Thursday, April 26, 2012

American Woman

So, after dinner tonight, we head over to a local Folkestone pub.  Yay!

There is a couple getting ready to perform with a guitar and a fiddle.  I'm psyched.  I love me some fiddle. 

We wait around for a bit until they start.  I'm excited and expecting some great foot tapping pub music. 

They start up, we listen attentively and applaud appropriately.  

About song #4 they make a comment... "blah, blah, blah, I'm sure there isn't anyone in the crowd from the States, blah, blah, blah". 

Proud to be the American that I am, I holler "Whoop!!  Texas!!!"  They look at me awkwardly and break out into the following song.  

Oh GI Joe put your gun away
The sun is setting on another day
Why don't you leave us alone?
Yankee go home!

They're burning effigies out in the street
Man the life boats, sound the retreat
Pentagon's on the 'phone
Yankee go home!

You can't just kiss and run away
There ain't enough money on a sergeant's pay
When the dancehall girl you banged's in the family way

Oh you turned my sister into a whore
With a pair of silk stockings from the PX store
Why don't you leave us alone?
Yankee go home! Yankee go home! Just go home!

My girlfriend still won't talk to me
Since she met with a sailor from the land of the free
I'm tired of being alone
Yankee go home!

I lost count of the chewing gum that I've had
And coca-cola make my teeth go bad
We'll handle this on our own
Yankee go home!

Dow Jones going into a stall
Spray paint saying it on every wall
The climb was fine, now it's time to decline and fall

Over-paid, over-sexed and over here
Get smart, gringo, disappear
The Hun's at the gates of Rome
Yankee go home! Yankee go home! Go home!
Go home! Go home!


It's a horrid, little anti-American ditty.  And not just anti-American, but anti-American military.  I must say, I'm just a little shocked.  My daddy was in the US Air Force for thirty years.  

I grew up on U.S. military bases.  And I can't hear the National Anthem without my eyes welling up with tears.   I could not be more proud to be an American. 

That has nothing to do with any other nationality.  I don't think I'm better than anyone else.  I am simply and desperately proud to be from America.  Always.  

And I don't  think you would ever go to a bar in the US and hear "Cute English guys with your adorable accents, go back to where you came from. "

I realize, it's a war song and in reaction to something that happened years ago.  But, I must say, I'm a little perplexed tonight.  How do I respond to this?

I thought the US and the UK were buddies?  Call me naive.  
Am I being sensitive?  If the song was anti-anybody else, would I feel the same?  Or if it was anti-anybody else, would it be acceptable to play on a Thursday night in a pub?  

I'm sure I'm learning a big lesson here, I'm  just not sure what it is.  

But... God bless America.



  1. What happened after the song was over? How rude.

  2. I'm not horribly surprised. It amazes me how much 'Yank this' and 'Yank that' talk goes around here in London. And how if you want to offend a Brit, tell them they're 'acting like an American.' I've overheard this kind of talk a few times since moving here. It blows my mind. But luckily it's very rare. People do tend to be generally nice most of the time.

  3. Well here's one for ya! I thought you were going to end up telling us the person SINGING the song was from South Carolina or Georgia or somewhere down South!!! Dave and I vacay a lot in South Carolina and you would think the civil war ended last week. (I know - NOTHING CIVIL ABOUT IT!) Anyway, so that's how I took it. And never having been out of the states, not really, I've heard that most other countries do not like Americans. We have no idea what our government does behind our back.

    I don't know if you saw my answer to your question on my blog...we leave for ITaly in less than two weeks. May 9 Flying into Rome, staying there a few days, then going to Siena (Tuscan area). When will you be there?

    Cindy Bee

  4. PS - does it feel to be called a Yankee?!?!! (teehee!)

  5. That's HORRIBLE. I've never heard anything like that - I'm so sorry you had to be subjected to it.

  6. You didn't want to sing them a song thanking them for the BP oil disaster in the gulf? Maybe toss a mutated shrimp at them? No? Don't worry, part of that special relationship is picking at each other. Haven't you noticed that the british guy is *always* the bad guy in american cowboy movies? I bet the brits have noticed. Don't take it personally. And, being british, they were probably horribly embarrassed themselves. ;) America high-five! And {hugs}

  7. That's strange, you'd think that after they'd acknowledged that there was an American in the audience that they'd simply have not sung that song. It does raise a lot of questions about why the song was in their repertoire in the first place though!

    You're right, if the song had been anti another country or race/ gender / sexuality etc, would it still have been 'ok' to play??

  8. I think you just have to be a bit thick skinned, the same thing (in reverse) happened to a group of us that were training in Rochester Mnn, we were in a bar playing pool and a report came on the TV about a bomb going of in England (this was in the late eighties when the IRA were up to their old cowardly tricks), there were around a dozen blokes at the bar who immediately started whooping and hollering "that's right, kill the English bastards" etc etc). Also happened to us when we went to see a band at a local nightclub, when one of the band went to the bar and overheard our accents, they started singing anti British (war of independence) songs. So it's not just you "Yanks" that this happens to.


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