The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Living In America

Sorry about the long time between my last post and this one. But I'm finally back. My brother has recuperated and Joyce is doing well. My personal inertia has also been overcome. At least temporarily!

Arlene Delgado, a Big Hollywood (one of Breitbart's sites) contributor, has a great article which presents ten conservative "lessons" to be learned in "Rocky IV." One of the ten lessons is the unashamed patriotism expressed in the movie, and in the discussion of that lesson she mentions this great James Brown song, "Living in America." If you've seen the movie, you'll remember the scene that features Brown and his song. This video (put together by mayee11)  isn't that scene, but there is one available on YouTube if you want to view it.

Check out the song's lyrics at the bottom of this post.

I'm just an old white guy who likes bluegrass, traditional country music, and early rock and roll, but, dang it, I've always had a soft spot for James Brown's stuff. And now I learn that he was something of a conservative. You read that right. A CONSERVATIVE.

If you didn't know that (or even if you did), you might find the Wikipedia bio on James Brown interesting. Here's a couple of interesting paragraphs:

In 1972, James Brown, when asked, openly proclaimed his support of Richard Nixon against the Democrat, George McGovern,[35] and a nationwide boycott called by Black Democratic leaders damaged his status as the most successful Black entrepreneur in the country. Still, his popularity buoyed up his financial fortunes after a brief downturn, and he went on with his career, undaunted....

 In 1967, he issued a patriotic single, "America is My Home", which was a "rap" about how he felt people, particularly in the African-American community, were neglecting the country that he said "could give (them) opportunities" explaining how at one time he was shining shoes and the next, he was greeting thePresident of the United States as he did when President Lyndon B. Johnson thanked him for donating money to school drop-out prevention programs.
Lyrics for "Living in America"

Yeah, uh! Get up, now! Ow! Knock out this!

Super highways, coast to coast,
easy to get anywhere
On the transcontinental overload,
just slide behind the wheel
How does it feel

When there's no destination - that's too far
And somewhere on the way,
you might find out who you are

Living in America - eye to eye, station to station
Living in America - hand to hand, across the nation
Living in America - got to have a celebration

Rock my soul

Smokestack, fatback,
many miles of railroad track
All night radio, keep on runnin'
through your rock 'n' roll soul
All night diners keep you awake,
hey, on black coffee and a hard roll

You might have to walk the fine line,
you might take the hard line
But everybody's working overtime

Living in America - eye to eye, station to station
Living in America - hand to hand, across the nation
Living in America - got to have a celebration

I live in America, help me out,
but I live in America,
wait a minute

You might not be looking for the promised land,
but you might find it anyway
Under one of those old familiar names
Like New Orleans (New Orleans),
Detroit City (Detroit City), Dallas (Dallas)
Pittsburg P.A. (Pittsburg P.A.),
New York City (New York City)
Kansas City (Kansas City),
Atlanta (Atlanta), Chicago and L.A.

Living in America - hit me
Living in America - yeah,
I walk in and out
Living in America

I live in America - state lines,
gonna make the prime, that
I live in America - hey,
I know what it means, I

Living in America - Eddie Murphy, eat your heart out
Living in America - hit me, I said now, eye to eye,
station to station
Living in America - so nice, with your bare self
Living in America - I feel good!


  1. What a GREAT way to start my day..."I feel good"!!!!

  2. I didn't see the movie but I sure know the song. I didn't know James' political affiliation, either, but am glad to learn he was a conservative.

    Apropos o' nuthin'... JB was one of the very FIRST black R&B guys I ever heard, back at the tender age o' 12 or so when my Ol' Man was stationed in DeeSee. I was hooked at first listen.

    Glad all y'all are well!

  3. Cool. Did not know any of that about James Brown, but I'm strangely unsurprised by it.

  4. Wow Dan! What a way to come back!!! Glad to have you, too...and to know that Joyce and Brother are up and running.

    Back in high school, I had this friend. When you asked her a question that she answered in the affirmative, she'd say, "Can James Brown Get Down?"

    Just a little flashback there. Cute girl...wanted to date her...didn't happen.

    Thanks for the lesson, professor! Quite enjoyable.

    Welcome back.

  5. Thanks George, hope you and Sara are well.
    Thanks Buck. It's been awhile since I've seen Rocky IV myself--guess I better put it on the old Netflix queue.
    Inno, Thanks. I didn't know JB was a conservative either; doing a little research on the song led me to it. I just learned that LL CoolJ is a Republican as well; that one blew my mind as well.
    Andy, thanks, they're both doing well. And your friend's positive reaction is a lot better than the one I remember from HS: Does a bear crap in the woods? Also, I'd like to extend my condolences to you and any other LSU fans who might be reading this blog for that sad loss the other night. Still 13-1 is a pretty good season in my book.

  6. Thanks, Dan. 13-1 in the SEC is indeed a good season. Not to mention that we played Oregon, and West Virginia out of conference (whipped 'em both soundly, too).

    And, we didn't even get Vandy this year...but we DID play the Rebels (the worst SEC team in my memory).

    Another one of my favorite affirmatives was "Is the Pope a pollock?" Very un-pc, and of course, that one ran out of steam a while back.

  7. Came across your blog post. I'm SO pleased you enjoyed my "Rocky IV" article! THANK YOU! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ms. Delgado. And I did really enjoy your article and look forward to seeing more at BH in the future.