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Initial post: Feb 29, 2008 11:51:31 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:26 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2008 9:42:53 PM PST
I'm an American, yet I don't like it. I sense an impending existential crisis. I hope to hell I'm not really a Canadian.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2008 10:42:13 PM PST
Val H. says:
I'm NOT an American but I would have thought just about anything by Buddy Holly or The Beach Boys might fit the bill. Or maybe The Drifters. How about "I Get Around", or
"Up On The Roof"? Or something by Sam Cooke? "Having A Party"? What about John Fogerty's "Centrefield"?

And I do like "The Battle Of New Orleans". Do you know that story about Johnny Horton passing on a message, after his death, to his friend Merle Kilgore? It's quite eerie.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2008 11:26:29 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:06 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 29, 2008 11:36:04 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:05 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 3:29:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2008 4:40:53 AM PST
Val H. says:
Stephen - here is the story in full. I first heard it on a syndicated radio show (American) about 25 years ago. I eventually tracked it down on the net but the page I got it from seems to be defunct (ironically, it was from Canada!). Merle Kilgore died in 2005.

Volume 2, Issue 2 Page 4
"Into the Unknown" - Lynn Jenkins (Stevenson) (`71)

Lynn Jenkins (Stevenson) ('71) is a well-known psychic. She has been a guest on
several TV and radio shows in Canada and the U.S. Lynn produces and hosts a
successful psychic talk show, and CHTV Morning Live Show has named her as one of Canada's top 5 psychics.

(This is an interview I did with Merle Kilgore, in Nashville in Sept. 1998. This is a
true story.)

In 1958 country singer Johnny Horton had three of his songs hit the top 10 - "Johnny Reb", "When It's Springtime in Alaska" and "Battle of New Orleans", the latter for which he received a Grammy Award in November 1959. Other songs you might remember are: "I'm Just a One Woman Man", "Sink the Bismark", North to
Alaska" and "Honky Tonk Man". For those of you who are too young to remember,
read on and enjoy anyway...

After some one has passed away, can they reach us from the other side? The following is a story related to me by Merle Kilgore which supports this controversial theory. Merle was a long time friend of Johnny Horton and currently manages Hank Williams Jr. Although Merle does not experiment with the supernatural anymore, there was a time when Nashville-based medium Bernard Ricks had both Johnny and Merle interested in the subject. In time, however, both men pulled away from it. About a year later, in March of 1960, Johnny paid a visit to Merle and brought his guitar with him. He said to Merle, "This is what I want you to do. I want you to take this guitar. The spirits said they want you to have this guitar because I won't be needing it. They told me I should say goodbye to you and my closest friends and relatives because a drunk will kill me. Now, you are never to sell this guitar, you should keep it on loan with different museums." (The guitar was Canadian made and in 1998 was on loan to the Canadian Country Hall of Fame.) Merle's response, of course, was to ask Johnny if he really was sure he was going to die. "I'm telling you, that is why I made this trip up here and I will get back to you to if there is life on the other side. We will use that Houdini code that the famous medium, Arthur Ford broke. I want you to put this to memory - THE DRUMMER IS A RUMMER AND CANNOT HOLD THE BEAT"

Johnny Horton died November 5th, 1960. While returning from a gig in Austin,
Texas, a drunk driver hit him on a bypass. Johnny was unable to move over and was hit head on. Merle waited to hear from his departed friend. By 1962 he had moved to Nashville and had forgotten all about their code . Seven years later he received a letter from a group of spiritualists in New York City. They explained to Merle that they met once a week and had been entertaining a spirit by the name of Johnny Horton. Not being country music fans, they had no idea who he was. He had given them Merle's name and the message "THE DRUMMER IS A RUMMER AND CANNOT HOLD THE BEAT'. They had been slightly perplexed about who Merle was and how to contact him. They went on to explain... "One meeting we arrived early and the radio was on WJRZ in New Jersey. The disc jockey said he had just returned from the home of Merle Kilgore and had a wonderful weekend. `Lets play a song that Merle wrote, Johnny Reb, by Johnny Horton'. Then we got excited and called him for your address. Johnny said there is no need for further contact, just to give you the message." Merle has heard nothing from his friend since then.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 6:38:54 AM PST
S. Koch says:
Stephen--I am happy you like this song so much and it does come with a nice story, but if you are trying to somehow find a song that every American likes (pretty hard I think to do) I would think you would choose a song a tad more widely known than the one you quoted. I don't know twenty people who would like that song let alone all Americans. I am glad you found a bar full of people in Arizona who liked it at the time, but I have a thousand songs that have had the same effect on a bar full of people.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 9:29:01 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:06 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 9:41:16 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 28, 2008 1:55:05 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 2:31:01 PM PST
Paul Brown says:
IN 1957 my father sang this song (as recorded by lonnie donigan)while having his bath.This was coupled with a song called PUB WITH NO BEER.It brings back memories of a damn good bathroom singer.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 3:42:51 PM PST
MetalMike says:
Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 4:09:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 1, 2008 4:11:13 PM PST
RegF says:

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 4:54:22 PM PST
B.P. MILF says:
I agree with you metal mike but i'll do you one better.
stairway to heaven - led zeppelin

