do hold high standards for civic duty though, and community responsibility, but these are different things to me.) However, I love the development of culture, I am a part of the culture I live in, I replicate that culture, and therefore I am an American in that literal sense. And so, as the final chapter in this long glorious trip through the 50 states, plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico, I present to you a few of my favorite songs with the word “America” in the title.

Thank you everyone who followed along every week, commenting and suggesting songs too. I’m sure in a couple weeks I’ll think of a new series for the winter, so see you some cold Saturday in January for more tunes!

America – Simon & Garfunkel

More often than not when flying to New York City, I use Newark airport and take the coach bus into the city.  While on the New Jersey Turnpike, I always count cars, and then I text my friend Shana to tell her.

America – George Chakiris & Rita Moreno (West Side Story)

Bernado is played by a Greek man in brownface, true, but hey it’s Rita Moreno.  And frankly, despite being decades old, the lyrics still got some truth in them.

American Dreaming – Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance is probably the closest to goth I ever really got.  Well, maybe a few Siouxsie records too, of course.  This song was put on a mixtape for me in college (I see you, Sherry!) and every couple years I re-find the track and saturate my playlists with it.  I’ve never seen the video until today, and the beard is inducing a new appreciation.


I know there are lots of other America songs you like, so let me have ’em!


17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2010 12:28 pm

    I have thoroughly loved this series and thank you so much for doing it. It’s a huge task and I’m so glad you did it. Amazing.

  2. December 11, 2010 12:53 pm

    It’s so funny that every year during the Independence day fireworks, they always play that Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim composition in the midst of the display. Really, that was such an indictment to what “America” claims itself to be, it’s just complete and utter irony in its purest form that it happens without fail.

    Of course they often play the Neil Diamond song, and occasionally the James Brown tune that Snarky saluted in her epic “Music From the Rocky Movies” previously. However none of those are my favorite. From my own little mixtape for “The Isolation Generation” comes this:

    Only In America – Jay and The Americans: The great songwriting team of Lieber and Stoller were responsible for this piece, which almost sounds like it wants to be a part of the score of “West Side Story.” Again, it’s a battle of Love and Money. The singers, presumably serenading their love from the stoop of their run-down brownstone, marvel at the amazing things that happen exclusively in the United States (“Only in America/could a dream like this come true/could a guy like me/start with nothing/and end up with you”).

  3. December 11, 2010 2:04 pm

    LOL @ Dustin Hoffman and Willie Nelson.

  4. eieioj permalink
    December 11, 2010 4:36 pm

    What, no “Proud To Be An American” on this list?

    …ok, I hate myself for going there, even as a joke.

  5. December 11, 2010 5:33 pm

    I love that song and I don’t want to be right. It’s so amazingly corny, but if you spent time near a military base during the 80s you had no choice. You learned the song.

    Ha. I never knew the “Take a look at my girlfriend” song was called “Breakfast in America” which is weird since I have the LP!

  6. December 11, 2010 6:27 pm

    @nycpenpusher: I love that they play that song during the fireworks! I hope some intern snuck it in.

    @eieioj: yeah, like Snarky, I can’t say I love the song — but I do know all the words and will totally sing it passionately when played.

  7. December 11, 2010 10:15 pm

    Oh, I didn’t realize we could use “American” and not just “America” here. Since that’s the case:


  8. December 12, 2010 12:05 am

    I never knew the “Take a look at my girlfriend” song was called “Breakfast in America” which is weird since I have the LP!

    Me neither until you posted this!!!!!

  9. Val permalink
    December 12, 2010 3:32 pm

    I thought “American Woman” was great/funny in “The Spy…” I remember hearing that the video was fully of sexxxxy ladies. I must never have watched it! OMG those ladies, so sexxy…

    Do they make the song suitable for a White House performance though?

    My choice is “This is not America”. More Bowie!

  10. evmaroon permalink
    December 13, 2010 2:39 pm

    And here I thought you were going to give us “Homeward Bound.” I love that song from West Side Story almost as much as Officer Krupke. Great series, Raymond!

  11. December 13, 2010 3:32 pm

  12. December 13, 2010 4:44 pm

    finally! thank you for filling that hole.

  13. December 13, 2010 4:51 pm

    God, I love that song so much. I didn’t want to push through the crowd just to post this. I waited my turn.

  14. IrishUp permalink
    December 13, 2010 6:30 pm

    I love when Neil gets anthemy.

    My soft spot for Tom Petty’s “American Girl” is eternal, despite that how it was used in “Silence of the Lambs” gave me the shivers for quite some time.

  15. thepants permalink
    December 13, 2010 8:47 pm

    Great series. I made a mix for my MP3 player using some of the songs. Can’t wait to read what ever you come up with next!

  16. December 14, 2010 12:42 am

    @IrishUp, oddly it was Scrubs, not Silence of the Lambs that dampened my enthusiasm for “American Girl”. Its use on Scrubs was entirely too cloying.

  17. eieioj permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:43 am

    Kids in America, anyone?

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