Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Literary Corner: Hymn

Suffragette march in New York City, 1912, via Legends of America.

Hymn to Economic Miracles
Music by Sir Edward Elgar, 
lyrics attributed to Stephen Miller,
arranged for male chorus with obbligato kazoo

Victory is not winning for our party,
victory is winning for our country,
the majesty of America's mission,
and the power of American pride.
We can make our communities safer,
our families stronger, our culture richer,
our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger
and more prosperous than ever before.
We must reject the politics of revenge,
resistance and retribution, and embrace
the boundless potential of cooperation,
compromise and the common good.
We must choose between greatness or gridlock,
results or resistance, vision or vengeance,
incredible progress or pointless destruction.
An economic miracle is taking place
in the United States and the only thing
that can stop it are foolish wars,
politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.
If there is going to be peace and legislation,
there cannot be war and investigation.
It just doesn't work that way!
What I was mostly struck by in the SOTU was this profusion of chiasmus and alliteration in the early paragraphs, hysterically overwrought, like an Eminent Victorian funeral oration at the outset, but petering out to Johnny Cochrane (O.J. Simpson's memorable defense attorney) in the startling rhyme, and finally Trump himself, when it ends up saying to the whole of the assembled Congress, in essence, "I hope you can give me a break."

Which may be read as a plea or a threat, as you wish.

I didn't do much of anything with the text other than two move lines 3 and 4 into a place where they didn't belong, and I don't have a whole lot more to say about it, but I think it's really pretty funny on its own.

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