An original song written by United States Attorney General John Ashcroft
, and performed unannounced after a speech given to a North Carolina seminary
over a pre-recorded orchestral soundtrack piped over the speaker system. The UK's Guardian
newspaper likened Mr. Ashcroft's singing style to that of Engelbert Humperdinck
Let the eagle soar,
Like she's never soared before.
From rocky coast to golden shore,
Let the mighty eagle soar.
Soar with healing in her wings,
As the land beneath her sings:
"Only god, no other kings."
This country’s far too young to die.
We’ve still got a lot of climbing to do,
And we can make it if we try.
Built by toils and struggles
God has led us through.
The lyrics repeat themselves several times over, extending the length of the song to approximately 4 minutes.
The origin of the song, as reported on Beliefnet.com, came about in 1997 while Ashcroft was walking through a field on his 155-acre Missouri farm. He was distraught over what then-President Bill Clinton's alleged moral problems would do to the United States' spiritual condition. He reportedly saw some eagles flying across the dawn sky. The rest is music history.
Taking into account that the song was written before the September 11th terror attacks on America changes its interpretation drastically. If the song was truly written as an optimistic Christian outlook on America's ability to overcome sexual indiscretions of key political figures, then the image of the soaring eagle is more evocative of "freedom" and "rising above the things that trouble us."
A post-September 11th interpretation of the song seems to emphasize the hawkish qualities of the eagle, it's raptor nature. Ashcroft's vision of the US united under the banner of One God, regardless of such a vision's accuracy, has unavoidable military connotations.
According to BBC news reports, the song is but one example of many penned by "Singing Senator" Mr. Ashcroft. He has reportedly distributed printouts of his patriotic/jingoistic songs to all employees of the US Department of Justice so that they may start their day joining him in song. He is seeking Spanish speakers to translate his songs, although whether this is so he can perform his song for foreign dignitaries or simply provide copies for the DoJ cleaning staff is uncertain.
Not surprisingly, most employees are less than taken with the Attorney General's balladeering. As one DoJ lawyer put it, "Have you heard the song? It really sucks."
One can only wonder how he managed to get the music recorded.
CNN's coverage of the song: http://www.cnn.com/video/us/2002/02/25/ashcroft.sings.wbtv.med.html