The motto “Dont [sic] Tread on Me,” traces its lineage to Gadsden’s Flag presented to the Colonial forces. It is a reminder of the spirit of independence that not only refused to yield to a despotic (and quite mad) king, and a divided parliament that could do little to suppress the open hostility to an otherwise very loyal English people, but became a part of the fabric of that citizen called American. It may be that two Canadian-born-and-reared musicians, each remarkably talented and undoubtedly contributors to the larger culture of their adopted homes, will come to hear that unique rattle of New England, Southern, Midwestern, Western, Pacific Northwest, and Island patriotic self-determination that still cries, “Don’t tread on me.”
Neil Young’s catalog of words and music remains among the most important in 20th century music. I learned guitar and harmonica from listening to him. I still think “Old Man” is about the greatest folk song I have heard. His song, “Birds” is one of the most beautiful songs of its genre. However, as celebrities sometimes do—and they have every right, whether stupid or not—using their performance stages to imitate public policy experts, they reap the unintended consequence of pulling the plug on their old Fender amp. So, they play and sing, and no one listens. And that is sad, because artists like Young bring something that is mostly good (“Roll another Number” and a few other unpolished stones that can clog an otherwise beautiful heart of gold). When old “Uncle Neil” entered the forum of the Covid-inspired “cancel culture” he did so at a time when the Covid codes of incarceration and conviction are crumbling under the weight of (dare I say it): truth.
So, having covered “Ohio”—the quintessential protest song—in my earlier years of playing music (and with no intention of disrespect for the Kent State tragedy that originally triggered the considerable gifts of Mr. Young), I offer this parody. Satire is not necessarily humorous. This one isn’t. It never was. Building division, changing the rules of the game as you go, spending trillions of dollars to shut down our lives, sending mom and pop stores to bankruptcy, using mandates and masks, and diagnosing everyone in the world from centralized government healthcare research offices, without the input of one’s own physician, is a milestone in meanness.
At least the whole episode (which involves a genuinely, potentially deadly virus that appeared from this layman’s view to target the most physically vulnerable) has done little to divide the country further. I don’t think that is possible right now. We could use a Great Awaken8ng right about now. Maybe we are as bad off as we are so that if a spiritual awakening shook this nation it would have to be from God.
As it turns out, politicizing an epidemic isn’t that smart a strategy after all. When politicians and bureaucrats, medical or otherwise, get between everyday folks and their GP, or start imposing a quasi-marshal law that wrecks the economy, dehumanizes people, accidentally kills older folks, and turns neighbor against neighbor over the virtue or not of wearing a surgical mask, some good folk are jusr bound ro say, “Enough already!” .
The whole thing is way out of key. So, I wrote this satirical song. Now, I don’t claim that a parody about a rock star’s protest song (and a diminishing light of liberty) will do anything to rightly tune the situation. Some old guitars “won’t take a good tuning.” Maybe poking at it with a stick will give a little pressure release from the unrelenting humorless braying of Socialists who think they are rocking’ in the free world.
TIN SOLDIERS AND BIDEN COMING
- Words ©️2022 Michael Anthony Milton
- [Can be sung as political satire to Neil Young’s tune “Ohio”]
Tin soldiers and Biden coming
We are finally on our own
Through COVID I heard them gunning
Where’s the Freedom we used to know
Got to get down to it
Leftists are burning us down
Should’ve seen it coming long ago
What if you knew her
When the school board was shutting her down
How can you run when you know
Tin Soldiers and Biden coming
Did we think it could be this way
Little kids getting shot on the South Side
Thin blue line getting blown away
Neil Young is a great songwriter
Like Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen
But they have no clue what they’re talking about
As Laura said, “Shut Up and Sing”
Sing (Tin soldiers and Biden coming)!
Sing (Tin soldiers and Biden coming)!
Patriots rally, let freedom ring!
Ring (from the shores of the old Potomac)
Ring (to the land of a thousand lakes)
Ring (through the land of the Silicon Valley)
Ring (Let us pray until the nation shakes!)