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 5:13:41 PM PST
F. WALKER says:
It would be impossible of course to find a song that every American likes, but I definitely wouldn't think of this
one as being in the running. I'm not going to say I hate it, but it sounds like a nursery rhyme to me. Instead of
saying Americans, which includes so many different types of people and musical tastes, I think age would have
to do a little more with liking this song.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 5:25:32 PM PST
Burning crosses light our way
Lighting candles in a church all day
Fighting neighbors that won't go away

Book burnings for the beginner
Summer picnics by polluted rivers
Swollen bellies that make us shiver

Singing anthems in the rain
Taking drugs to mask the pain
Barren landscapes and hidden grain

This is our Homeland

Planting missiles like so many crops
Soup kitchen's closed, where the buck stops
Overruns and payoffs and similar props

Politicians who kiss our children
Handshake agreements with the Indian
And the lottery is the dream of millions

Video preachers that prey on our fears
Telethons that draw artificial tears
Sportsmen who exterminate deer

This is our Homeland
And this is our national anthem
We're singing anthems in the rain
Home of the free, land of the brave
If only I could remember the refrain
Where the meek may inherit
But only the strong will reign-

The Proletariat - "Homeland"

Gets 'em every time...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 6:23:02 PM PST
L. Goodridge says:
Aw come on, lighten up will ya? Though there is truth in what you posted, I didn't need reminding.
The first song that comes to mind is White Christmas.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 6:24:43 PM PST
MetalMike says:
I would hope that this one is the one every American loves.

The Star Spangled Banner

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 6:34:31 PM PST
Surely you can't be serious. I own about 20,000 songs, most of which do not include common classics; which I can find on the radio. I listened to the Johnny Horton song hear at Amazon, and can honestly say that I don't recall ever hearing it, nor do I ever want to. Ick! Perhaps it's both a generational and geographical issue? I really thought you would have picked a Beatles song or even something from the early Jazz era like, Puttin' on the Ritz or NY NY. I guess it's all in the ear of the be-listener.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 7:00:28 PM PST
One song that every American likes. Boy, this is quite a challenge. To distill hundreds of popular tunes to just one ditty. Hmmm.
The problem is that there are too many songs to choose from (and so many different styles). For instance, these great songs are all crowd-pleasers:
At Last, White Christmas, Love Me Tender, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Moon River, Copacabana, You Are My Sunshine, The Impossible Dream, Yesterday, My Favorite Things, Bohemian Rhapsody, As Time Goes By, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Crazy, In the Mood, Down in the Valley, Ring of Fire, Singin' in the Rain, Dancing Queen, American Pie, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, It's Not Unusual, Somewhere, Stayin' Alive, Crazy, Time After Time, Werewolves of London, This Land is Your Land, Unchained Melody, Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron, The Star Spangled Banner, Good Vibrations, Mr. Sandman, They're Coming to Take Me Away, Paradise By the Dashboard Light, Sixteen Tons, Hey Jude, Over the Rainbow...

But after some thought, my vote has to be What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 7:10:43 PM PST
how about knockin on heavens door by dylan?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 7:23:29 PM PST
P. Monether says:
Interesting choice! I grew up in England where this song was recorded by Lonnie Donegan (pretty sure it was he) and it was very popular at about the same time as Johnny Horrton's hit. I liked it up until when I started thinking about what the words were saying, and realized that hey - they're talking about firing at US! (I was about 8)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 7:27:19 PM PST
Dee Zee says:
I love Buddy Holly but I'm not sure many know his songs anymore.

But I think TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME might be a crowd pleaser for Americans.

And I think BLUE SUEDE SHOES is quite liked by all ages with it's catchy opening lines.

BTW I love the BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, have the 45 in fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 9:12:28 PM PST
S. Koch says:
Stephen--I certainly am not taking your thread seriously, and that was my point. I merely pointed out the fact (after you claimed you found a song that might come closest to one every American likes) that your choice was incredibly obscure to begin with, and you supposedly came to this conclusion because people in some bar in Arizona happened to sing along when it was played. One doesn't have to spend too much time in bars to know that people generally sing along at times to whatever song happens to come on, but I guess I didn't know that automatically made whatever song they happened to be singing the song ever American happens to also like.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 10:19:11 PM PST
S. Koch and Stephen McCarthy,
Let's not continue the petty bickering here. Stephen started a light-hearted discussion for fun, and S. Koch seems to take issue with the song choice. Fine. It's painfully obvious that neither one of you is going to be the bigger person and refrain from an argument.

Of course "Battle of New Orleans" isn't a song that every American loves. It's a really odd choice, but I'm not gonna start a snit over it. These cranky little remarks back and forth are really boring.

Let's move on already. Life's too short to begin a sparring match over something so minor, yes?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2008 11:05:30 PM PST
Val H. says:
I think age is the real problem in finding consensus on what might appeal to all Americans. Even 21 year olds (born in 1987) may well have limited knowledge of what older folk deem "classics". I'd like to add to my earlier suggestions with The Drifters' "Saturday Night At The Movies", The Tempts' "My Girl", The Everlys' "Crying In The Rain", Mary Wells' "My Guy", Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted". And I would think Van Morrison's "Bright Side Of The Street" is also a good crowd pleaser.
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Initial post:  Feb 29, 2008
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