Most people don't quite understand what Jimi was trying to say with this song. They're not at all sure if this is for or against America. I have known some people who think it is just a blind jingoistic tribute to "Yankee Doodle Land" and it makes them sick. (Always sticking feathers in their hats and calling them macaroni. Sheesh!) And there's others who feel that Jimi took a cheap stab at America by simply converting the Star Spangled Banner into the raukus "noise" of his guitar. This attitude was portrayed brilliantly in Pixar's first Cars movie, by the way. (Yes, the clip below is in Spanish)
However, most people simply just don't understand the song and dismiss it as Jimi just making noise for random reasons. I remember one stand up comedian talking about it. His comment on the part where Jimi breaks into Taps was "do you get the feeling he forgot what song he was playing part way through?" Well, if I could find that comedian, I would tell him that Jimi was very much aware of every single sound he was playing during the entire song. It all added up to one, not cheap knee jerk, but rather a very brilliantly, scathing satirical assault on America. "How?" you ask. Well, I think I've got it figured out. If you want to know as well, read on. (Although, if any of you reading this had it figured out already, that is awesome for you. You're invited to read on and possibly add a few points I may have missed.)
The clue for the song's message is in the "noise" Jimi interjects at different parts of the song. Go back to that youtube clip and listen to it again. Those aren't just random sounds. They are the sounds of war, specifically the Viet Nam War. They are sounds of:
|Tanks muscling their way around!|
|And the basic anguish most of the people felt for being in that impossible situation.|
So, the playing of Taps is to commemorate all of the people who were needlessly killed in that muddled conflict.
I guess it'll take more than song and a few thousand deaths before America will finally learns its lesson. Oh well, maybe after America invades Iran or Syria and some other musician writes a song against that will America finally squint their eyes passed that "rocket's red glare" and see the light.
|Come on, Ms. Gaga. You can do it.|
I'll end this post with a similar misunderstood song about the whole Viet Nam situation. Most people stupidly assumed it was a partiotic song about the good ol' U.S.A. when it's actually putting down the way the U.S. government treated the veterans of the Viet Nam War. President Reagen even used that song for his re-inaugeration when he was re-elected president in 1985 (and some people look back with fondness at him???????) Anyway, enjoy the song:
(aaaaaaaaaaand.............. Happy birthday to me!)