April 20, 2010

Ray Stevens: The We The People Album, Part 3...

This collection is, of course, inspired by the overwhelming on-line popularity of "We The People". For those who read this and perhaps have no idea what I'm talking about you probably don't frequent social network and or video hosting sites regularly. If you did, and if you look up 'Ray Stevens', chances are "We The People" would be among the first songs to come up in your search. Why? Well, back in December 2009 Ray released a music video on You Tube called "We The People". The music video took off...spreading all over the internet...and by doing so it had racked up nearly a million hits in a couple day's time. A 'hit' for those unaware is what's referred to as a play, or, a viewing, of a video posted on-line. The music video would indeed reach 1,000,000 hits in no time at all and it continued to build as it hit the 2,000,000 mark on You Tube. As of this writing the music video's hit count is 2.9 million no doubt on it's way to 3,000,000 or so. The song is about the health care bill...referred to as ObamaCare by pretty much all of the health care overhaul's critics. Ray released a CD single of "We The People" a week or two after the music video became a hit.

This collection, though, features 22 songs...all of the songs carry either a political or patriotic message/theme. Some of the songs have catch-phrases that I bet you'll be singing to yourself at some point after hearing the music. Also, because there's 22 songs I'm not going to take on each song one at a time but I'll mention them as I write. A good mixture of comical and serious songs abound here...the serious works are patriotic in nature but there's a couple that can be considered nostalgic. "Dear Andy Griffith" and "Safe at Home" are the two that compare contemporary life with the by-gone days of the past. "Safe at Home" is a song that Ray often performs in concert...he was one of the music attractions at the April 15th Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C. and he performed the song. "Fly Over Country" is another serious recording which uses small-town America as a backdrop. It's a song about high-brow people in all walks of life not having enough time or respect for small-town America except when it benefits them. A reference about a politician only returning for votes is brought up and as soon as he feels he's got enough support he flies away to his own reality.

A lot of the songs have a funky music arrangement...maybe countrified jazz?

The Federal Government gets slapped down in several songs: "We Are the Government" is laugh out loud funny in that we're told the story of an ever-growing Government that squeezes the life out of everything it touches. The song starts off with an ode to Saturday Night Live of all things. The melody will be familiar to a lot of you I bet. The song's title is repetitious and you'll catch yourself singing it. It's one of the funniest songs on the CD.

"Throw the Bums Out!" is a rip at the politicians that have lost their way and have no connection to the voter. It is filled with quite a few catch-phrases and it takes aim at a Congress who insists a bill passes before it gets read. It's a music video on You Tube with over 85,000 hits so far. "Caribou Barbie" is about Sarah Palin...those who follow politics and Sarah will know that right away. In fact, a lot of these political songs may be enjoyed even more by those who are politically tuned in. Joe Average, for example, who doesn't really pay much attention to politics and political figures, will miss a lot of the humor in these political songs, I think. For me they're hilarious and satiric in places but for Joe and Jane Average the humor will probably go over their heads.

"Caribou Barbie", meanwhile, is another You Tube video and as of now it's gotten over 70,000 hits. In the video there's a lot of sight gags that of course don't translate to audio. In the video, the backup vocals are supposed to look as if liberal talkers on cable-TV are doing the honors. It should be noted that both music videos were released within weeks of each other. "Throw the Bums Out!" was issued after ObamaCare passed and became law just when "Caribou Barbie" was becoming a viral video. So those two music videos, a patriotic video called "Thank You", and the big one, "We The People", are all enjoying widespread viral success at the same time.

Speaking of "Thank You", it's track #19. A music video of the song that Ray released on You Tube 3 months ago has gotten over 100,000 hits. It's a salute to the military...and there are a couple more on here: "Stand Up!" and "The Fallen Ones". There's another song, "Let's Roll", which incorporates a lot of American history and phrases spoken by political and military figures through the years.

"Come to the USA" will perhaps be the song that if progressives and liberals hear it they'll scream and throw fits even bigger than they already are. The song pokes fun at how America welcomes illegal immigration with open arms...it comes complete with an effeminate operator on a telephone bragging about how great it is that illegals get to enjoy all of America's goodies while in other countries illegals aren't welcomed at all. The song is a statement about National security and how America's weakness for being open to all who want to migrate here can turn around and hurt the country in the end.

"Obama Nation" is a slice of heavy hitting comedy aimed at the President, of course. It starts out with a zippy history lesson of America and then goes on remarking on all the things Obama has done or plans to do with the reflective line about we all knew what Obama had in store but he was elected anyway. Surprisingly, this song as well as "We The People" and "We Are the Government" are the only songs to really tackle the President. The other political songs are aimed at Congress and the media as well.

All in all this is a fabulous collection of songs and a collection not to be missed! You'll laugh and feel American pride all over. There's a whole lot of common sense that runs rampant in a lot of these songs if you listen close enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Show your appreciation for the music of Ray Stevens...leave a comment...