Songs often present themselves to be sung. Sometimes, songs get out of line and say, “It’s my turn” and break out singing.
By and large, you can’t explain the behavior of songs in a set list. You can have a set list and then it happens.
You glance down at the title of a song and out of the blue, you start singing.
That was the case the other day at Graceland when I started singing “America, the Beautiful.”
Right away, two beautiful ladies reacted. One pulled out her phone and started videoing the song while the other smiled and clutched her heart.
Such a strong reaction to a song often gets your mind to rambling in between the lines. “What’s the story going to be after I complete the song?”
I extended the song for a couple more obscure verses and then ended with the chorus:
“O, Beautiful, for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountains majesty
Above the fruited plain
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good
from sea to shing sea.”
After I finished the song, the lady who was videoing came up to me and smiled, thanked me for singing about this great country.
What she said next both surprised and delighted me when I asked where she was from.
“I’m from France,” she said in the accent that you’d expect.
In the midst of all the real and perceived ills and wrongs regarding the United States of America and its revered symbols, two ladies from France, ooo lala, remind me that this is a greatest country in the world.
For this reminder—and, of course, for the accent, these two ladies are my heroes. Stand and wave the flag.