Red State Blues

A few years ago I was passing through Missouri and came to a crossroads, where I stopped to pick up a hitchhiker carrying a guitar in a gunny sack. He asked me where I was going—I said I was headed for the coast. He said that sounded good to him—that he needed to get the hell out of Dodge. “Why’s that?” I asked. Without a word he reached over and turned the radio on, and a voice blared out “...with their elitist attitudes. But I believe in American exceptionalism....” Switching the radio back off, my rider turned to me and said “Well friend, I’ll tell you.” Then he took up his guitar, began playing a crooked blues riff with a slow steady beat—

and sang:

 

Missouri’s got me singing the blues about the red state of mind:

The fog in which the fearful choose to follow leaders who are blind;

And psycho preachers who feed their flock with blissful ignorance—

With so many falling for such a crock you know we just don’t stand a chance.

 

Praise the lord, hallelujah, better get on your knees:

We’re a nation under God and we do what we please...

 

 

America the beautiful from sea to dying sea:

Stolen home of the brave, and raped land of the free

Straight white rich man who goes to church dressed in his Sunday best—

Then off to the bank, fill up the tank, and to hell with all the rest.

 

Praise the lord, hallelujah, better get on your knees:

We’re a nation under God and we do what we please...

 

 

Living in the Bible belt where fear and hatred reign:

I’ve been too long in Missouri and you know I don’t like pain.

Homophobic bigotry and ignorance give me the red state blues,

So it’s time for me to pack my bags and put on my traveling shoes.

 

Praise the lord, hallelujah, better get on your knees:

We’re a nation under God and we do what we please....

 

***

 

-From Overloaded Circus III: Crooked Tunes in Prime Time

© 2005 by JC

Listen to a recording of this song here (opens new window).

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Comments 9 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Jesus saves,and science teaches...it's a shame the two don't get along?


Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden Author

Oh but they do, Mentalist acer. It's just that some folks don't get either.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Most interesting hub, JC!!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I'm feeling a bit disgusted about my southern roots right now. I'm just glad that Jesus says that it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

So, at least no one will see Rush Limbaugh there!


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

I've spent most of my life in places like New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Take a deep breath... ah yes, you can smell the secular progressivism in the air.

I don't know what it is, but there is something vaguely comforting about sitting in an over-priced cafe paying the exorbitant sales tax for a cup of coffee... to my right, radical professors chatting about whatever gay black feminist theory du jour, and to my left, undersexed geeky Jews and Indian immigrants hunched over laptops building the next smart-social-web-portal-2.0 thingey.

For all their empty-headed superficiality and crassness, give me the avant-garde, the secularism and the ethnocultural diversity of a Hollywood, a Manhattan and a Boston any day of the week. I think I'll keep my coastal university-educated elitism, thank you very much.


Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden Author

Nellieanna--and it's all "true"!-)

Austinstar--hah! That is indeed a silver lining.

Secularist--me too. And I was born and raised in the south (and still consider that home, though I don't live there any more).


SylviaSky profile image

SylviaSky 5 years ago from USA

Not all of Missouri is like that. It's better in Kansas City and especially in St. Louis, which both vote blue.


Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden Author

Hi Sylvia--yes, I know that--I lived in KC for 5 years. But as I recall KC and St. Louis are islands of blue in a sea of red... But Missouri is closer to 'the center' than are a lot of other states:)


Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden Author

I've now added a link to a recording of this song. Happy Election Day!

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