Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving

A reminder from the late, great Johnny Cash that we all have so much to thank God for when we sit down with our families tomorrow. Perhaps we should also recall these words from Theodore Roosevelt in his final Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1908:

For the very reason that in material well-being we have thus abounded, we owe it to the Almighty to show equal progress in moral and spiritual things. With a nation, as with the individuals who make up a nation, material well-being is an indispensable foundation. But the foundation avails nothing by itself. That life is wasted, and worse than wasted, which is spent in piling, heap upon heap, those things which minister merely to the pleasure of the body and to the power that rests only on wealth. Upon material well-being as a foundation must be raised the structure of the lofty life of the spirit, if this Nation is properly to fulfil its great mission and to accomplish all that we so ardently hope and desire. The things of the body are good; the things of the intellect better; the best of all are the things of the soul; for, in the nation as in the individual, in the long run it is character that counts. Let us, therefore, as a people set our faces resolutely against evil, and with broad charity, with kindliness and good-will toward all men, but with unflinching determination to smite down wrong, strive with all the strength that is given us for righteousness in public and in private life.

Published in: on November 27, 2019 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

Isaiah 40:15

Something for the weekend. To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King was  written in 1941, seventy-eight years ago, by Father Martin B. Hellriegel, a German-American pastor in Saint Louis, as a direct response to the pretensions of the Third Reich and to remind people who actually reigns eternally.  We Americans have traditionally understood that God is in charge:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Abraham Lincoln ringingly set forth what this section of the Declaration means:  “These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.”

Nothing could be further from the nightmarish ideas that fueled the Third Reich, and Father Martin B. Hellriegel in his magnificent hymn conveys this majestic conception of God and of humanity under God:


November 8, 1864: Lincoln Re-elected

Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven’t had one since Taft. Look at the United States, they have not had one since Lincoln.

Will Rogers



Mr. Lincoln was re-elected 155 years ago.  The 1864 campaign songs have been long forgotten, while Lincoln and Liberty Too from the 1860 campaign is probably the most famous campaign song in American political history.

With the re-election the last faint hope for the Confederacy vanished.  The War would be fought to a finish and slavery was as dead as the hundreds of thousands of men who had fallen in the bloodiest conflict in American history.

Lincoln garnered 55% of the vote to 45% for McClellan.  The electoral vote was a landslide of epic proportions:  221-21.  Even if all the Confederate states had been able to cast unanimous votes against Lincoln, he still would have won a solid majority in the electoral college.  The margins in some of the Northern States were close, but as the saying goes, that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. (more…)

Published in: on November 8, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on November 8, 1864: Lincoln Re-elected  
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Perry Mason Theme Song

Something for the weekend.  Few television shows have had a more distinctive theme song than Perry Mason. Fred Steiner wrote the song known as Park Avenue Beat. The tune was written in a jazzy style because he expected Mason to be portrayed as a flamboyant man about town, not at all like the buttoned down, highly controlled Mason as played by the late Raymond Burr.  No matter, the song is now as closely associated with the fictional Perry Mason as is Raymond Burr.

And here is a rendition of the theme from the Blues Brothers (1980) film:


Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Perry Mason Theme Song  
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O’ For a Muse of Fire


Something for a weekend.  Soundtrack to Henry V (1989).  Hard to believe that it has been three decades since the release of Kenneth Branagh’s masterful take on Shakespeare’s celebration of England’s greatest warrior king.  Bonus:  Henry pondering whether asserting his claim to the throne of France is moral:


Published in: on October 26, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on O’ For a Muse of Fire  
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Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus


Something for the weekend. Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.  I have always loved this Protestant hymn.  In 1856 Dudley Atkins Tyng was removed as pastor from the Episcopalian Church of the Epiphany in Philadelphia due to his fervent preaching against slavery.  He died as a result of a farming accident in 1858.  His last recorded words admonished those who were around him to Stand up for Jesus. His friend George Duffield, Jr., inspired by those parting words, wrote the magnificent hymn.

Published in: on October 19, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus  
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Something for the weekend.  Dragnet theme song performed by Ray Anthony and his orchestra in 1953.  Bonus:  My favorite Joe Friday speech:

Published in: on October 5, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Dragnet  
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100 Things Every Man Should Know


For the weekend.  100 Things to Remember (1999) by the late great Tim Wilson.  My bride has described it as The God of the Copybook Headings for hillbillies.

Published in: on September 21, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on 100 Things Every Man Should Know  
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Don’t Fear the Reaper


Something for the weekend.  Don’t Fear the Reaper (1976) by Blue Oyster Cult.  Ever find a song so catchy that you like it even if you find the lyrics appalling?  That is me and this paean to suicide that was popular when I was a sophomore in college.  Of course perhaps I can be excused because I was 19 at the time and it was in the midst of that vast musical desert known as the Seventies.




Published in: on September 7, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Don’t Fear the Reaper  
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On the Waterfront


Something for the weekend.  Symphonic suite from On the Waterfront (1954).

Published in: on August 31, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on On the Waterfront  
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