Listen to (HELP) GOD HELP AMERICA by Charlie Whitehead.
Listen to SPIRIT OF AMERICA by The Beach Boys.
See if you can guess this week's theme! First up is a repeat appearance from the beloved Charlie Whitehead. Charlie and Swamp Dogg wrote a bunch of songs about America. Some people might object to the rawness and bitterness in a lot of these songs (like The Freedom Under Certain Konditions Marching Band we shared last year), but I can really get behind a song about this country that is passionate and intelligent and isn't watered down or deracinated. Fortunately, me and Charlie aren't trying to be President!
We also have a Beach Boys song, The Spirit Of America, which isn't literally about America at all, despite the title. But symbolically it's about much more than a car--it's about hopes and dreams. Brian Wilson (with help from Roger Christian on this one, I think) has this anachronistic (the doo wop he tries on here was already well out of style) and nostalgic vision that is so appealing to so many (including me).
Photo: Visit to Harlem (1).